Colts Preparing For Lucas Oil Debut

The Colts closed up camp at Terre Haute on Friday, but there are still two weeks left in the preseason. wraps up the first part of training camp, and tells how the Colts are planning on getting acclimated to Lucas Oil Stadium in this team report.

The Colts have returned to their home base on West 56th St. in Indianapolis for the remainder of training camp. All practices held at the team headquarters are closed to the public. Indianapolis will have one practice per day for the remainder of camp.

The Colts are scheduled to hold their first practice at the new Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be closed to the public, as are all practices in Indianapolis.

The Colts should have enough time to acclimate themselves to playing in a new 63,000-seat facility before their Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears. They host Buffalo on Aug. 24 and Cincinnati on Aug. 28 in their final two preseason games.

• New Indiana University basketball coach Tom Crean recently watched one of the Colts' training-camp workouts.

Crean also hung around and saw a bit of the afternoon session as well.

"I'm glad (Crean) was here. I got to make my ticket requests in person. So it was good to see that," coach Tony Dungy joked. "But he's a good guy and a really good coach. I talked to him on the phone when he was still at Marquette. He just seems like a really good guy. I'm a big IU fan. I told him no pressure. We didn't expect a national championship with everything that was going on. But a Big Ten championship would be nice."

The Colts coach did have one caveat to his good wishes — that's when the Hoosiers face his alma mater, the University of Minnesota.

"Well, yeah, I'm pulling for them except against Minnesota," he smiled.

• Weather-wise, it's been a rather mild three weeks of training camp for the Colts so far.

Temperatures have reached the high 80s, with a couple of days in the 90s. But for the most part, cooler has been the norm rather than the exception.

"We had a couple of days (of hot weather), but maybe not what we're used to," the Colts coach said. "But, all-in-all, we've had good work. Probably with the (training camp) 80-man (roster) limit and the extra time that we're here, it's probably good that it hasn't been overly hot."

While the players obviously relish the lack of high temperatures and humidity, most coaches would prefer to practice in a little hotter climate.

"I like a few days of hot weather just to see who can fight through it. It was good camp from a player's point of view, so I'm fine with it," Dungy added.

Whenever possible, the Colts will put the two steel panels that comprise Lucas Oil Stadium's retractable roof — along with the huge moving window that provides a view of downtown Indianapolis — into motion and open them up.

"Basically we want to have the roof open as much as we can," Dungy said. "That's why we got it. We want to have it nice for the fans and have everybody enjoy it."

• The Colts practiced in front of 22,308 fans during their three weeks of training-camp workouts at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

It's the second-highest total for camp at the school, coming in behind last year's attendance of 27,340, when the Colts were coming off a Super Bowl title. Fans totaled 21,773 in 2006. The Colts have trained at the school since 1999.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I still carry that lunch pail, still ham and cheese. I actually switched to peanut butter and jelly. Ham has a little bit too many calories. I'm getting older now and trying to stay lean. Every year, I treat it like I'm trying to make the team. Every practice, I'm trying to be the hardest worker." — Colts LB Gary Brackett, on his philosophy of preparing for the upcoming NFL season.

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