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Manning leads Colts into training camp
“That is always kind of fun to see,” Manning said. “You’d always hear he did this or he did that, but you never really believed it. He drove, what was it last year, a truck?”
Actually, it was a dump truck complete with hard hat and orange construction vest, Peyton.
But there are more substantive questions heading into camp this season.
Manning’s favorite comedian, Wayne, and defensive end Robert Mathis skipped all of the team’s offseason workouts because they wanted new contracts. Both Pro Bowlers have two years remaining on their current deals.
Defensive end Jerry Hughes, Indy’s first-round draft pick, was still negotiating a package that could get him to Anderson University, a Division III school about 30 miles north of Indy, in time for Monday’s first practice.
Now, because of the defending AFC champions’ new policy, ticket-paying fans may have to wait longer to get answers.
Team officials prohibited all players except Manning from speaking to reporters, the first time access has been restricted on reporting day since the Colts held their first training camp at Anderson in 1984. Television cameras and a pool photographer were permitted to shoot the players’ arrivals, but were kept about 150 yards from the building and were told to turn off microphones and cell phones.
Coach Jim Caldwell took questions, too, though his availability came four hours before the team’s 2 p.m. mandatory reporting deadline. While Caldwell said he had not yet spoken with Wayne or Mathis about their plans, he “anticipated” both would arrive on time and that Hughes would work out a deal before Monday.
Wayne also has been dropping hints about his intentions. A recent journal entry on Wayne’s web site solicited advice from fans about where to eat in Anderson, though the new format would not have appealed to Wayne’s attention-grabbing arrivals.
“Since you all have been quarantined over here, I think he’d be disappointed,” Manning said. “No one would be there to film it. I think he’d be disappointed _ though it might save him some money.”
Caldwell did have some good news for fans.
Receiver Anthony Gonzalez, who missed all but the first quarter last season with a right knee injury, and safety Bob Sanders, who missed all but two games last season with knee and biceps injuries, are not expected to open practice on the physically unable to perform list.
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