ANDERSON — Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner was the last member of the Indianapolis Colts to walk off the field at Macholtz Stadium on Friday morning.
The first-round pick out of Florida State lingered by the fence, signing autographs for some of the hardcore fans who had sat through the final practice of training camp.
After hopping on a cart and taking a short ride to meet the media, Werner couldn’t stop smiling. He said his first professional training camp had gone even better than he expected, and he can’t wait to make his preseason NFL debut on Sunday against the New York Giants.
“I was so anxious last week to play (in the opener against Buffalo), but then it was like a game-time decision (to sit out), and now I just can’t wait to get out there and finally play again,” he said. “It’s my first game in a long time. I’m really excited.”
Werner’s optimism seemed right at home on another sun-drenched day at Anderson University. The weather was perfect throughout the three-week practice schedule, and more than 37,000 fans attended at least one of the 15 public workouts.
Friday’s practice ended early after veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri made a 51-yard field goal with his teammates gathered behind him. The kick split the uprights nearly right down the middle and sent the Colts into a burst of celebration.
“It’s awesome when Vinny makes field goals to win games or send us home in the right way,” quarterback Andrew Luck said. “We’ll miss Anderson. It’s always good to us up here. We get great work up here. But, yeah, it’s a good end to camp to have Vinny kick that field goal.”
Luck completed 15 of 20 passes in the final practice of his second training camp. With veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne taking the day off to rest, Darrius Heyward-Bey was the quarterback’s favorite target with five receptions.