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Rivers, Buckner off to fast start at Colts Camp

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In the midst of an upside-down 2020, Philip Rivers sporting the Colts horseshoe almost felt normal Monday.

In the thick of a humid, overcast afternoon on West 56th street, Rivers went back to work alongside fellow quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett, Jacob Eason and Chad Kelly.

“Phil (Rivers) is almost like a coach,” Colts rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. said. “It is like having a coach out there. He knows everything. I am learning more than I ever thought I would.”

As fun as Darius Leonard likes to make mundane training camp drills look, there is a slight problem.

Monday marked the first of only 11 practices in pads that the Colts have before Week 1.

“If you really think about it, that (11 practice sessions) is nothing,” Colts Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly said. “We are going to have an off day after a couple of them. It is really three weeks of practice to get ready for Jacksonville. We have Week 1 in Jacksonville, in the heat, guys need to push themselves (at camp).”

After Rivers’ signing on March 21, the Indianapolis media finally got a look at him at a practice on Monday. 

An early example of the 38-year-old’s competitive fire? 

While the Colts’ first team offense was resting on Monday during 11-on-11 drills, Rivers spent his time on the sidelines rifling through practice film on his iPad.

No days off, no minutes off for Rivers. This is how it has always been.

The top highlight Monday? The eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback connected with T.Y. Hilton for a highlight reel grab on a corner route.   

After reports of a big practice between the duo Sunday, it appears Hilton is clicking with his new gunslinger. 

“Yesterday was a good day, I think they (Hilton and Rivers) got to throw a couple of times before we started, so, you know, when you have two guys that are instinctive and smart football players, it is not going to take them long to connect,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said. “T.Y.’s body language is so easy to read, he is so smart.”    

Arguably the best entertainment ahead this summer? The new force of nature at defensive tackle — DeForest Buckner. 

“I think he brings a certain level to the defensive line that is contagious, and obviously, if you look at the guy…he is six-foot-seven, 300 pounds,” Kelly said. 

It was a privilege to be back out at a football practice Monday.