INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to the Indianapolis Colts this season, particularly the team' somewhat surprising 6-4 record, youth will be served.
The Colts turned over nearly two-thirds of its roster from the end of last year to now.
Several first-year players have become important members of the offensive unit, such as quarterback Andrew Luck, running back Vick Ballard, tights ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill, and offensive tackle Bradley Sowell.
Interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who has been an assistant in the NFL for 19 years, has a tough time recalling a time when so many rookies have played such an integral part in a team's success.
"These guys have a chance to do something special if they just stay in the moment and don’t worry about the future. Take care of their bodies, take care of each day. I told a couple of them it’s the first time, I’ve been in the National Football League for 20 years, that we’ve had two rookie captains," Arians said this week.
"Dwayne Allen is a captain this week. I’ve never seen it. They’re not rookies anymore. They’ve logged enough snaps to be second or third-year players by now. So we don’t consider them rookies anymore."
And what about the fabled "rookie wall"? Has he seen any issues in that regard to the Colts' 2012 rookie class?
"I started two weeks ago harassing them about the rookie wall and what to expect. It’s more of a mental fatigue than a physical fatigue. They’re all doing a good job of taking care of their bodies right now. They’re running fast and doing those things," Arians explained.
"It’s the mental grind, and this is when the big boys play, December. What you did in November doesn’t mean a daggone thing. It’s what you do in December that they remember. There's no such thing as a rookie wall unless you got here three weeks ago.”