INDIANAPOLIS — Few can understand the challenge Andrew Luck faces as well as his new head coach.
Frank Reich underwent the same shoulder surgery that has sidelined the Colts quarterback for most of the last 18 months, and he's intimately aware of the difficulty involved with recovery.
The difference is Reich was at the end of his 14-year NFL career when he finally gave in and had his torn labrum repaired. Luck is in his prime.
So Reich is there to offer advice whenever his quarterback needs it. But he also knows when to give Luck space.
"I have been very fortunate to be around some really elite athletes and guys who know their body and know what it takes to get ready," Reich said. "They do things that no one else does. So I really trust that. What I like is that Andrew sees himself being better than he ever has been. That’s what we all see.
"So we have a plan to make that happen, and he is driving the ship as it should be. There is nobody else who can drive that ship."
Luck's goal all spring has been to prepare for the start of training camp in late July. The Colts and the City of Westfield will reveal the training camp schedule on Wednesday, and fans will get their first idea of when they can watch the starting quarterback throw in person.
There's still some question as to the next step in the process.
Indianapolis opens the preseason Aug. 9 at Seattle, and it's yet to be determined how much Luck will participate in that game or any of the other three contests before the regular season starts a month later against Cincinnati at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I, generally speaking, don’t like the starting quarterback to play too many snaps of preseason ball," Reich said. "I mean if you just look at the places I have been and had any say in it, the starting quarterback doesn’t play a whole lot in preseason. You need to play enough to get into a rhythm, but I feel like we can get into a pretty good rhythm out on the practice field.
"So the fact that he didn’t play last year then maybe you want him to get a few snaps out there, but he has played a lot of ball so it’s all about getting him ready to play against the Bengals."
Reich has seen the quarterback throw throughout the spring, and he's confident with the progression.
Luck's only recently begun throwing a football again, but his motion and consistency have impressed his head coach.
"I can just tell you he has looked really good in his sessions," Reich said. "There have been enough sessions that I have seen — with whatever kind of ball it is — it’s looked good."
Free agent defensive end Chris McCain remains separated from the team as the legal process plays out in California.
McCain has been charged with battery against a woman in a January incident from his time with the Los Angeles Chargers. He has denied the allegations.
McCain missed the final week of OTAs and is likely to sit out until the case is resolved.
"Hopefully the truth comes out," Reich said. "We just have to let that play out, and, again, we stand by our players. But, at the same time, I don’t think it’s contradictory to say that we don’t tolerate anything that was alleged to have happened. We don’t tolerate that kind of thing, but right now we just don’t have enough information to make that decision."
Eight players are participating in this week's mini-camp on a tryout basis — including eighth-year veteran cornerback Keenan Lewis.
A third-round pick by the Steelers in 2009, Lewis has seven career interceptions — including four with the Saints in 2013. He hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2015.
The other tryout participants are undrafted rookie cornerback Juante Baldwin, defensive end Christian French, undrafted rookie running back Jordan Huff, wide receiver Paul McRoberts, former Purdue defensive end Evan Panfil, safety Tim Scott and fifth-year defensive end Jacquies Smith.
Smith has appeared in 31 games with 18 starts for Buccaneers and Lions. He had 13.5 combined sacks in his first two seasons but has appeared in just four games since injuring his right knee in 2016.