There's lots of new from the first day of mini-camp. Where-o-where do we start!
- Joseph Addai is impressing the Colts coaching staff and his quarterback, Peyton Manning. The general feeling among everyone is he will split time with veteran Dominic Rhodes.
- Manning invited Addai, the other running backs, and the tight ends over to his house for dinner the other night.
- Marlin Jackson will play exclusively at cornerback on the first day of training camp in July. This may answer the question as to whether or not Marlin will get switched to safety this off season. Marlin will not participate in the mini-camp this weekend because of an injury.
- Other players not participating because of injury: Bob Sanders, Cato June, Aaron Moorehead, Jonathan Welsh, and Vincent "Sweat Pea" Burns. We can only assume Sweat Pea is still recovering from getting tasered by the Lexington Police Force. Cato June is still recovering from a sports hernia operation.
- Rookie CB Tim Jennings was on crutches after having his ankle scoped.
According to Jennings, he initially injured the ankle last fall prior to the Bulldogs' game with Auburn. After undergoing medical tests at the Colts' rookie camp two weeks ago, it was decided to go ahead and have the problem taken care of.Jennings is expected to be healthy in time for training camp July 31.
- The status of LB Kendyll Pope for next season is uncertain. Pope was suspended by the league for one year after his third drug violation. The Colts expect Pope to be re-instated in time for training camp. During the preseason last year, I felt Pope was playing as well as any linebacker we had on the squad.
- Nick Harper is attending mini-camp, despite his suggestion last month that he wouldn't. Perhaps Harper took our advice and showed up ready to do the friggin' job he is under contract to do.
- Dwight Freeney seems very pleased with the player turnout for offseason conditioning.
- Manning is now considered the elder statesman of the team... at age 30.
- Manning called Edgerrin James the best players picked in the 1999 NFL draft:
"Edgerrin was the fourth pick in that draft, and if you look back, I'd say the best NFL player to come out of that draft. You could certainly argue (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Donovan McNabb as well, and (Eagles defensive end) Jevon Kearse was in that draft as well. . . . But if you ask me who the best player in the 1999 draft was, I'm going to say Edgerrin James.
- Interesting quote from Manning regarding how the offense will change in the post-Edge era:
"(Colts Offensive Coordinator) Tom Moore's offense always has been about the players that he has," Manning said. "That's what makes him, I think, such a great coach. Some coaches are so set on running their offense. Tom builds his offense around his players and around the weapons that he has.
"We're still a one-back offense. That's his philosophy. That part will certainly stay intact. The plays that have worked for us for a number of years, we expect them to work as well: the play-action pass, the stretch play, the zone-blocking schemes . . .
"That's certainly the plan again this year. We feel good about the execution of it."