We are all starved for information as it has been five months since we last saw our team in pads playing a meaningful game. The draft eases the hunger, but we're now 6 weeks past the draft. Mini-camp and OTAs are nice appetizers as we wait for the start of August and training camp. And with that in mind, here is what's on the menu:
Austin Collie looked impressive to many spectators. There doesn't seem to be any consensus on who the third WR is, but the Colts seem to like Collie and Garcon. Indeed, ESPN's "blogger" Paul Kuharsky noted:
I tried to read into how the receivers deployed, but there is no telling at this stage how the candidates for the No. 3 job -- Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Roy Hall -- stack up. My eye -- which has no experience training receivers, just lots watching them -- puts them in that order right now.
- Daniel Muir was active and working hard in practices. The perception was he is fighting for a roster spot. Yes, indeed he is. Muir's knock last year was his injury bug. If he comes into August healthy and has a strong camp, it will be tough to discard him.
Joseph Addai and Mike Pollak did not participate in mini-camp. They are rehabbing injuries. Addai is recovering from knee surgery, which he had done after the 2008 season ended. The knee ailment explains why Addai was not very effective in 2008, but that does not shake loose the perception that he is a brittle player.
- Peyton Manning did a lot of one-on-one coaching with rookie QB Curtis Painter. It's likely Painter did a lot of pissing in his pants as he watched the best QB in football bark orders at him.
- Marlin Jackson did a lot of coaching with the secondary.
- Jerraud Powers is fast. Paul Kuharsky made note of a great play he made on a pass to Reggie Wayne from Peyton Manning. Powers seems to have good recovery speed and ball hawking skills.
- Ryan Lilja seems healthy, but they are taking it very easy with him. This is a very positive sign.
- Jim Irsay expects Tom Moore and Howard Mudd back doing pretty much the same things they did before by August 1st. In addition, Bill Polian stated that the Franklin College camp is part of an effort by the Colts to "create more outreach and more interaction with fans." This is a very good thing, and I applaud the Colts for FINALLY working on their fan interaction. The Colts are far too cold-shouldered to fans, especially when it comes to access to information. I can understand their cold nature to big media. But to fans, that is unforgivable. We pay for the stadiums, the jerseys, and the cold beer on Sunday. Shut us out and you risk dire consequences.
- Next step in creating more outreach and interaction with fans: Improve Colts.com. The site is an absolute joke. For a team the caliber of the Colts to have such an unprofessional looking site is stunningly stupid. After the site is visually updated to look more professional, they need to add more consistent, up-to-date content on the site. Maybe even have (gasp!) a blog! By the way, Howard Mudd and Tom Moore retired a while ago, and Colts.com still has no mention of the event. Just saying.
- Back to mini-camp: Roy Hall has lost weight and is wearing #81 now.
- Lance Ball showed good burst running through holes in the o-line and caught every pass thrown to him. Mike Hart better heal up quick, because Lance Ball might very well take Mike's job.
- Jim Caldwell is looking for "balance" when it comes to Addai and rookie RB Donald Brown. To me, "balance" sounds like 15 carries a game for Addai and 10 carries per for Brown.
- Pierre Garcon spent a lot of time returning punts in the special teams practices.
- Anthony Gonzalez suffered some kind of quad injury. They took him out of practice and gave him an ice pack.
Many have said the atmosphere at Franklin College was festive and fun. Bravo to the Franklin College folks who hosted the Colts and the fans. Again, the Colts really need to do more open practices like this. Fans want to see their team work. They want to see who is running what drill and who is working in the first or second unit. For five months we feast. For the other seven, we starve. Events like this ease the hunger pains.
Tips to slash196, paytonmenning, and shake n bake. I did not attend mini-camp, so if others have more information, email me or write a FanPost. Any info you have is appreciated. Remember, we're starving. Throw us a bone, already!