2009 Colts Training Camp: Early Thoughts

We've got three practices in the books. As we wait for the fourth practice to conclude, I've looked through some emails folks have sent, blogs, and Twitter updates to come up with these quick thoughts about the first few practices. Now, obviously, after three practices, we still have no idea who will start, what the team's tendencies will be, etc. These are just quick notes I've jotted down as I've watched, read, and listened to many camp reports:

  • The first string defensive line is Dwight Freeney (RDE), Daniel Muir (NT), Ed Johnson (DT), and Raheem Brock (LDE). It looks as if Ed is playing at the undertackle spot.
  • The first string linebackers are Philip Wheeler (SAM), Gary Brackett (MIKE), and Clint Session (WILL).
  • Jim Caldwell loves his talent at running back. He praised Lance Ball for learning the playbook very quickly and was impressed with how Mike Hart is progressing after last year's ACL injury.
  • The Colts a very big on Daniel Muir. I've seen Polian praise him twice and Caldwell has praised him multiple times as well. Antonio Johnson better get off PUP, and quick!
  • Blitzing will mostly come from the linebackers, making Indy's Tampa-2 not much different than the Chicago Bears.
  • Donald Brown is a complete stud. He has the ability to break long runs for big plays. He is also an accomplished receiver and is putting in a lot of time on pass blocking.
  • Lots of WR run blocking drills. WRs coach Clyde Christensen seems to be emphasizing this in camp.
  • Starting offensive line is Tony Ugoh (LT), Mike Pollak (RG), Jeff Saturday (OC), Ryan Lilja (LG), and Ryan Diem (RT).
  • Both Peyton Manning and Caldwell have stated that the third WR battle is very heated. Pierre Garcon is in the lead. Taj Smith and Austin Collie have also impressed. Roy Hall has impressed blocking out of the slot.
  • Austin Collie might return punts.
  • Curtis Painter can fling the football. Strong arm. He is indecisive delivering the ball, and he pats the ball when he is making his reads (big no-no). However, these traits are typical of rookie QBs.
  • The Colts will likely carry 3 QBs heading into the season. This means one less DB will make the team.
  • The team is very deep. Some good football players are going to be cut when this team has to chop down to 53.
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