2010 Colts Training Camp: What we learned on the first day

Obviously, I can't do daily wrap-ups every. single. day. because they'd get boring and repetitive. "So-and-so caught a pass. So-and-so made a nice tackle. This all means that so-and-so, and the other so-and-so have a shot to stay on the active roster. Blah. Blah. Blah." But, since today is the first day of training camp for the 2010 Indianapolis Colts, I think it warrants a bit of a recap.

For our part, we did the best we could updating the blog instantly with reports from places like CBS, PFT, Twitter, and other sources. We basically applied the coverage model we molded for the NFL Draft and applied it to today. Hopefully, you enjoyed it.

Based on what we got from sources like Eric Hartz, Phil Wilson, and fans like you who have emailed me camp observations from the first two practices, we have a fairly general idea of how the team is taking shape. It's important to note that any of these observations could change in a heartbeat. But, for right now, here is how the team is shaking out after just two practices:

  • The Colts are literally trying to use anyone and everyone as a special teams returner. Ten players auditioned for punt and kick returning duty, including Anthony Gonzalez.
  • Speaking of Gonzo, right now he is indeed the team's fourth wideout. The starters for the first unit today were Reggie Wayne (outside), Pierre Garcon (outside), and Austin Collie (slot). I'm not writing this so I can rub anything in anyone's face, or anything silly like that. I'm just repeating what people saw and what they relayed to me. It's a subject many people care about, and today we got our first real insight into the issue. If someone else saw something different, let me know.
  • Even though Gonzo is sort of on the outside looking in, the Colts are "moving him around" a lot in an effort to get him in on certain packages. Peyton Manning targeted Gonzo a ton in the second practice of the day, and Gonzo seemingly caught everything. He looks healthy, and a healthy Gonzo only strengthens this team. It's exciting to see how the team may use him moving forward. He's an offensive "wild card" just as Jerry Hughes is a "wild card" on defense.
  • Dallas Clark, via Phil Wilson, on the Colts wideouts:"They're the best in the NFL."
  • Eric Hartz, via Twitter, on the Colts wideouts: "Fans should be very excited about this group of receivers with this quarterback."
  • Even Taj Smith was making "wow!" plays again this year at camp. Overall theme of the day was that the Colts wideouts are really, REALLY f-ing good.

More overall observations after the jump...

  • The team seems to have big plans for Brandon James. They split him out as a WR with Manning and the first unit on a few plays. Perhaps James is the Darren Sproles-type back this team has longed for.
  • Phil Wilson: "Don't be surprised if the #Colts' starters at guard, at least for the start of preseason, are Tony Ugoh (LG) and Mike Pollak (RG)." Today, the starting guards in the morning were Kyle DeVan and Jamey Richard. In the afternoon, it was Tony Ugoh and Mike Pollak. Based on some comments earlier this morning by Jim Caldwell, the team is rotating offensive linemen to get a sense of which combo works best. It's possible that, tomorrow, we may see new people at the guard spots.
  • In an effort to get very big along the d-line in goal-line situations, Fili Moala was the rush defensive end. Colts are seriously about adding more beef to the line in short-yardage situations. Moala is 6'4, 305 pounds.
  • I did not hear Ray Fisher's name mentioned once in special teams or defensive drills. Don't think that means anything, but it's worth noting. 
  • The Colts are continuing to create more pass rushing opportunities by stunting Dwight Freeney and looping around an outside linebacker, such as Philip Wheeler or maybe Jerry Hughes (as a "joker" linebacker).

If you noticed some interesting notes or tidbits from camp today, please post them in the comments. Today was kind of a crazy day, but crazy in a good way. I'm very intrigued by this new Colts team.

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