We tried to do something a bit new this year with these Colts training camp primers, and part of that involved doing a few more podcasts not just with writers here at Stampede Blue but with NFL people and media we like and respect.
For a while, Indianapolis Star beat writer Phillip B. Wilson and I have wanted to do a podcast, and this year (at this time) ended up being a perfect moment to get Phil B. on the phone and shoot the breeze about the Indianapolis Colts, the changing landscape of media, and even what the "B" in Phillip B. Wilson stands for!
For those not familiar with Phil's work, he's covered the Indianapolis Colts since 1998 for the Star, and last year he was one of the few in local Indianapolis media who was critical of the Bill Polian regime. He's also been a very positive advocate for blogging and using Twitter to talk directly to fans. His blog at the Star is great stuff.
Here are some of the quick highlights from this special podcast (total time 52:53):
- The "B" stands for Brent.
- Phil added the title "blogger" recently to his business cards.
- Phil told me that Colts owner Jim Irsay confided to the Indianapolis Star during Super Bowl week (February 2012) that Peyton Manning did indeed have four neck surgeries and that the risks for Manning are significant going forward. Thus, the decision to release Manning seemed inevitable.
- At roughly the 25 minute mark, Phil gave his thoughts on Donald Brown ("He'll never live up to the pick"), Jerry Hughes ("This is your last chance, Jerry"), Donnie Avery ("It sounds fishy to me that he just needs the right opportunity"), Tom Zbikowski ("By his own admission, [Zbikowski] lost his edge in Baltimore"), and Samson Satele ("Has the journeyman tag"). All great stuff, especially the Zbikowski news.
- According to Phil, Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome once told him that Baltimore intended to draft Jerry Hughes in 2010 at (presumably) pick No. 43, but the Colts took him at pick No. 31. At that time, Chuck Pagano was an assistant in Baltimore running the same style of defense Indy will try to run this year.
- Colts won't play Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis 70 snaps a game this year, which is what they've normally played in years past. They'll play roughly 50. This mean Hughes should see playing time.
- Phil's quote about Bob Sanders and the lack of Christmas gifts Bob used to get as a kid is both hilarious and poignant (roughly the 38 minute mark).
- Phil has his eye on rookies Josh Chapman, Tim Fugger, and T.Y. Hilton. Per Phil, Chapman reportedly opening camp on P.U.P. is a concern. All signs from Colts prior to this week had pointed to Chapman being healthy for camp.
- Great stuff from Phil at the 44:00 mark about how Peyton Manning used to get Dallas Clark and Austin Collie killed by safeties on the hash mark, seam throws. Clark once told a colleague of Wilson's that when seam routes would got called in the huddle, Clark would go to the line and pray the safety would bite on the play fake. Because, if the safety didn't, Manning's throw would get Clark crushed by the safety over the middle.
Thanks again to Phil for his time and his great, honest answers about past and present Colts players, coaches, and general managers. Click the audio player below to listen to the whole thing: