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Dungy hints at Maroney; Colts eye Bennett

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Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy appeared at Ball State's Emens Auditorium on Thursday night, and he delivered an abridged life history, an inspirational message and a prayer...

Perhaps more important to fans, during a question and answer session with those in attendance, Dungy might have actually shed some light on the Colts' plans in the upcoming NFL draft April 29-30...

I don't know if this is an appropriate question or not," a BSU student said, "but are you guys going to take a running back with your first pick in the draft?"

Dungy smiled, and the crowd laughed.

"Do not be surprised if we take a running back," Dungy said.

The student didn't stop there, though.

"I really like that Laurence Maroney from Minnesota," the student hinted toward Dungy.

Dungy again smiled. But he also shot back an intriguing answer.

"I like Laurence, too," he said. "In fact, I gave him the secret handshake when he was down in Indy for the combine."

StarPress.com (emphasis mine)

I'm not sure what the "secret handshake" was, but it seems pretty clear that Maroney is high on Indy's draft list. Here's a profile of Laurence Maroney from NFL Draft Countdown.com. I still think the Colts are drafting Joseph Addai, RB from LSU. But, with Polian and Dungy you can never predict the draft. Side note: Dungy was a quarterback in college at Minnesota, where Maroney went to school.

In other news, it seems Polian has contacted free agent RB Michael Bennett, who played for the Vikings the last few years (scroll down when you click the link to the "Bennett in Big Easy" section). Bennett is known as a speed back with durability and fumble problems. Gee, sounds like a keeper.

However, Bennett might be servicable as a utility player, coming in on third down on as a "change of pace" back. With Polian's interest in Bennett, and Dungy's Maroney reference, it seems the Colts are following the running-back-by-committee plan. They've seen Pittsburgh, New England, and Philly use this for years with much success. If the Colts draft Maroney and sign Bennett, that is more than enough firepower to replace Edge. The Blue Ponies would have three quality backs (Maroney, Bennett, and Rhodes) they can use in multiple situations.