You know, I can almost feel it. It's about a month away.
It's training camp, folks!!!
For most NFL fans, training camp is one of the best times of the year. Each camp, there are several key positional battles. The Colts have several. I'm a big fan of open competition. A player must earn his position by work done in previous seasons, or he must beat out his competetion at training camp. If certain players don't like the fact that they actually have to compete for their job (cough, cough, Mike Vanderjagt, cough, cough) then you know you have a prima donna, and it might be best to CUT THE PUNK LOSE!
But, I digress.
Here are some key training camp battle to keep an eye on when July 31st rolls around:
Runningback: Edge is gone, which leaves longtime backup Dominic Rhodes in the drivers seat as the starter. Rhodes has proven he can run the ball (1,100 yards in 10 games in 2001). However, the Colts did draft Joseph Addai for a reason, and he was impressive in mini-camp. Kory Chapman is an interesting prospect as well. Many say he's got a lot of ability, but was buried behind Edge and Rhodes last year.
Tight End: This is probably the most competetive position for the Colts. Dallas Clark is a lock, but behind him are three excellent players and only two will probably make the roster.
Cornerback: Will Marlin Jackson beat out Nick Harper as the starting corner? Or, will the Colts go with the same depth as last year? Jackson is better than Harper and Jason David. Therefore, he should start. I'm interested to see where the rookie Tim Jennings fits in.
Offensive Guard: As you know, I am not a Jake Scott or Ryan Lilja fan. They were both weak links in the o-line all last season, and their putrid play in the playoffs cost the Colts dearly. I very much want one or BOTH of them sitting the bench this season. But who will beat them out? Wayne Gandy? Rookies Michael Toudouze or Charlie Johnson? It's a possibility.
Return Specialist: Troy Walters is gone. One time kick returner Dominic Rhodes will run the ball more, leaving a void on special teams. The Colts brought back Terrence Wilkins for KR duties and drafted T.J. Rushing to compete for the job as well.
We'll discuss and breakdown these positions battles between now and training camp.