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Thoughts as training camp winds down

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On Bob Lamey's radio broadcast this week, we talked about the Friday practice (tonight) and tomorrow morning's practice, which Dungy says will feature some things no one has seen at training camp.

Photo: Indianapolis Star

Today, it rained buckets in Terre Haute. Instead of canceling practice, Dungy had the guys run their practice in the pouring rain. Contrary to popular myth, the Colts have played well in bad weather games. So, while I'm sure the pundits will say "It's about time," it really is pretty normal for Dungy to have the guys practice in harsh conditions. He balances it well with the players' health. You don't want to see anyone get hurt. That's one of the reasons players love Dungy so much.

He actually cares about their health. Some coaches, and many fans, don't really care about the player. They just want to win. Such people are nothing more than ghoulish morons, and they should be dismissed completely and utterly.

After tomorrow, training camp breaks and the Colts get ready to play the Seahawks. Speaking of the Hawks, Shrug and I will preview that Colts v. Seahawks preseason game here and at Field Gulls.

It seems this year, more than any other, that training camp has really flown by. Maybe it's because this is the first year I have ever really followed training camp this closely. Unfortunately, I was unable to actually go to Terre Haute this year. I have had some good information sent my way from some gdod people, and to them I say thanks.

We'll try and have a final report from Rose-Hulman tomorrow after camp breaks. Until then, here are some of my final thoughts on training camp:

  • Both Joseph Addai and Dom Rhodes have competed very hard and very well for the starting RB job. Rhodes will get it for week one, but Addai has won over many teammates and several coaches. He is very popular. Rhodes has stepped it up a notch and been more vocal and more of a leader. You could see it during the St. Louis pre-season game. Rhodes has a lot to prove this year, but he seems to be going about things the right way. He's also been a great mentor for Addai.

    A dark horse for some RB time is Kory Chapman. He has had an excellent training camp, and he played well in the pre-season game. I recall, last year, many Pats fans moaning that Patriots GM Scott Pioli had let Chapman go to make room for another DB in New England. The Colts picked Chapman up right away when NE released him, and the Patriots might regret that decision (like they will regret letting Adam Vinatieri go).

  • Dylan Gandy will get another start at guard this weekend. Lilja has not seen the field much because of injury. I am hoping Gandy can unseat either Lilja or Scott, because I have no faith in either. Gandy might secure the job if he has a solid outing this Sunday.
  • Marlin Jackson started camp looking good, but he has really dropped off since the Rams game. Jason David, who bulked up this summer, might retain his starting job. The whispers at Rose-Hulman are they should have moved Marlin to safety because current starter Mike Doss still can't cover anybody (oh, and he's hurt... again). I think he'll work out fine. If he performs well against Seattle's WR corps, that might help Marlin secure the starting job.
  • Antoine Bethea will steal Mike Doss' job from him by the end of this year. He has looked amazing in camp, picking off passes left and right, and defending the ball exceptionally well. I haven't gotten any info on how he plays the run (something Doss does very well), but he is far and away better at defending the pass than Doss.
  • Ben Utecht has solidified his starter status. He is the starting TE with Dallas Clark in the Colts 2 TE stretch offense. No offense to Bryan Fletcher, who is quite good, but Utecht has looked very, very good in camp. His blocking is good, and he can catch the ball well around the goal line.

I'll have a few more thoughts as I get information on the last few practices. One thing I hear, and I agree with this, is this is the deepest and most talented Colts team ever assembled in Indianapolis. Yes, even without Edge, this is the deepest team overall during the Polian era. The deepest positions are running back (yes, even without Edge), the secondary, and wide receiver. I was a little hestitant when I first looked at the receiving corps, but when Stokely, Moorehead, and Wilkins are all quality WRs. They can all step in and contribute.

We'll have the Colts/Hawks pre-season preview up soon.