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Addai is ahead of things

If there is one reoccuring themese running from Rose-Hulman since training camp, it is this: Joseph Addai is ready to play NOW!

We've heard and read all kinds of reports from fans and media present at camp. They all suggest that Addai is NFL ready. All this talk that Rhodes is the starter and running-back-by-committee crap is just a smoke screen. Rhodes is a fine running back, but from what I'm hearing at training camp Addai is kicking his ass.

Even Manning has had nothing but praise for Addai, and Manning doesn't just throw laurels around for the heck of it, especially to rookies. He's been especially impressed with Addai's knowledge of the offense, his understanding of how things work, what is expected, and how to perform in it.

But what has been most impressive about Addai is not his speed (he's broken multiple runs for long TDs), his moves, his vision, his great hands, or his ability to pick up the blitz. What has impressed everyone is Addai's poise. Addai has been very cool under fire, and when things happen that normally rattle rookies (snap count changes, audibles at the line, assignments in pass pretection, etc.) Addai has gone out there and been completely unfazed. This has made him popular with teammates, you seem to respond to his calm demeaner.

While Edgerrin was popular for his leadership and his cool, laid back attitude (traits that are making him the unquestioned leader in Arizona now), Addai is popular because he seems so collected, so calm for a rookie. The Colts are also impressed by Addai's strength and bulk. For a back so fast and agile, he is incredibly strong. I do believe, at the NFL Combine, he squatted more weight than any other running back and he was second on the bench press.

So far, it would seem that this guy is a major, major find. The expectation level for Addai just went up a notch.

In other news, it didn't take long for Adam Vinatieri to get comfortble with the Colts. He's kicking off well in camp, which will allow the Colts the luxury of keeping an extra DB going into the season rather than wasting a roster spot on a kickoff specialist (which is what Dallas is going to have to do, by the way, whether Parcells likes it or not).

All in all, the two biggest additions to the Colts roster, Addai and Vinatieri, are performing very well and fitting in as if they'd always been here. I really feel that if (knock on wood) the Colts go into the season and stay healthy that they are the best team in the NFL. From top to bottom, from offense to defense to special teams, this is the best team in the league. There defense is expected to be better than last year's (which was #2 in points allowed). Dungy expects the team to be #1 in points allowed, a sentiment shared by Cato June and Dwight Freeney (check out their video interviews from camp here).

This team has all the pieces, all the right tools. Now, they need to prove it. It will be very, very difficult as no one will take them seriously until they make the Super Bowl. Pathetic as that is, it's true.

Photo: Colts.com