Here are the news and notes:
- Like I said yesterday, Freddie Keiaho is a big upgrade at WILL over Cato June. Even the coaches, in particular the Colts linebackers coach, think so. In fact, he looked so good in mini camp and in the offseason training sessions that people are comparing him to Bob Sanders:
"[Freddie Keiaho's] going to have a great career in this league," Colts LB coach Mark Murphy told PFW at the Super Bowl. "He's exactly the kind of guy we want. He's not a real big guy, but he's very bright, very explosive. And he understands the game. He'll be around for a while. I'll probably be in an old folks' home watching him play for a number of years. He runs with what we like to call `being chased speed.' When you time a guy, he runs at X speed, but when a guy is chasing him, he runs at X-plus speed." Team sources have been telling PFW all season that Keiaho has a lot of the same qualities as S Bob Sanders. "That's a great analogy," Murphy said. "And also like Bob, Freddie's a quality guy."
- Speaking of quality people, Assistant Head Coach and QB Coach Jim Caldwell says the key to the Colts repeating isn't talent or speed or stockpiling a bunch of flashy free agents. The key is character:
The key for the Colts repeating as champions, Caldwell said, is their character. What is unusual about this team is its consistency when it comes to winning," he said. "We started last year 9-0 at one point and I didn't think see even a little complacency. These are an extraordinary group of professionals. Win or lose, they work just as hard and are just as diligent. "They're not going to be satisfied with winning last year. They''ll be just as competitive, just as demanding."
Caldwell said that there will be lots of new faces on the Colts this season, players who missed out on a trip to the Super Bowl.
"The nucleus is there, but that's the beauty of free agency," he said. "There will be a lot of new players. We have to do it all over again. It's a new year and nobody is resting on any laurels. That team did it and now this team wants to do it."
- Brandon Stokley, now catching passes in Denver, is comparing Jay Cutler to Peyton Manning. TheSportsGuru now has the shakes.
- Four days until Dwight Freeney and the Colts must hammer out a long term deal. All signs suggest a deal will get reached, likely making Freeney the highest paid defensive player in football. The current holder of that title is Nate Clements in SF, which is a total travesty.
- Last night on the SBNSR, TheSportsGuru and I picked the 49ers to win the NFC West. Actually, I pretty much everyone to win the West, as I couldn't make up my friggin' mind. The NFC West is a very underrated division this year.
- Expect to see a lot of Daymeion Hughes and Michael Coe during pre-season. Tim Jenning's foot is still in a boot, and he might not be ready to go. Hughes might beat Jennings out for the nickel corner spot.
Fine. Trade accepted, upon the following condition: Give Peyton the Patriots defense from 2003-2004. Peyton might not throw for 49 TDs, but he'd never lose. Ever. He'd win, like, 50 games in a row or something. Instead of beating teams 45-20, he'd beat them 35-0. Oh, and we still keep Vinatieri as well.