With all the news the last few days (Tarik Glenn's retirement, Corey Simon planning to attend camp), the keys for Colts Training Camp have changed somewhat. To put it plain, a position that was once rock solid (LT) is now in question while another position that was once in question (depth at DT) becomes pretty solid, especially if Corey Simon passes his physical and produces. These new factors are included in the previous keys we've been talking about since April:
- Will Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden respond well as starters at CB?
- Who will win the nickel CB spot? Tim Jennings? Daymeion? Michael Coe? Or, maybe newly acquired Duane Coleman will get the job?
- Coaches are high on Freddie Keiaho. Why? Can he do what Cato June had such trouble doing: Tackle the friggin' ballcarrier?
- How much will Anthony Gonzalez affect the offense? Less Dallas Clark in the three wide sets?
- With a new contract in hand, will Dwight Freeney produce more in 2007?
- Prior to Tarik retiring, the big obsession around here was with DeDe Dorsey, who will likely split carries with Joseph Addai. Will he do for us more than Dom Rhodes did (3.4 ypc) in 2006?
- Special Teams: Can we tackle someone please! If not for Devan Hester's TD on the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl, the Colts utterly blow out the Bears. I'm getting a little sick and tired of these silly little returners affecting games for us. Hester stunk so bad as a DB he was switched to offense this season in Chicago. Maybe that will be a better fit for him, but what bothers me is he, and others like him, have made games far too close when the Colts have dominated in all the other key categories. Russ Purnell, despite getting a ring, is still on notice. His ST units were awful last year. I expect better in 2007.
Now, I know what many people are thinking when they see a list like that. That's way too many issues for a team hoping to repeat and win it all.
The projected favorite of hack media pundits everywhere, The New England Patriots, started camp with 7 key players on the PUP. CB Chad Scott was carted off the field during the first practice. Asante Samuel is still holding out, and he doesn't plan to show up until Week 10. Laurence Maroney is the only back worth a damn on that whole roster. Bruschi, Vrabel, and Harrison are still old and slow.
At other camps, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Panthers are all dealing with shaky QB situations involving injuries and bruised egos. Tampa Bay just cut their best pass rusher. Unlike Tarik Glenn, the Giants Michael Strahan is letting his team sweet about his rumored retirement during Training Camp. Real classy Mike.
Basically, compared to many other teams entering Training Camp, Indy is in good shape. Are you excited? Because *&%$# yeah I am!