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2008 NFL Draft: Rookie camp starts today

Colts rookie camp starts today at West 56th Street:

The 22 rookies recently acquired by the Colts will report to the team's practice facility Friday for the first time, then will spend the weekend at a three-day rookie camp designed to allow them to acclimate, learn and prepare.

When it begins, Polian – in his 11th season as the Colts’ President – said they will receive two messages. One, that they will have every chance regardless of background or draft status to make the 53-man roster. The other, Polian said, is equally important:

College is over. The NFL Draft is over.

All that matters as far as the Colts are concerned is the future.

Starting right now.

“This is the real world,” Polian said, discussing what the rookies will be told at the beginning of the team’s 2008 rookie camp at the team’s practice facility Friday.

“All that took place on draft day, and before that, is the phony world of the draft. This is now the real world of the NFL. It doesn’t have to do with marketing and it doesn’t have to do with seminars on how to be a better person.

“All that stuff is fine and dandy at the appropriate time, but this is about competing for a job in the National Football League.”

The Colts made a conscious decision to improve the interior of their offensive line in the 2008 NFL Draft, taking OG Mike Pollak, OC Steve Justice and OG Jamey Richards. They also wanted to gain more depth at running back, drafting Michigan legend Mike Hart in round 6 and signing rookie free agent Chad Simpson out of Morgan State. Special teams, in particular the return game, were also a focus. Bill Polian drafted Mount Union standout Pierre Garcon to compete with current returner TJ Rushing. Simpson also has the skills to return kickoffs. Georgia standout DE Marcus Howard will likely play special teams and get acquainted with d-line coach John Teerlick.

When we get pics of the 22 rooks at camp, we will post them. Rookie camp runs through Sunday.