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Colts Links: 6/10/2008

Stampedeblue_s Big Ed Johnson's goal is to get to training camp as a leaner, meaner player. Johnson's playing weight was roughly 300 pounds last season. He wants to play at 290 in 2008. Why?

"I can come in much better shape than I did last year," Johnson said just before the start of the Colts’ organized team activities - 14 days of on-field work that will continue through mid-June at the team’s training facility.

"I can be quicker and faster and do things that personally I know I can do better and have done better in the past that I know I can improve on. I think at the end, by doing that, I would be a much better player, and that would make our defense even better..

Johnson credits Booger McFarland for helping him through last season, which saw Big Ed start all 17 games at DT in Booger's place.

During that time, Johnson said McFarland – a 1999 first-round draft selection acquired by the Colts in a mid-season trade the previous season – helped him significantly.

"I talked to Booger a lot last year," Johnson said. "During the week, I would watch film with him. He would call me and if I had questions, I would call him. He helped me out a lot. He showed me a lot of little things – secret, veteran stuff – learning how to watch film, things to look for, things like that. They were things that made the whole process of being a rookie, playing fast, easier.

"It had a great impact on me. You don’t ever look at it as someone trying to take your place. We’re all teammates and you have the same goal in mind, just like when I was in school and a young guy would come in. I wouldn’t not try to help him because I thought he was trying to take my place.

"You do everything for the good of the team. In the end, I think that’s what it comes down to. It was all about the team. He helped me out a lot and I appreciate it."

Booger still has not signed with another team. It seems he's having trouble coming back from his knee injury, which he suffered during training camp last year. I really miss Booger, and I still say he was one of the most important players Bill Polian ever brought to Indy.

Stampedeblue_s Pro Football Weekly has a theory on why the Colts traded FB Luke Lawton to Philly:

By trading FB Luke Lawton to the Eagles for a conditional 2009 draft pick Friday, the Colts sent a message that they’re reverting to their core spread-offense principles. The Colts experimented with Lawton as a traditional fullback in ’07, but it’s readily apparent that the team will employ two tight ends instead of a fullback when they want to power the football in ’08.

Another reason Lawton might have been traded is the Colts might decide to move TE Gijon Robinson (6'1, 255 pounds) to H-Back or fullback.

Stampedeblue_s Kenton Keith thinks the Baltimore Ravens are the Indianapolis Colts' chief rivals. Sorry, but huh? 

Stampedeblue_s Funny line from 18 to 88:

Tom Brady says he's slow and can't jump. He blames it on his ankle injury. If Peyton Manning had come out with a line like this a couple of months after losing the Super Bowl, everyone in New England would kill him for being a wuss. Soooooo.

Tom Brady is a wuss who makes excuses.

 Stampedeblue_s Over at Behind The Steel Curtain, contributing writer WolfpackSteelersFan has a well researched article up offering a Quantitative Analysis of the Greatest QB in NFL History. Based on his research and analysis, Peyton Manning is the greatest QB in the modern NFL era; better than Terry Bradshaw, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, or Mr. John Unitas.

Peyton Manning is still playing, and therefore may drop in production and hurt his rankings. But, up to this point in his career, he has clearly been the most productive QB of the Modern Era, at least in the regular season.

Wolfpack's article is excellent, and coupled with mgrex30's article yesterday comparing Indy to the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams, that's two excellent stats-driven articles in a row.

Stampedeblue_s Should I apply to take over Will Leitch's spot at More importantly, would Gawker hire an SB Nation writer?