It's obviously awesome to hear all the great things that are coming out of Colts training camp right now, but camp isn't a real game. It isn't even a fake game (that's preseason). So what sized grain of salt should we be taking with these optimistic reports?
I pulled up the Stampede Blue archives for July and August of last year, to see who the camp standouts were and how well that translated into regular season performance.
- The news from the first day of camp last year was that Corey Simon failed his physical, Bob Sanders was on the PUP list and Quinn Pitcock wasn't in camp (for injury reasons).
- August first brought rave reviews for DeDe Dorsey (who was cut after an injury left him unable to play at the start of the season. He was picked up by the Bengals and put up fantastic numbers in a very small sample), Freddie Keiaho, Tony Ugoh and Anthony Gonzalez also stood out
- On the 3rd TJ Rushing's improvement from return specialist to viable CB, Corey Simon's release, Roy Hall's potential on immediately on special teams/in the future on offense and the competition for the nickelback spot were the stories.
Michael Coe has looked better at camp than Dante Hughes.... Also, Tim Jennings (sans the protective boot), has looked impressive. He is speedy and gets out of his breaks quickly. MasterRWayne tells me that right now Jennings is the nickel back.
- MarkV0327 reiterated the praise for Ugoh, Dorsey and Gonzalez, as well as kicked off the Sorgi bashing.
- Anthony McFarland went down for the season on the 6th, marking the first major setback to the Colts season.
- jdb liked Keyunta Dawson's quickness, Keiaho, Brackett and Hagler's good reactions in a run D drill (and shared than Ramon Guzman struggled in the same drill), Dante Hughes both in pass coverage and run support, Addai's route running, and saw Gijon Robinson as a fullback in an I-formation. Ugoh also struggled on that particular day, being dominated by Freeney and beaten by other lesser DEs.
The major standouts were Keiaho, Hughes, Dorsey, Gonzalez. Keiaho and Gonzalez were excellent once the real games got going. Hughes nearly won the nickelback spot before going down injured and Dorsey lost his chance to be the #2 back after a turf toe injury left him ineffective in preseason.
So the guys that are consistantly looking good now have a very good chance (barring injury) of continuing to play well right into the season and be major contributors.