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Colts Training Camp 2008: Camp done, give'm some love

Lots of fans turned out for the last day of camp yesterday. And after Tony Dungy blew the whistle ending the morning practice, the team exited the field to this:

According to Rose-Hulman officials, 22,308 fans attended practice the last three-and-a-half weeks, the second-highest total in the 10 seasons the Colts have held camp at the school. On Friday’s final day, the fans in attendance gave the team a standing ovation.

“That’s a little unusual, but it was fun,” Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said. “I thought we had a good camp, this part of it. Now, we’re into Phase 2, which is to see if we can play a little bit better in the games and go back and get ourselves geared up in Indianapolis.

“But I thought this part of it was very successful.”

This was a tough camp, folks. No Dwight Freeney. No Bob Sanders. No Peyton Manning. Not having Manning at any of the practices was the biggest difference between this year's camp and caps of the past. We take him for granted, and we damn well shouldn't.

But not having these ace players around helped many of the reserves get valuable practice and development time. It's helped forge some chemistry, push players to their limit, and create a better football team. This is one of the deepest, most talented Colts teams I've seen in recent memory. We'll see how they look in the real games, but the promise of great things is definitely there.

Pre-season game #3 is tonight. Look for the open thread at 7:15 pm Eastern.