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Tony Dungy very happy with HoF Game; Colts return to camp

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The Colts return to camp today, and when they do they'll likely see a smile on the face of their head coach. Why? Because despite the final score of the Hall of Fame game Sunday, Tony Dungy was very, very pleased with the performance of his team. So pleased in fact that he thinks that was the best job his team has ever done in pre-season:

It’s probably the best first game we’ve played since I’ve been here. It’s a shame the score ended up the way it did, but we got a number of things done. Some of the young guys we hoped would play well really did step up and play well. It was really encouraging in a lot of areas.”

Now obviously, pre-season wins will get you a nice big pile of Jack Squat. But, it does mean something when your coach of seven years thinks last Sunday's game was the best played pre-season game of his tenure. It reinforces what I saw at camp, and what many of you have said as well.

This is a very, very deep team that could do some special things this season.

Dungy singled out some players, many of them obvious from the game. He praised Mike Hart for his hard running and blocking. He also talked warmly about Roy Hall, Pierre Garcon, and Devin Aromashodu. But where Dungy seemed damn near ecstatic was when he talked about the performance of his o-line:

Dungy said veteran reserve linemen Corey Hilliard and Michael Toudouze played well, but the draft selections were particularly notable.

“It was predominantly them on the inside – Mike, Steve and Jamey playing in those three inside spots,” Dungy said. “It was just a matter of everyone out there doing a good job.

“They played a lot. We wanted to see them, and they did a good job.”

Remember in year's past when the back-up offensive line would get the back-up QB killed? Not this year. After watching Jamey Richard in a game, I think this guy is a keeper as well. Dude has a serious mean streak. I also think Pollak is going to win that starting OG spot. I know Charlie Johnson started, but I didn't hear praise for Charlie after last Sunday's game.

We also got word that Peyton Manning's risk for infection in his knee is now gone, and he's 100% into rehab now. And after watching them on the practice field first hand, I can tell you that Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney are ready. The Colts aren't playing them because they don't want them to get hurt. Same is true for Marvin Harrison. He's fine. He's healthy. All three players look primed to do what they do: Dominate.

Seeing camp first hand really put my mind at ease on some very key questions. This is a deep team. The stars who were hurt last year are healthy. The offense has some serious weapons. Heck, I think the special teams units might actually look decent this year. But hey, one thing at a time.