The Colts have taken it easy this week, with only a light 30 minute workout on Tuesday morning and special teams practice in the afternoon. Yesterday, they got back to their normal camp routine, but are still running around in shorts. While at camp last week, I asked a few people "in the know" as to why the Colts were not practicing in pads. On person responded with this interesting nugget (paraphrased): Look what happened to Washington. They started their camp in full pads and lost 4 guys for the season. Both Washington and Indy play 5 pre-season games. At this point, you are just trying to keep people healthy, not get them killed in meaningless games.
Looking at it that way, Indy's approach makes sense. I say this knocking on just about anything made of wood, but Indy has not really had any major injuries in camp. Now, morons like Chris Mortenson will still go on ESPN and spew that he's spoken with "people" who think the Colts will not be as good this year. Per usual, Mortenson is clueless when it comes to analyzing rosters, and since he hasn't actually been to camp (or spoken to his colleagues like Cris Carter, you raved about the Colts), it's fair to say Mort is not clued in.
One person who is clued in is Phil B, who has slowly but surely brought the Indy Star's sports coverage back to relevance. His camp blogging is a welcome treat from the Indy Star. You'd think Mike Chappell might get the hint and start realizing the beat writer is pretty much irrelevant now. Chappell is a fine writer and knows football, but why read his stuff a day late when I can read Phil's blog (or this blog) same day? Anyway, some observations from camp via Phil B:
* Defensive end/tackle Raheem Brock was in the backfield so fast on one play, he leaped and came within finger tips of an interception on a screen pass to Joseph Addai. And, yes, for anyone wondering about Addai after Sunday's smack in the head, the running back looks just fine.
* Rookie Eric Foster practically swallowed Dominic Rhodes on another screen that didn't materialize too effectively.
* Colts coach Tony Dungy didn't like what he saw and blew his whistle four times before snaps. That's obviously sloppy. I don't remember hearing him blow the whistle that many times in any of his previous camp practices.
Practices have been a but sloppy of late, but that's a result of Manning not being there and several young (or new) players getting used to things. Despite some sloppiness, Phil is starting to see (and recognize) what many of us have talked about since camp opened.
This team is good. Maybe scary good.
I know it's early yet. I know some of these guys may not make the team. But one game in, if I'm the Colts, I like what I see. Each year, teams change. And with the Colts, typically one of the younger teams, the question is always the same: Can any of the new guys make a difference or contribute? I get the sense this time, more than in past years, the Colts will get more production from this rookie class. I'm taking an early guess that this class could be special. I'm not predicting Hall of Fame inductions and Pro Bowls because that doesn't make sense at such an early juncture, but the Colts, president Bill Polian and his staff, have added some interesting pieces to the mix.