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2011 Colts Training Camp: Day Eight News And Notes

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Colts Training Camp Schedule

Monday, August 8th, 2011

8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (p.m. practice is special teams only)

The 8:30 a.m. practice is currently underway, and from @nick_pease, Jeff Saturday just lined up at WR and ran a route in practice much to the enjoyment of the crowd. We'll have notes from this morning's practice later today. The p.m. practice is special teams only.

I'll deal with the silly Terrell Owens rumor in a bit. Before I do that, I just want to give a quick run down on what we have seen from the players at camp this year. If you've been to camp already and seen similar or different observations, let us know in the comments. As always, evaluation is subjective. And as we have often seen (Taj Smith), one can look very good in camp (Taj Smith) and then look abjectly terrible in game-like situations (Taj Smith, Taj Smith, Taj Smith).

Speaking of Taj, he'll likely make the team. He's an outstanding special teams player.

  • The defensive tackle position is certainly upgraded. Tommie Harris and Drake Nevis offer much more at the three-technique tackle spot than Daniel Muir or Fili Moala did.
  • Harris has impressed. He looks healthy. Shows tremendous burst off the line.
  • Jerry Hughes looks like a new player. This news is VERY encouraging, but I preach caution. It cannot be overstated just how completely useless he was in 2010. The Colts absolutely cannot afford to bust yet another first rounder. So, while Hughes has certainly turned heads at camp, let's temper things a bit. We need to see Hughes play well in a real game before we start proclaiming him as a 'good pick.' Right now, he's a big bust. He must shake that label with his play in preseason and regular season. I hope he does because he has loads of talent.
  • Dallas Clark is healthy. That's big news.
  • Anthony Castonzo is getting his ass kicked, and that's good. He has all the physical tools, and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Having him get schooled by Dwight Freeney early is a good measuring stick for how mentally tough he needs to be.
  • Ben Ijalana is a huge man, but not as refined a blocker as Castonzo.
  • Ernie Sims is looking and playing physical in practices.
  • Justin Tryon is outplaying Jacob Lacey. Yet, Lacey is still considered the 'starter.'
  • Kevin Thomas actually practiced. He's also wearing No. 21.
  • Curtis Painter looks improved, but still gets rattled easily in the pocket. Dan Orlovsky still doesn't know the offense, but much cooler under fire. I still hold out hope Orlovsky can take this job, but you never know with the Polians.
  • My early guess at the starting o-line: Castonzo, McClendon, Saturday, Ijalana, Diem.
  • Unless he dominates in preseason, I don't see how Mike Pollak makes the 53-man-roster, save only pride on the part of Bill Polian.

One last thing as you start your day, and take this for what it's worth: The reason the Randy Moss rumors are credible is because the Colts and Moss have talked. I don't have that completely confirmed, but it makes sense if you consider the Colts WR situation. Anthony Gonzalez is made of glass, and Austin Collie is potentially one more concussion away from ending his NFL career. The Colts know this, and are likely keeping their options open with Moss (as they should). If Collie in particular goes down, the Colts lose a very potent big play threat. Thus, the Moss whispers. Moss can still fly, and if used in a specialty role on a team full of skilled veterans (like the Colts), he can make plays.

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