2011 Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Update
With the opening preseason game only right around the corner, the Indianapolis Colts training camp has made quite a bit of noise. While much of the focus on the Colts from fans has been on the health of Peyton Manning, and how he is recovering from his neck surgery; there have been some other players who have answered big questions that were surrounding them as well. Let’s take a look at some of the news out of the 2011 Colts training camp, and also look at a few players who could be making a big impact this year based on their strong performances in camp.
We’ll start with the quarterback position with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky. Painter has been Manning’s back-up for two seasons now, but Orlovsky has a bit of hype behind him as well. Orlovsky’s career originally began in Detroit, but he was signed as a free agent by Houston to a 3 year, $9 million, which is a nice payday for a back-up quarterback. Orlovsky never got to see the field though, as starter Matt Schaub didn’t miss a down. Now, Orlovsky is attempting to make a push on Curtis Painter to back-up Manning. Painter looks to have improved quite a bit though, but at times he seems to get rattled a bit still. This will be an interesting match-up to watch heading into the preseason.
The rookies Anthony Castonzo, and Ben Ijalana both look like they’ll be solid, but Castonzo specifically has been matched up against Dwight Freeney; which has made his life tough during training camp. Freeney has been all over Castonzo, which will end up helping Castonzo heading into the season. Ben Ijalana is a big boy, but isn’t quite as skilled as Castonzo is all around. It looks as though both Castonzo, and Ijalana will most likely start on the offensive line this year.
Jerry Hughes has looked very, very good. This is great news because the defensive end was a first round pick, and had quite a bit of hype surrounding him. He wasn’t able to live up to expectations last year, and I expect the 31st overall pick out of TCU to be out to prove something this year.
There are two specific other things that I’ve noticed about the training camp for the Colts to this point. The first is that the defensive tackle position has been upgraded this year with Tommie Harris and Drake Nevis. Harris specifically has looked very good, and seems to be stronger, and faster than in his past years with the Chicago Bears. Last but definitely not least, is the health of Dallas Clark. Clark is one of Manning’s favorite weapons, and his health is a huge concern for the Colts. Thankfully though, he seems to be 100% healthy, and will continue to be a force at the tight end spot this year for the Colts.
There have also been rumors of the Colts talking with Randy Moss, which actually is true. Currently, it’s nothing to look too much into, but the Colts are really just being sure to protect themselves if they get into a tough spot with Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie. Gonzalez has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and Collie’s career could be in jeopardy if he gets another concussion. So as of now, there won’t be any signs of Randy Moss right away, but it’s not impossible.