A Categorical Look at the Day in Colts Camp
EYE ON CAMP
They're not practicing yet, but they're working.
And Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said that's what the team wants early in training camp from safety Bob Sanders and defensive end Dwight Freeney.
While the Colts on Friday held their first practice of 2008 Training Camp at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Sanders and Freeney worked with Colts coaches and officials on a nearby field. Freeney missed the last half of last season with a foot injury and Sanders – last season's consensus league Defensive Player of the Year – underwent offseason shoulder surgery.
"Right now, they're really on schedule," Dungy said. "From the time they had their surgeries, we've kind of pinpointed their return times. They're right on schedule for those. We're trying to get both of those guys ready for the first regular-season game. We anticipate they will be.
"How much they play during the preseason is up in the air, but there hasn't been anything in the spring or now where we've said, 'Hey, they've taken a step backward or they're off the plan.' So right now, we're right on schedule."
Freeney, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, said Thursday he hopes to return to practice in three weeks and to play in the fourth or fifth preseason game. Sanders on Friday said he had no firm timetable for a return, but said he hopes to return before training camp ends in mid-August.
"We're all just trying to be on the same page and make sure this thing is completely healed and as strong as it can be when I get out there," Sanders said.
The starter wasn't the only new look at the quarterback position for the Colts Friday.
In fact, just about everything at the spot was new.
While Jim Sorgi worked at quarterback with the starters on Friday in place of eight-time Pro Bowl selection Peyton Manning, the reserves at the position were new, too, with newly-signed veterans Quinn Gray and Jaren Lorenzen also working.
"They did fine," Dungy said. "They had the normal glitches that you would expect with just really a couple of days to learn what was going on. But all in all, they did well."
Gray, who played collegiately at Florida A&M, spent 2002-2007 as a backup quarterback with Jacksonville, throwing for 1,252 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He became an unrestricted free agent following this past season and signed in March with the Houston Texans, who released him in June.
"It feels great," Gray said. "It's just an opunity for me to be able to play football again. That's what it's all about with this league. It's all about competing and going out and showing people what you can do.
"That's what I'm here for, is to compete. I'm just here to learn right now. I don't know what I'm competing for. I'm just competing for a spot on this team. That's what it's all about."
Lorenzen, who played collegiately at Kentucky, played in four games in three seasons with the Giants, throwing for 28 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
"It's great," Lorenzen said. "I have a team. I'm excited about it. It's a great situation. It's a great set of guys. They've opened up their arms to me, so it has been nice."
Lorenzen spent the past four seasons as a reserve behind Manning's brother, Eli.
"That's the other thing I'm kind of interested to see, to see how Peyton is," Lorenzen said. "I've gotten to know Eli really well over the past four years. I've met Peyton a couple of times, so I'm interested to see what it's like."
In other Colts news, defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock did not practice Friday because of personal reasons and the Colts have waived quarterback Adam Trafalis, wide receiver Rudy Burgess and punter Adam Crossett.
BEATING THE HEAT
By this weekend, all 32 NFL teams will be in training camp, and in the NFL, training camp often means big-time heat.
Once again, Gatorade and the NFL are fighting those conditions.
For a third consecutive year, Gatorade, the NFL and the Colts are combining to lead the "Beat the Heat" campaign, which is aimed at educating parents and football coaches about the importance of hydration in order to keep athletes safe on the field during the annual summer sessions.
The Colts will be taking donations toward the Beat the Heat campaign at Colts City, which will be held on selected days during Colts 2008 Training Camp.
The Colts will hold two practices Saturday at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – a full-squad session at 9:30 a.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. All practices at Rose-Hulman are free and open to the public. Rose-Hulman charges a fee for parking.
The temperature in Terre Haute Friday reached 80 degrees in the early afternoon after cloud cover kept the air cool in the morning. According to weather.com., the temperature is expected to reach 87 degrees Saturday with scattered thunderstorms expected in the morning and afternoon.
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
Media in Terre Haute Monday covering the Colts included John Clayton of ESPN and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Early in the morning practice, two of the most-watched players in practice combined to make one of the day's most impressive plays.
Quarterback Jim Sorgi, working with the starters in place of eight-time Pro Bowl selection Peyton Manning, threw a quick pass over the middle to wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who played just five regular-season games last season because of a knee injury.
Harrison caught the pass and evaded several defenders for a 15-yard gain, after which the crowd at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology cheered loudly.
--- Early in the morning practice, second-year wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez caught a short, eight-yard pass from Sorgi.
--- Newly-acquired quarterback Quinn Gray threw several hard passes in the morning practice, completing a 10-yarder to Harrison and a 10-yarder to wide receiver Onrea Jones.
--- Cornerback Tim Jennings broke up a pass from Gray to wide receiver Devin Aromashadu in the morning practice.
--- Rookie tight end Jacob Tamme caught a 15-yard pass from newly-signed quarterback Jaren Lorenzen.
--- Rookie linebacker Philip Wheeler broke up a pass from Lorenzen in the morning practice.
--- Second-year wide receiver Roy Hall turned a short pass from Lorenzen into a long gain in the morning practice.
--- Running back Joseph Addai had an impressive run in the morning practice, turning a sweep around the left side into a 40-yard gain.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We could not be more blessed. It's nice and cool out. It's a great way to start a camp. It's not too hot to get after it. I thought we had a good practice. Guys got after it pretty well, played hard. You don't have to worry about the heat and stuff if you're