COLTS NOTEBOOK LEAD ITEMS
Castonzo Signs and Practices- The afternoon saw the arrival of first-round draft pick Anthony Castonzo to the practice field. A four-year starter on the offensive line at Boston College, Castonzo was a third-team All-American while making 54 career starts, a BC record. Castonzo was a welcoming addition to head coach Jim Caldwell, his staff and the players. With Kyle DeVan, Ryan Diem and Michael Toudouze out until Thursday due to the new CBA rules, Mike Pollack nursing a hamstring injury and Jeff Saturday also being held out of practice, Castonzo brought the body count to 10 on the offensive line. "Thanks to the Colts organization we were able to get this done," said Castonzo. "Now I am excited to get into camp and get to work with my teammates. I know there is a lot for me to learn, and I am going to do whatever I can to get on the field."
Backfield has Local Flavor- Chad Spann remembers it like it was yesterday. His North Central Panthers were down 28-7 at halftime to his good friend Darren Evans' Warren Central Warriors in the 2004 PeyBack Classic, a tournament started years ago by the Peyton Manning Foundation. Spann led a furious second-half rally but came up one point short as Evans' Warriors prevailed, 35-34. Back then Evans and Spann were in opposing uniforms, but now they share the same backfield and could very well be taking handoffs from the quarterback whose game in which they once played. Despite being rivals on the field in high school, their friendship still holds true today. "One of my (high school) teammates and best friends in high school is his (Evans) first cousin, so all throughout high school the three of us all hung out," Spann said. "We got a real close bond especially after we went to the Indiana North/South All-Star game and stayed in the dorms together for a week. We've got a real special bond going and are definitely going to lean on each other to push each other throughout this camp." The two undrafted free agents both grew up Colts fans and couldn't be happier to have been signed by their hometown team. "I feel that it is one of the best opportunities that I could have asked for, and to come home and play in my hometown will allow me to be a bit more comfortable," Evans said. "I have a lot of support here (in Indianapolis), because people have been able to watch me grow up and follow my career here in the state. Hopefully, it will all work out for me." After rushing for 67 touchdowns as a high school senior, the fourth-highest in U.S. prep football history, Evans attended Virginia Tech where he fought injuries and a talented Hokie backfield to rush for more than 2,000 yards in his career. Spann was a walk-on at Northern Illinois University and worked into the rotation, finishing his career with 50 touchdowns. NIU has had a recent history of producing running backs that have gone on to make NFL rosters (Atlanta's Michael Turner and former Chicago running back Garrett Wolfe). Now it's just two friends in the same backfield both striving to make the team they grew up cheering for and as Jim Nabors would say happy to be, 'Back Home Again in Indiana.'
Diem Loves Being a Colt- On Sunday, it was quarterback Peyton Manning saying he would finish his career as a Colt. On Tuesday, it was offensive tackle Ryan Diem's turn as the 11-year pro told the media he wanted to finish his career right where he started in Indianapolis. Diem has been the tackle to Manning's right side since 2001 and signed a one-year deal on Sunday, ensuring another season with the Colts. "No other place I wanted to be and I'm glad to get something worked out," Diem said. "It was a fair deal, and I'm excited to be here. I started my career here, and I hope to end it here. It's a rare situation when you get to kind of guide your own destiny in this league. I'm glad I was able to finish up here and get this year in and make one last run it." The Colts philosophy of 'keeping their own' has held true in the past and Diem is no exception. "Well, obviously first of all, (is) his play. It has been extraordinary for us and he has been around for a long time," head coach Jim Caldwell said. "He gives us stability. That is one of the things we have had around here a long time. We have had cohesion. We have had stability within our system and also with our players as well, so that has helped us also." With Charlie Johnson moving on to Minnesota, the veteran leadership on the offensive line rests with Diem and Jeff Saturday, something their head coach isn't worried about. "He has a great grasp of our system and certainly does a great job of executing," Caldwell said. "Also as a person, he is a tremendous family man, is great locker room, guys respect him, guys look up to him. They certainly adhere to his guidance." Diem has started 139 games in his 10 seasons with Indianapolis and when the possibility of playing for a new team came up during the off-season he had no second thoughts. "I wasn't real interested in picking up and moving, starting over in a new system with a new team," Diem said. "Everything is so comfortable here. I love this team. I love the coaches. I love the atmosphere and definitely didn't want to change. I had trained all summer and was ready to go. At this point I couldn't be happier to be back here with the Colts."
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN AFTERNOON PRACTICE INCLUDE:
WR-Taj Smith (Hamstring)
DB-Kevin Thomas (Quad)
DT-DeMario Pressley (Hamstring)
OG-Mike Pollak (Hamstring)
TE-Brody Eldridge (Knee)
DT-Fili Moala (Foot)
The morning practice on Tuesday was a special teams practice run by Special Teams Coach Ray Rychleski. The Colts went shorts and helmets in the afternoon for the second consecutive day before they will put on the pads for the first time Wednesday evening. On the field in the afternoon but not participating in any action was linebacker Ernie Sims and defensive end Jamaal Anderson, both of whom were signed Tuesday.
Coach Jim Caldwell on rookie offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo and the learning curve he will face at training camp.
"He is going to have to be a fast learner, but he is, too. He is a smart guy that will catch on rather quickly; but, the big thing is, you know, you have to be able to get out there on the field and get a chance to see Dwight (Freeney) and Robert (Mathis) rush the passer and pass protect against those guys. We probably have the best situation for a young guy because he is going to see two guys who know how to throw the fast ball."
The Colts signed its 2011 first-round NFL draft selection, offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo on Tuesday. The team also signed linebacker Ernie Sims (Philadelphia) and defensive end Jamaal Anderson (Atlanta). Linebacker Darry Beckwith was placed on waivers.
QUOTE TO NOTE
OT-Ryan Diem on re-signing with the Colts and having the chance to play for one team throughout his entire career
"No other place I wanted to be and I'm glad to get something worked out. It was a fair deal and I'm excited to be here. I started my career here and I hope to end it here. It's a rare situation when you get to kind of guide your own destiny in this league. I'm glad I was able to finish up here and get this year in and make one last run at it."
Four times the Colts have come back from a 21-point deficit and went on to win the game. Name the last time this happened and who the opponent was.
Wednesday's practice sessions are 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The morning practice is in shorts with the evening practice will be the first in full pads and will be held in Macholtz Stadium.
WHO'S COVERING THE COLTS
NFL columnist Sam Farmer of the LA Times was in Anderson Tuesday afternoon to take in the practice.
The weather in Anderson on Tuesday was sunny with a high of 94 degrees. The low was 70 degrees. The forecast for Wednesday shows a chance of showers in the morning but another sunny afternoon with no precipitation. A high of 87 degrees and a low of 67 will greet those in Anderson.
FOR THE FANS
COLTS CITY remains a popular destination point for training camp attendees. Colts city elements include: interactive inflatables, sponsor booths, giveaways and register-to-win ticket opportunities, Colts In Motion traveling museum, Colts Express Retail Trailer, cheerleader autograph session, opportunities to learn about and support charities in the community and appearance by Blue (the official mascot of the Colts)
COLTS CITY OPEN:
Wednesday, August 3 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, August 5 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, August 6 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tuesday, August 9 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday, August 16 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
COLTS CITY CONCERT SERIES:
Wednesday, August 3 - 'Healing Sixes' from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10 - 'Living Proof' from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 16 - 'Clayton Anderson' from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Fireworks show following the conclusion of the 7:30 p.m. practice
Monday's Trivia Question was: How many times in club history (dating back to 1953) have the Colts scored 500 or more points in one season?
The answer is just once in 2004 when the Colts scored 522 points.