Manning Maintaining Large Presence in Colts 2008 Training Camp, Dungy Says
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Around 2008 Training Camp, there have been no sightings of the Colts' most-high profile player.
Peyton Manning's not throwing passes. And he's not running drills.
But Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said fans and observers shouldn't be fooled.
Manning is very, very present.
Manning, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection who never has missed a regular-season start in 10 NFL seasons, is in Terre Haute, Dungy said. And although Manning has yet to practice since undergoing surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee 10 days before camp, Dungy said he is as involved in the preparation process for the season as if he were participating in drills.
"He's back here, going about his business," Dungy said Tuesday between a pair of training camp practices at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Dungy said Manning critiqued the Colts' 30-16 loss to the Washington Redskins in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game Sunday night, a game started by Colts reserve quarterback Jim Sorgi.
"He gave me his impressions of the game, so I think we're getting back to normal," Dungy said. "I think he was pleased with the way the offense moved the ball and disappointed we didn't score more touchdowns in the red zone. That's something we've been working on.
"I think he was like all of us, and felt like we had some things we could build on. He's getting the practice tapes and getting transcripts.
"He knows what's going on at every practice. He's doing fine."
Sorgi, who made his third career preseason start in place of Manning, played one series, leading a 16-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri. Sorgi completed 7 of 10 of passes for 66 yards on the drive, three times completing first-down converting passes – two 6-yarders to tight end Dallas Clark and a 10-yarder to Gijon Robinson.
Sorgi and the first-team offense were scheduled to play 12-to-15 plays and left after the long first series.
"I got a text (from Manning)," Sorgi said. "He said, 'Good job' and 'keep going.' He was proud of me. When you're him and you do things as close to perfect as you possibly can all the time, you have the right to critique everybody else."
Said Dungy, "He (Manning) is like he always is. It's no different for him than if he was actually out there. That's what makes him good. He's analyzing every practice, everything we do. He's putting himself in position so when he does come back it won't be like he's been totally away from it.
"He has been away from it physically, but mentally, he's going through every practice."
In other Colts news, Dungy said second-year cornerback Michael Coe will have exploratory knee surgery Wednesday.
"We'll find out a little more tomorrow night where he is," Dungy said.
Dungy also said rookie linebacker Philip Wheeler underwent knee surgery in the past few days and should begin rehabilitation in the "next day or so."
Dungy said wide receivers Roy Hall (hamstring) and Pierre Garcon (hamstring) likely will not play when the Colts visit the Carolina Panthers in a preseason game Saturday. Dungy said defensive end Jeff Charleston (groin) may play Saturday.
"Those were three we weren't really expecting after the game, but nothing that seems like it's going to be too major," Dungy said.
Linebackers Clint Session (calf) and Gary Brackett (groin), each of whom missed the preseason opener, may return toward the end of the week, Dungy said.
"We might get them back," Dungy said. "We'll see how they're doing, but not early in the week, for sure."
The Colts were off Monday following Sunday's loss to Washington. They will practice twice Wednesday and Thursday and one Friday before traveling to Carolina.
"It's nice to get back and get going," Dungy said. "It's going to be a little bit of a short week for us playing Saturday after a Sunday game, but I think we have a lot of things to build on. We're looking forward to using this week to try to improve and see if we can play just a little bit better Saturday than we did Sunday night.
"I was really pleased with the first time out, especially for a lot of our younger guys."