The Colts 2008 Rookie Camp was this weekend with 22 NFL hopefuls, including all nine of their draft picks and an additional 13 undrafted free agents. This is a three day camp held to give the new players an opportunity to get used to things while the veteran players aren’t around. Head Coach, Tony Dungy explained that “This is really an introductory period for the rookies,” and went on to say. “They have the attention of the whole coaching staff. It’s just an introduction: ‘Here’s how we do things. Here’s our terminology.’ It’s a very, very slow pace. They can go home and kind of digest that for two weeks while we work with the veteran guys and get them going. Then, we put it all back together two weeks from now. It has been a good process for us.” The Colts adopted this new process 2 years ago from Bill Parcells, when President, Bill Polian read Parcells book. Polian said of the Rookie Camp that they take this opportunity to tell the players that “This is the real world,” and that they need to understand “this is about competing for a job in the National Football League.”
After the Rookie Camp the players will come back in the middle of the month for the team’s mandatory mini camp, which is held in two weeks where they will begin truly competing for a spot on the team. in years past the Colts didn’t start fully evaluating players until training camp later in the summer, but the NFL implemented a new rule this year, only allowing teams to take 80 players to training camp. Polian is against this new rule, saying, “The 80-man roster presents a problem this year that has not existed before in that there will be competition all the way through summer.” Dungy’s share this opinion, “You’re going to have to make those decisions much faster and you’re not going to be right as often.” Dungy also said that the difference between how they did things before and how they’ll have to do things this year will put more pressure on both the players and coaches, “It is going to be a little quicker evaluation period. You do have to find out what guys can do and make some decisions before we go to training camp. That’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is. You don’t have as many guys.” He said that before this new rule teams had the luxury of waiting to decide on players at certain positions, “you have some guys you keep – an extra person at a certain position – because you like the potential of two or three guys. We can’t really afford to do that. Our numbers are pretty well going to be set by just being able to make it through camp with this number of guys. I was not a fan, nor was Bill, but that’s what we have to work with.”
Here are the 9 drafted players that were at the team’s rookie camp:
Mike Pollak, G/C, Arizona State, second round
Philip Wheeler, ILB, Georgia Tech, third round
Jacob Tamme, TE, Kentucky, fourth
Marcus Howard, DE, Georgia, fifth
Tom Santi, TE, Virginia, sixth
Steve Justice, C, Wake Forest, sixth
Mike Hart, RB, Michigan, sixth
Pierre Garcon, WR, Mount Union, sixth
Jamey Richard, C/G, Buffalo, seventh
And the 13 undrafted free agents are Rudy Burgess, WR, Arizona State; Dan Davis, DT, Connecticut; Charles Dillon, WR, Washington State; Colin Ferrell, DT, Kent State; Brandon Foster, DB, Texas; Eric Foster, DT, Rutgers; Sam Giguere, WR, Sherbrooke College in Canada; Curtis Johnson, DE, Clark College; Darren Marquez, OT, Southern Illinois; Jordan Senn, LB, Portland State; Jamie Silva, DB, Boston College; Chad Simpson, RB, Morgan State; and Adam Tafralis, QB, San Jose State.
Polian said that all 22 of these players have the chance to make the team. What college they went to, drafted or undrafted, it doesn’t matter, “From Mike Pollack on down to the last guy who was signed, they’re all equal. They’re going to come in and they’re going to get coached the same way. The same thing is expected of them. They’ll be judged the same way.”
If you would like to see my predicted 2008 depth chart for the Colts, you can view that here.
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