The Apologist

John Cimasko was at the Colts mini-camp on Saturday and chatted with one of the newest Colts. Which one? Keep reading to find out.

It's early Saturday afternoon and the rookie mini-camp is winding down. The Colt's public relations department wants to know which players each of us in the media want to talk to.  I am free to request anyone; first round pick Marlin Jackson. Or perhaps second-rounder Kelvin Hayden. Or maybe I should spend a few moments interviewing Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns. How about that new kicker out of Michigan State? Decisions, decisions.

Who do I choose? I put in my request to interview undrafted collegiate free agent Chris Laskowski.

Yes, I want to talk to the undersized linebacker from Florida Atlantic University.

Turns out Chris is a nice kid, a "Larry Izzo" type according to team president Bill Polian. He is lining up at the linebacker spot for now, saying that he'll play anywhere. And he tells me he is really enjoying running around out there, showing what he can do.

I asked him about the level of competition at FAU. For those of you who don't follow Florida Atlantic football, allow me to enlighten you.

Laskowski proudly stated that the Fighting Owls beat Hawaii last year, and that they are joining the Sun Belt (Division 1-A) Conference this autumn. They are coached by Howard Schnellenberger, who was the head coach of the Colts back in 1973 and the first three games of 1974. Laskowski played in the Hula Bowl and six of his fellow Fighting Owls have been invited to NFL camps this year.

Pretty impressive.

Chris Laskowski is getting his shot. He is living my dream -- the dream I had as a kid in my little backyard in my little town in my own little world -- the opportunity to play in the NFL. It's a dream that many of us have had, but not too many of us get the opportunity that Laskowski has. Good for him.

Driving home, I laughed to myself about the choice that I had made. I wondered who you, the reader, would have picked, given the choice. With so many to choose from, I doubt that many of you would have picked an undersized linebacker from Florida Atlantic.

I thought back to last Saturday, to the NFL draft. I wondered how many of you, given the choice, would have picked Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden, and Sweet Pea. (By the way, Vincent Burns goes by Sweet Pea all the time, by everyone, from what I am told).

How many of you flipped out with each pick that this team made? I know some, if not many think that Polian "reached", and reached badly throughout the weekend. The fun part of being a fan is to question, speculate, second guess. It's what we do.

I like Bill Polian. I believe that he knows what he is doing. I believe that his track record speaks for itself.

I am not a Polian "apologist", as some have accused me of being. First off, Bill Polian doesn't need an apologist. I think that would probably be the least of his needs. Let me suggest that perhaps he is in the same situation as our current quarterback. One championship would validate all the success that he has shared in.

I like to think that we are closer now than before the draft. I'll buy into it.

So question why I would talk to a Fighting Owl, and second guess Bill Polian to your heart's content.

Do we know better? I'm guessing if we did, we would be making the calls on draft day, not yelling at our television screen.

Sunday, May 1st, Jeff Piecoro, radio color commentator for Kentucky Wildcat football will talk about "Sweet Pea" Burns on The Jersey Johnny Show on WIBC Radio, 1070 AM in Indianapolis. Colin Lindsay from The Great Blue North Draft Report and Scott Wright, NFL Draft Countdown will also be guests. Click this link to John's page at WIBC and listen to the broadcast from 6-8 pm!

John will fill you in on what he saw during Saturday's session in his next article. Check back for more details!

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