Saturday Scrimmage Notes

At Saturday night's scrimmage, the defense grabbed two interceptions (LB Cato June made an athletic grab and CB Jason David had the other) during what was otherwise an impressive offensive display by Manning and his receivers.

David's early success was short-lived as he and many of the other cornerbacks were beaten by the Colts' depth of experience at the WR position. Troy Walters stepped up with some nice catches as did Brandon Stokley. Marvin Harrison snatched a pass from his shoestrings showing off his great hands and concentration. One thing to remember is despite their struggles, these cornerbacks won't be lining up weekly against the breadth of talent they are facing in training camp at the wide receiver position, nor a quarterback like Manning once the regular season starts.

Rookie Kelvin Hayden was maintaining good position on receivers and delivering some good hits during the scrimmage, but was beat by Reggie Wayne for a touchdown when Wayne was able to leap for the ball despite Hayden's good coverage.

NFL Europe veterans Willie Ford and Jermaine Mays appear to be lagging a bit behind many of the other cornerbacks, perhaps a reflection of missing summer school and mini-camp and just getting into the flow of things with the team.

Joseph Jefferson was back in action and is looking very comfortable in his role at the free safety position. He delivered a jarring hit on tight end Brian Fletcher, separating him from the ball.

LB Kendyll Pope was also back in action Saturday night after missing the morning practice. He's showing that he's more comfortable on the strongside and appears to read the plays better and flow to the ball better from there.

Gilbert Gardner got some time with the first-team defense. The weakside linebacker battle as training camp progresses should be very interesting even though June is likely to hold Gardner off.

Kickers Mike Vanderjagt and rookie Dave Rayner looked sharp, but Vanderjagt did miss a long field goal attempt when the team was in two-minute mode. Rayner was booming the ball all evening and should succeed in landing the kickoff specialist position if he keeps it up. Both of them connected on field goals of over 50 yards.

The tight ends looked a bit out of sync, but they made some nice plays during practices earlier in the week and the depth of talent is there to keep the position solid.

The offensive line was clicking, opening nice holes for Edgerrin James. Rookie Dylan Gandy was still sidelined and wearing a walking boot.

DE Robert Mathis appears to be fully recovered from his injury problems. He showed the same speed that helped establish him as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL last season.

WR John Standeford out of Purdue caught a pass from Travis Brown for a 15-yard gain while working with the third-team offense. Standeford had this to say about Colts QB Peyton Manning following the scrimmage. "Peyton is one of the hardest-working players on the team," he said. "You see why he's the best quarterback in the NFL, he takes every day seriously and is trying to get better every time he comes out here."

Colts Blitz Top Stories