After putting the franchise tag on Edgerrin James during the offseason, resulting in a salary of over $8 million this year for the star running back, the Colts are using him more than ever in their offensive attack. At his current pace, James will finish the season with 396 carries, topping his career-high of 387 in his second-year back in 2000. He posted a career-high 1,709 yards rushing that season, but at his current pace he'll shatter that with 1,825 yards.
Johnson overestimates himself
In Kevin Goheen's column at the Post, Chad Johnson mentions that he and Carson Palmer are in their second season working together. And by comparison, to Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison's second year, Johnson says, " I think we're somewhat better than they were." Goheen points out the flaws in that Johnson's blathering as part of this article.
Another miss by Strickland
The Patriots opted to offer a contract to former Redskin Artrell Hawkins after taking a look at him and three other cornerbacks, including former Colt Donald Strickland. The Vikings' Ken Irvin and the Jets' Pete Hunter also missed out on the opportunity. Strickland has met with seven teams so far since being released by Indianapolis.
Don't miss it
There's been plenty of talk about how the lack of an extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the player's association could keep the Colts from being able to bring Edgerrin James back next season. But Jeff Reynolds at Pro Football Weekly does a great job of explaining another important implication if the league and players association fail to get it done by March 1, 2006. You could see a number of veterans being released such as the Texans' David Carr and the Titans' Steve McNair. Meetings begin today and run through tomorrow to kickoff the negotiations.
Former Colts defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, who was released by the Rams in early September, had a try out with the Bengals at the end of October, but wasn't offered a contract. Earlier this week he worked out for the Buffalo Bills.
Colts take Johnson's antics in stride
Michael Marot of the Associated Press writes that Bengals WR Chad Johnson's remarks don't seem to bother the Colts, but none of the defensive backs want to be witness to Johnson's choreographed touchdown celebrations at their expense. "We don't want to see none of that," rookie defensive back Marlin Jackson said. "We just want to go out and do our job in the secondary."
Mays looking elsewhere
Cornerback Jermaine Mays, who played for the Colts in NFL Europe this past spring worked out for the Cleveland Browns this week. He was released by the Colts in early September.
A tale of two coaches
The Cincinnati Post's Lonnie Wheeler wrote a nice piece on the two head coaches in this weekend's matchup: Tony Dungy and Marvin Lewis. He points out that "Both coaches were defensive dudes who knew that it would be a few years before their priorities could be fully imposed upon their teams. Players would have to be gathered and conditioned, systems mastered." And based on this quote by Peyton Manning, it has certainly been the case for the Colts. "(Dungy) preaches his expectations, and players have bought in," said Manning. "Trying to protect the ball and create turnovers. Few penalties. If you avoid your second-and-20s and third-and-15s, and are protecting the ball and punching it in down in the red zone, that can result in winning football games."
Jerry Greene at the Orlando Sentinel boldly predicts that the Colts' unbeaten streak will end in Cincinnati this Sunday. But he was also just 8-6 in his game predictions in his column last week. To take a peak at his entire slate of picks for the weekend, click here.
For a little change of pace from the Colts-Bengals hoopla, check out this article from the Des Moines Register. It talks about former Iowa Hawkeyes Bob Sanders and Dallas Clark and includes some great quotes like this one by Sanders about the city of Indianapolis and it's fans. "The fans are real supportive," Sanders said. "Whenever we're down, they stick behind us. Indy is just a great place to play. It's not too fast a city. It's not too slow. It's just right."