We're just days away from the Super Bowl, but for the other 30 teams in the NFL the
focus is on free agency and the college talent that will be added to the ranks
this April during the annual NFL draft.
Over at si.com, Don Banks has taken an early shot at a first-round draft projection. He thinks the Colts will snag RB Laurence Maroney out of Minnesota, saying, "Spending to keep their offensive nucleus together didn't exactly pay off this year, did it? With that in mind, the Colts have all but thrown Edgerrin James a goodbye party, and it just makes economic sense to go looking for his replacement in the first round. Maroney is explosive and figures to offer the best bang for the buck."
Banks also notes that should linebackers Thomas Howard (UTEP) or Ernie Sims (Florida State) be available, they could go that direction instead. Click here to check out his full first-round mock draft.
Colts defensive assistant could head to Chicago
Colts defensive assistant Leslie Frazier could get a call from the Chicago Bears with a better job opportunity for 2006. With former Bears head coach Dick Jauron settling in as the new skipper in Buffalo, he brought Bears defensive backs coach Perry Fewell in to interview for the Bills defensive coordinator position. If Fewell gets the job, reports out of Chicago indicate that the Bears will try to lure Frazier into filling their vacancy. Their defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera, worked with Frazier in Philadelphia. Rivera was the Eagles linebackers coach while Frazier coached the secondary.
Dungy weighs in
This Saturday, the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will learn if they made the cut for this year's class that will be enshrined later this year in Canton, Ohio. Bills running back Thurman Thomas is hopeful that he'll be one of the rare first-ballot candidates to be selected. Colts head coach Tony Dungy shared his thoughts on Thomas with Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News this week.
"Thurman was a great player and he was the catalyst of that offense," Dungy said. "They had a lot of stars, but he was the guy who generated offense. I think he's definitely worthy to be in the Hall of Fame. He was complete. He could run and catch. They played one formation, basically, but he was such a matchup problem that it was very tough to defend."
Polian ranked No. 2
Jeff Gordon at FoxSports.com ranked the top ten sports executives who "put their teams into position to win year after year after year." Ranked No. 2 is Bill Polian, Colts president and general manager. Gordon notes, "his record of consistent success is unmatched in the NFL. You can read his full comments on Polian and the other nine top execs by clicking here. You also might enjoy clicking the text link at the top of his article to see who was ranked amongst the worst ten executives in sports today.
CFL player tries out for Indy
Former Mississippi State defensive back Korey Banks had a tryout with the Colts, but decided to re-sign with his CFL team, the Ottowa Renegades. The first-year player had quite an impact with the Renegades, leading the Canadian Football League with ten interceptions. Ottowa offered him a four-year contract worth close to $1 million, with a six-figure signing bonus.