NFL Europe: Colts Team Assignments

Over the weekend, seven Indianapolis Colts and a few prominent former Colts learned where they would be playing football this spring in NFL Europe.

The NFL Europe league office started off the process of forming the league's 2006 rosters by assigning 100 players across their six teams. Only two Colts -- WR Roscoe Crosby and C Mike Johnson -- were allocated.

Once that step was complete, the league's head coaches drafted from the remaining pool of designated players from the NFL's 32 teams. Then the teams rounded out their squads by drafting free agents, many of whom are former NFL players not currently under contract.

Out of the six teams in the league, only the Berlin Thunder will be lacking at least one player from the current Colts roster. Here's a team-by-team look at familiar faces that Colts fans can watch for when the league kicks off  its 14th season on March 18th.

Rhein Fire
Former Clemson wide receiver Roscoe Crosby was allocated to the Fire. After being cut in training camp, Crosby was signed to the practice squad in early November. He'll suit up along with offensive lineman Rob Hunt, a former Colts fifth-round draft pick in 2005 who is now on the Denver Broncos roster.

Amsterdam Admirals
Center Mike Johnson joined the Colts practice squad on December 23rd after being released by the Chiefs. He'll be joined in Amsterdam by linebacker Nick Hannah, who was the second Colt chosen in the draft process. He was a fourth-round selection out of the 21 rounds.

Former Colts practice squad member Joe Iorio out of Penn State will also be playing in Amsterdam. Iorio is now under contract with the New York Giants.

Hamburg Sea Devils
Colts CB/WR Eric Hill was the first Colt chosen in the draft process, secured in the first round. The Colts converted Hill to cornerback during their 2005 mini-camps after he spent time on their practice squad in 2004. Towards the end of the 2005 training camp the Colts released him, but then added him to their practice squad in early December.

Cologne Centurions
Tight end Joey Hawkins was picked by the Centurions in the fifth round. The former Texas Tech receiver is a huge target at 6'9. He'll be reunited with a former teammate, defensive end Thomas Houchin, who the Colts tried to move to the strongside linebacker depth chart in 2005 behind David Thornton. He was released in the first round of training camp cuts.

Frankfurt Galaxy
In the seventh round, the Galaxy snared defensive end Justin Brown out of East Central (Oklahoma). He lasted until the final cuts of the 2005 training camp. Joining him in Frankfurt will be newcomer Brandon Mueller, a safety out of Princeton who was selected in the 19th round. Mueller is expected to tune up his secondary skills as he hasn't played football since finishing his collegiate career in 2004. He has notable talent as a special teams player.

Berlin Thunder
Although they won't have any current Colts suiting up for them, the Thunder will have two players who are well-known to Colts fans.

Anthony Floyd, a safety out of Louisville who was on the Colts practice squad in 2003 and the regular roster in 2004 was allocated to Berlin as a member of the Houston Texans roster. Willie Ford, a cornerback who played for the Thunder last year as one of the Colts designated NFL Europe players, was cut by the Colts during their training camp and wasn't re-signed. But the Thunder was impressed enough with Ford that they protected him from entering the NFLEL free agent draft process. That cost them a mid-round draft pick in the earlier draft of NFL team-designated players.

Not yet assigned
Kicker David Kimball, who was a 7th-round pick by the Colts in 2004 has been designated for NFL Europe by the Oakland Raiders. Kickers and punters are assigned later.

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