Colts Quick Hits

Colts President Bill Polian on Larry Tripplett ... Joe Montana praises Johnny Unitas ... updates on former Colts running backs Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James ... and a Super Bowl prediction that includes the Colts!

Polian talks up Tripplett: Bill Polian thinks the Bills will be happy with defensive tackle Larry Tripplett, whom they snared during free agency from the Colts during this offseason. "Larry Tripplett ... could've played with the old Bills," said Polian, referring to the Super Bowl era teams that he helped build. "He's a tremendous worker, an incredible character person, he's a leader, he's very smart, he does everything you ask of him, he loves playing football. We're going to miss him tremendously but we knew that we when signed (Raheem) Brock, we couldn't afford to sign Larry and Brock (both). That's the only reason we made the decision. I wish he had gone to the NFC. He's a really good player and Bills fans are going to love him."

Buffalo, under new head coach Dick Jauron, is adopting a defensive style similar to Indy's, opting for lighter, faster players who can excel at attacking gaps.

Montana hails Unitas as the best: Despite his four Super Bowl victories, former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana points to the Colts' Johnny Unitas as the best quarterback of all time. "I tried to model a lot of myself after him, but I don't think any-one ever played the position better," Montana recently told The Sun News. Montana pointed out that even though some of Unitas' career numbers may not be as staggering as those of some of the quarterbacks who have played since his era - including Montana's - Unitas amassed his numbers and excellence during a time where quarterbacks faced tougher challenges. "The numbers aren't close, but [defenders] could tackle wide receivers back then," he said. "Now they throw a flag [for pass interference] before the ball's even in the air. The rules and styles make it a different game."

Straight talk: Edgerrin James has already established the kind of rapport with his teammates in Arizona where he can playfully jab them into stepping up their game. The former Colts running back has been clear that he plans to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his playing days are over. So he told the media that he's been talking to his new offensive line about their responsibility this season. "They don't need to f-- up my Hall of Fame," he said.

James also told The Sporting News that one of his main criteria in looking at new teams was a healthy passing game so that he could enjoy the same balanced attack that he enjoyed in Indy. And Arizona sensed that, making quarterback Kurt Warner and wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald part of his welcoming committee when James visited the Cardinals during the offseason. "I wasn't going anywhere unless they had two receivers the defense had to respect. If they didn't have Q and Fitz, I am not here, no matter the money," he said.

Super Bowl Prediction: Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News has gone on record predicting a Colts-Panthers Super Bowl at Dolphin Stadium on February 4th, 2007. Why the Colts? "...yeah, they lost Edgerrin James, and yeah, they came up tiny in the playoffs again. But they still have the league's most prolific passing game. And they still have a fast, disruptive defense, even with the departure of linebacker David Thornton." And why the Panthers? "With the return to health of DeShaun Foster and the addition of first-rounder DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers and their ball-control offense will be tough to stop. And with the addition of 350-pound space-eating defensive tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu, and Kris Jenkins once again healthy, at least for now, nobody's going to be pounding the ball at the Panthers."

Faulk will have surgery: Former Colts running back Marshall Faulk will have knee surgery next week, likely ending any chance of him playing for the Rams in 2006. The St. Louis Dispatch is reporting that following surgery to both knees during the offseason, one knee hasn't responded well and has limited him from making cuts without experiencing swelling afterwards.


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