Former Prospect Signs: The Colts have a few players from Syracuse on the roster, including Dwight Freeney, Marvin Harrison, and Josh Thomas. And they took a look at DE Ryan LaCasse as a pre-draft visitor from this year's Syracuse squad. It appears the Colts were hoping to add him as an undrafted free agent, but the Ravens selected him in the seventh round and plan to use him as a linebacker. LaCasse signed his contract with Baltimore towards the end of last week.
Rhodes vs Addai: Pete Prisco at Sportsline.com thinks veteran
rookie Joseph Addai will be the Colts' starter on opening day after this
summer's training camp battle. Prisco questions whether or not Rhodes can handle
the rigors of a full season since he hasn't been a starter since 2001. And he
believes Addai is a perfect fit for the Colts offense with his well-rounded
skill set. "This kid will be a major steal of the draft," he says in
his column. By the end of the season, he will be an explosive back."
The Colts are prepared to use both talented backs, but the number of reps for each could be influenced by their training camp and preseason success. Both have plenty to play for -- Rhodes will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of his season while Addai will be striving to secure the starters' role for years to come.
Say what? Vic Carucci at NFL.com posted his AFC South preview, and accurately points out that one of the biggest factors that will help the Colts is that they are returning most of the team that helped them win the division last year. But it's obvious he was a bit pressed to pick a couple of factors that were going to hurt the team when he got to that point in his column. While he nails the loss of David Thornton (pictured right) for the uncertainty it creates at the position, his statement that "losing Larry Tripplett (Buffalo) takes a highly effective player from the middle of the defensive line," is a real head-shaker. The Colts have plenty of talent at the defensive tackle position, so the loss of Tripplett -- despite his talent -- should be negligible. With Raheem Brock moving inside, the Colts will already struggle to get him, Montae Reagor, and Corey Simon enough playing time. And this is the year the Colts will look for their 3rd-rounder from the 2005 draft, Sweet Pea Burns, to make a contribution.
Where are they now? Former Colts defensive lineman Scott Virkus ('84 - '85) has led an interesting life since retiring from his brief 3-year Pro Football career with the Bills, Patriots and Colts. Virkus logged four sacks for the 1985 Colts, just two less than team-leader Duane Bickett (6), but wasn't brought back the following season since Indy drafted pass-rush specialist Jon Hand. Virkus, who is now 46 years old, is living in Rochester, NY doing odd jobs ranging from laying concrete, landscaping and working security, and playing recreation league softball while he decides what he wants to do with the rest of his life. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Virkus made a comfortable living for himself in the late '80s and early '90s touring with Steele's Sports, the top slow-pitch softball team in the world. Virkus earned the nickname "Bam Bam" as people marveled over his 680 homers that he hit in a single season more than 2,600 during his career. Most recently, Virkus was living in Biloxi, Mississippi until his home was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. That was the final push that encouraged the former Colt to move back home to Rochester.
Colts wanted Ragone: Many people were surprised when the St. Louis Rams traded a conditional draft pick to the Bengals for backup quarterback Dave Ragone about a month ago, and then gave him a $100,000 signing bonus to boot. The former Texans backup was brought to Cincinnati earlier this year when the Bengals, Colts and Patriots put in a claim for his services. The Rams reportedly didn't put a waiver claim on him at the time because they didn't want to pay his one-year $721,600 salary. They wanted to negotiate a deal that would have lowered his cap hit if he cleared waivers. When they learned the Bengals were considering waiving him, they asked for permission to work out a two-year deal with Ragone in exchange for a pick as they believed at least the Colts would put in another waiver claim.