With training camp set to begin in about two weeks, the Indianapolis Colts are more than ready to end all the hurrahs from winning Super Bowl XLI.
Everything that comes with winning the Super Bowl - such as trips to the White
House, national TV appearances, commercial opportunities - are nice.
But the Colts are more than ready to get back to work. After all, they have a
championship to defend.
Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy remains confident in his team's ability to repeat
in 2007. But overconfidence will not be a factor in how the Colts do this year.
In fact, after the team's recent appearance on the ESPY awards - where Dungy's
crew was named as the team of the year - the Colts appeared to be ready to
return to the practice field.
"You could see it in those guys eyes," Dungy said recently. "They
were ready to go. When we were at the ESPYs, we went up and it was the last
award. We all went backstage and did the interviews. Everybody talked about
having so much fun, but wanting to do it again."
One possible concern for the Colts' coach was cleared up when defensive end
Dwight Freeney inked a six-year, $72 million deal. Freeney will now most likely
end his NFL career with Indianapolis.
"I'm happy for him," Dungy said. "I'm happy that we don't have to
hear, 'Is it going to happen or isn't it?'
"(Colts Owner) Jim (Irsay) was always very confident that it would (get
done). I think it will relax Dwight and let him do what he always has done for
--The Super Bowl ring belonging to Colts assistant coach Pete Metzalaars, along
with his four AFC championship rings from his playing days in Buffalo, have been
stolen from his off-season home in South Carolina. "They took everything,
including my Super Bowl ring from the Colts and my championship rings with the
Bills," the former Buffalo tight end said. "You live in a nice house
in a nice neighborhood. This is the last thing that you think can happen to
Law enforcement officials are investigating the theft but claim to have several
leads to who might have committed the burglary.
--The cost of releasing DT Corey Simon could very well end up costing
Indianapolis a total of about $9 million in dead money. That's the total of
bonuses he's received that have yet to be counted against the salary cap. It
appears as if the Colts will count Simon $3 million against the 2007 salary cap
and $6 million against the 2008 cap. That would create a 2007 savings of about
$4 million. He currently counts $7.055 million against the cap.
-- The Colts are expected to start discussions on an extended contract with S
Bob Sanders some time after the 2007 season and before the start of free agency,
which begins in early March. Sanders has missed 24 of 48 regular-season games.
It could be tough for Indianapolis to pay him a mega-contract if he misses a
large number of games this year.
--Colts coach Tony Dungy was asked recently if there was any player on the team
that reminds him of himself. He thought for a moment and then mentioned backup
QB Jim Sorgi. "Yeah. We're both pretty good quarterbacks who have never
gotten a chance to play," Dungy joked. Sorgi has seen limited action
backing up starter Peyton Manning since he joined the team three years ago.
Dungy, meanwhile, was a quarterback in college but was moved to safety during
his NFL career.
--QB Peyton Manning, along with his brothers Eli and Cooper as well as their
father Archie, recently conducted their annual passing camp at Nicholls State
University in Louisiana. Some of the nation's top high school quarterbacks,
receivers and running backs took part in the week-long camp.
The Manning family donated a new AstroTurf playing surface for the stadium at
the school. The turf was installed in June.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's kind of like with the (Vince Lombardi) Trophy.
People see the trophy on television, but very few people get to see the ring.
It's just such a thrill, especially for the kids. Their eyes light up and it
makes it so much fun. It's special. To see people do something they're not
usually able to do, it makes you feel good." -- Colts coach Tony Dungy on
allowing fans to see and handle his Super Bowl championship ring.
Colts News & Notes: 7/13-7/20
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