Colts Camp Insider: 8/7

A pair of former free agents hit our "hot" list ... a draft pick is getting in the flow ... what's going on at McFarland's position on the D-Line? ... a receiver's making plays but paying a price ... and more in our Camp Insider notes!

Quick Hits

Rookie defensive back Dante (formerly known as Daymeion) Hughes is showing real progress during camp. He struggled a bit last week during the early stages of his first week of training camp, but he seems to be rounding the corner. He made some nice plays on Monday morning. He lined up against Marvin Harrison on one play and was able to bat the ball away at the last second on a pass from Manning. That had to be a confidence booster.

Brian Hare is back for his second Colts training camp, but is competing against guys like Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, and Aaron Moorehead. While his odds of making the final roster are slim, the former Purdue receiver could catch a break and land on the practice squad at the expense of another Boilermaker alum – John Standeford. This is a make-or-break season for Standeford since he's used up all his practice squad eligibility.

The Clifton Dawson versus Kenton Keith competition for the third running back slot continues to be one of the interesting camp battles. Dawson, the former Harvard star, has some Dominic Rhodes qualities, especially his quickness to the outside and some tough, hard-nosed running ability inside. But his running style looks slightly different and he's a better pass-blocker than Rhodes was early in his career. Keith is losing some ground as he hasn't practiced for the last few days. Reports indicate that the former CFL back may be healthy enough to play in Dallas on Thursday night, so fans who haven't been to camp should get a good look at both of these backs.

Keyunta Dawson and Quinn Pitcock
While rookie Quinn Pitcock was getting in the flow of things on Monday morning, it was Darrell Reid and rookie Ed Johnson who shared some time at Anthony McFarland's left defensive tackle spot during 11-on-11 drills. As noted in this ColtPower analysis feature, Johnson has established a good reputation as a run-stopper during his years at Penn State.

Wide receiver and returns specialist Cro Thorpe had to be pleased by a couple of the catches he made on Monday, but he sure did get smacked a couple of times after a pair of 10-yard receptions.

Strongside linebacker Rob Morris, who missed Saturday's scrimmage and reportedly went for an MRI, was back practicing on Monday. His injury didn't seem to have any impact on his running or hitting abilty as he appeared to be operating smoothly down on the field.

Shane Andrus and Reggie Hodges are handling the bulk of the kicking workload in camp. Perhaps after watching both Hunter Smith and Adam Vinatieri get hurt during camp last year, the team has decided to keep their activity minimal to lower their risk.

Who's Hot

Defensive end Jeff Charleston is starting to draw some more attention to himself. He put a really nice hit on running back Joseph Addai during the Saturday scrimmage. He hasn't done anything yet to hurt his chances of at least securing a practice squad spot this year. Charleston is showing good consistency each day and seems to have a good feel for what's going on around him.

With Bob Sanders on the PUP list and rookie Brannon Condren missing Monday's practice, safety Scott Ware got some more practice time, and he responded by making a few big hits during passing drills. The former USC Trojan was signed to the Colts' practice squad in December of last year. He shouldn't do any worse than landing a return to that group based on what he's been showing so far. If you missed Jerry Langton's Scouting Report on Ware from last year, click here to check it out.

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