A source told both ColtPower.com and Scout.com's Ed Thompson that Northwestern defensive tackle John Gill visited the Colts last week.
Gill helped the Wildcats to a 9-4 season and was part of one of the better run defenses in the country in 2008. Northwestern finished 34th overall in rushing defense among Division I FBS teams. The Wildcats were also 18th in sacks and 29th in tackles for loss.
In 2008, Gill had 44 total tackles, with 10 of those going for losses, good for second on the team, and four sacks, good for third on the team.
His 2007 numbers were similar, as he totaled 50 tackles, 10 for loss, and four sacks. Gill was a consistent player throughout his career, as the 6-feet-3, 290-pounder played in 48 of 49 career games, missing only the opener against Syracuse in 2008. He moved into the starting lineup in 2006 and also served as the team's long-snapper.
Look for a more detailed analysis of Gill's game coming soon from ColtPower.com.
There was much discussion of the news last week that Clint Session would be moving to weak-side linebacker and that second-year Philip Wheeler would be used on the strong side. Because the Colts make so little news this time of year, every new tidbit gets analyzed to death. But this wasn't really a surprise — most figured when Wheeler, who is large for a Colts' linebacker, was drafted he was a candidate for the strong side, and Session's speed and athletic ability make him ideal for the weak side.
It's worth wondering where Adam Seward fits into these plans. The Colts don't normally bring in free agents in the spring unless they have plans for them. And while the depth chart page on Colts.com doesn't provide much clarity, a league source gave me a peek at accurate depth charts being circulated among the teams. That revealed a couple of interesting revelations:
Is Clint Session headed for a backup role next season?
- Seward is actually listed as the starter at LOLB, with Session as his backup, while Wheeler is listed at the starter at ROLB, with Jordan Senn as his backup. This goes against the traditional concept of the left side of the defense being the "strong" side and the right side being the "weak" side. The right-left labels may be little more than semantics, however.
What's notable is the elevation of Seward over Session, who had his ups and downs in 2008 as a first-year starter but was generally one of the better defensive playmakers, and Wheeler being inserted as the starter despite very little playing time as a rookie.
- As the Colts did for much of the season last year, Raheem Brock is penciled in as the starter at left defensive end, with Robert Mathis as the backup and Curtis Johnson as the third-stringer. On the other side, Marcus Howard is listed as the the second-stringer behind Dwight Freeney.
- Bill Polian and the team's coaches were pretty high on Roy Hall during 2008 training camp before injuries contributed to another lost season for the Ohio State product. But he's listed as the second-stringer on the left side behind Reggie Wayne. On the right side, the backup to Anthony Gonzalez is a second-year player with a French name — but maybe not the one you're thinking of. It's Samuel Giguere, the Canadian football product who spent last season on the practice squad. Pierre Garcon and Taj Smith are listed as the third- and fourth-stringers on the right side. Garcon is also listed as the team's kick returner, but punt returner is left blank.
A note on this depth chart peek: Don't read too much into it. The season is still months away, and the team still has mini-camp, the offseason program, the draft and training camp before it decides on its depth chart for the opener. Some names may merely be in slots as placeholders for now. It is rather interesting, however, to see the placement of Seward over Session, and the lack of experience at receiver. The former will play itself out in training camp; the latter, in the draft or over the summer with a possible re-signing of Marvin Harrison.
I got a couple of tips about visits and workouts over the weekend from a faraway source: Denmark.
Some of you may remember an interview I did with with draftday.dk last fall when Bob Sanders was injured. They contacted me with a couple of visits for the Colts. I haven't seen this news reported before, so I'm going to repeat it here. According to Draftday.dk:
- The Colts have scheduled a visit with Wyoming running back Devin Moore.
- According to a source, cornerback Ellis Lankster of West Virginia had a private workout with the Colts on March 16.
If you're thinking, "what do the Danes know about NFL football?" well, you aren't alone. But I'll allow Draftday.dk's Søren Hansen to explain their credentials.
"I know it sounds a bit crazy that some guys in little Denmark in Northern Europe are calling sources in the USA, so we can gather news about visits and workouts prior to the draft, [so] we can publish on a Danish NFL site," Hansen told me in an e-mail. "But we are pretty serious about this. We have followed the draft for 10-12 years and in April 2008, we posted the sixth-most accurate top 100 in the NFL world (we only missed 15 players — and beat Mel Kiper) according to The Huddle Report."
Hansen added that Danes now get four or five NFL games per week from the NFL and last year, the entire first round of the draft was televised on a Danish cable channel with Danish commentators.
We'll do some following up on Moore and Lankster, but I wanted to give a tip of the cap to Hansen and Draftday.dk. It's very cool to see the NFL spreading around the world in such a way.
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