Colts Notebook: April 11

Get the latest on Colts news -- including the offseason program, season tickets, and strategy on the upcoming draft -- in this feature from Scout.com!

— First-year coach Jim Caldwell will put the Colts through their organized team activities beginning May 19. Although the NFL allows teams a maximum of 14 OTA sessions as part of their offseason conditioning program, Caldwell has scheduled only 10, according to the league: May 19, 21, 26 and 28, June 1-3 and June 9-11.

Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders are in the middle of a 25-day tour of United States military bases in the Mediterranean region. Team officials say the cheerleaders are scheduled to stage at least a dozen 90-minute variety shows.

— The Colts anticipate a 95 percent season ticket renewal rate for the 2009 season. The franchise has sold out 79 of 80 regular-season games since 1999, including 46 straight.

"We've had some people (not renew), and some of those have told us it's the economy," Pete Ward, the Colts senior executive vice president, said recently. "Others have told us they're planning on holding on even with the economy because they don't want to lose their seats."

— The team is in the process of replacing season ticket holders who chose not to renew. Season ticket holders get the first crack at adding to their allotment. If seats remain, the team will turn to a waiting list of nearly 25,000.

"I think we'll get into the waiting list this year," Ward said.

— In a related matter, all 141 suites at Lucas Oil Stadium have been sold for the 2009 season.

— Former Colts coach Tony Dungy has declined an invitation to join President Barack Obama's council on faith-based initiatives, citing scheduling conflicts, a White House spokesman said. Dungy, however, will still advise Obama on fatherhood issues and help lead that effort, the spokesman said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The (Colts draft) board already exists based on grades that (team) scouts developed in December. Then, we begin to go at it round by round. We adjust based on what we know now." — Indianapolis team president Bill Polian on how his team is beginning to ratchet up preparations for the upcoming NFL Draft.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Colts' linebacker corps got some added attention recently when the team re-signed unrestricted free agent Tyjuan Hagler. Hagler had not been re-signed in February and was allowed to test the free agent waters. A versatile player, the former Indianapolis fifth-round draft pick in 2005 can be utilized at all three LB positions. He has started at both weak-side and strong-side linebacker, although his NFL career has been slowed by injuries.

The former University of Cincinnati standout is the third unrestricted free agent retained by the Colts during this offseason, joining cornerback Kelvin Hayden and center Jeff Saturday. Hagler is also the second free agent linebacker signed by Indianapolis. Adam Seward, an unrestricted free agent for the Carolina Panthers, was added to the Colts roster last month.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY
As the NFL draft draws nearer, the Colts wish list is expected to remain pretty much the same as it's been since the end of the 2008 season. Indianapolis is looking for help at several positions, but most notably wide receiver, defensive tackle and linebacker. Other areas of concern would include depth at running back, cornerback and along the offensive line.

If the right player is available when the Colts use the 27th overall pick in the first round, team officials are expected to look strongly at adding another receiver to the mix. That being said, team president Bill Polian isn't expected to waver much from his longtime draft philosophy.

"You need to hit it (the first-round selection), because if you don't, the penalty you pay under the (NFL's salary) cap is rather extreme," Polian sad. "It costs you three things you never get back: time, money and the pick. You can't ever get those things back, and the money — if it's a high first-rounder — will stay with you as well: a first-rounder, period. "It will stay with you for a long, long time. It's dead money you get nothing out of. You have to replace it and it's not easy to do that."


Colts Blitz Top Stories