Colts After Dark: Aug. 11

Training camp can be a lonely time after the nightly lights-out call. Who can sleep soundly, knowing their roster spot is secure? Who is rising early for extra work? Who spends the night tossing and turning, and who is afraid to unpack for fear they might not be there long? Eric Hartz answers those questions and debuts an early 53-man roster inside ...

Sound Sleepers: These players don't have anything to worry about when it comes to making the team.

RB Joseph Addai — Looking quick and healthy after a tough 2008.
DB Antoine Bethea — A Pro Bowler in 2007 and one of the leaders of a talented secondary.
LB Gary Brackett — Defensive captain is a perfect fit for the Colts' defense.
DL Raheem Brock — Hybrid lineman has a high price tag, but has looked good at both DT and DE so far in camp.
RB Donald Brown — First-round pick will push Addai for carries, ideally making both men better.
DB Melvin Bullitt — Backup safety will see plenty of playing time.
TE Dallas Clark — Manning's security blanket looks primed for a big year.
OT Ryan Diem — Rock-solid right tackle was only lineman to start 16 last year.
DE Dwight Freeney — Perennial Pro Bowler ready to terrorize QBs again.
WR Anthony Gonzalez — Has big shoes and gloves to fill, but Marvin Harrison's replacement looks capable and comfortable with Manning.
LB Tyjuan Hagler — Brought back as a reserve, but has shown he's still good enough to start through one week.
DB Kelvin Hayden — New contract has Super Bowl XLI hero feeling confident in his role.
DB Marlin Jackson — Back from an injury, physical corner gives Colts a strong 1-2 starting punch at CB.
OL Charlie Johnson — A versatile and experienced lineman, but is he a starting left tackle? Time will tell.
OG Ryan Lilja — Finally healthy, now he has to live up to his big contract.
QB Peyton Manning — The Franchise.
DE Robert Mathis — Coming off first Pro Bowl trip, he looks as quick as ever.
OG Mike Pollak — 2008's second-round pick should take a big step forward after an injury-filled first year.
DB Bob Sanders — Former Defensive Player of the Year is trying to get healthy in preseason. This defense needs him to be.
OC Jeff Saturday — Veteran center has new contract, and healed knee. Now, he needs to get his offensive line back to its previous form.
LB Clint Session — Showed a lot of potential as a first-year starter last season; now, needs to show consistency.
OT Tony Ugoh — 2007 pick who cost the Colts a first-round pick in 2008 is dangerously close to being labeled a bust.
K Adam Vinatieri — Kicking job remains his, as long as he gets healthy.
WR Reggie Wayne — Has looked incredible in camp so far. Could be the biggest year yet in what is turning into a really good career.
LB Philip Wheeler — Physically-imposing linebacker will be learning on the job; he should be starting after not seeing much playing time last season.

Early Risers: While these players are probably safely on the 53-man roster, they are facing a challenge for their position and may want to set the alarm clock a little early to get a little extra work in.

WR Austin Collie — Rookie receiver has been a quick study and should see plenty of time in the slot.
DT Eric Foster — Earned a starting job in 2008; hasn't done anything to lose it yet.
WR Pierre Garcon — Former DIII star looks capable of contributing in the passing game and on special teams.
RB Mike Hart — Second-year back looks to be in the lead for the third running back position, but needs to shake off injury bug.
DE Marcus Howard — Drafted to be a pass-rushing specialist in the mode of Mathis and Freeney, he'll pay his dues as a backup and special teams contributor for now.
DB Dante Hughes — Former third-round pick starting to finally fulfill his potential. Has been a standout at camp so far.
DB Tim Jennings — 12-game starter in 2008 looks like the third cornerback right now, although he's being pushed by Hughes and Powers.
DT Ed Johnson — Returning after being exiled after an arrest last year, he'll be on a short leash as he tries to work his way back into the lineup
OC Steve Justice — Sixth-round pick in 2008 saw some action as a rookie; he's the No. 2 center right now, but needs to turn up the aggressiveness.
LB Freddy Keiaho — Versatile former starter can play all three linebacker positions, despite being a bit undersized.
P Pat McAfee — Rookie with big leg won his position battle Monday when the team released No. 2 Tim Masthay.
DT Fili Moala — Second-round draft pick off to a bit of a slow start as second week of camp opens.
DT Daniel Muir — A midseason pickup last year who didn't see much of the field, he has been steady and a nice surprise early.
DB Jerraud Powers — Rookie cornerback looking impressive so far. Capped a good first week with an interception of Peyton Manning Saturday.
OG Jamey Richard — Impressed with his smarts and toughness as a rookie; could be the first backup at both guard spots.
TE Gijon Robinson — He's not the threat Clark and Tamme are, but the team has confidence in him as a blocker in the base two-TE set.
LB Adam Seward — Free-agent acquisition showed a good nose for the ball in Saturday's scrimmage.
DB Jamie Silva — His enthusiasum and tenaciousness make up for any physical shortcomings. Should be a special teams ace.
LS Justin Snow — Listed as a TE, but this specialist could be taking a roster spot from a more versatile player.
QB Jim Sorgi — Longtime backup won't be unseated by this group of QBs.
TE Jacob Tamme — Strong receiver can also long-snap. Could replace Snow and free up a roster spot.
DT Terrance Taylor — Third-round pick out of Michigan looks quick and powerful.

Tossing and Turning: Sleep doesn't come easily for these players, who could be up late wondering about their professional futures.

K Shane Andrus — A stop-gap for Vinatieri, will remain the team's perpetual kicker of the future.
RB Lance Ball — One-game wonder has flashed some good skills, but not enough to unseat Hart.
DB Michael Coe — A good player, he just has too much talent in front of him.
DE Keyunta Dawson — Raheem Brock Jr.? Is there room for two hybrid DLs on a team trying to bulk up?
OT Daniel Federkeil — Longtime backup may find himself ousted in favor of younger, more expensive talent.
WR Sam Giguere — Injury recovery kept him out of WR derby; after being drafted highly in CFL draft, he could be headed north.
DB Matt Giordano — Solid vet and special teams contributor, but is he becoming a luxury the Colts can't afford?
DT Adrian Grady — Undrafted rookie was one of the first-week surprises, but has a lot of talent in front of him.
WR Roy Hall — Has a physical presence no other WR on the roster can match, but can he stay healthy enough to contribute?
OT Corey Hilliard — Backup LT has looked good through one week, but Ugoh's demotion might send him packing.
DT Antonio Johnson — Ended last season strong. Back at practice this week, he'll have to prove himself all over again.
DE Curtis Johnson — Could be the odd man out in the defensive line sweepstakes.
DB T.J. Rushing — Injured last season, this cornerback and return specialist could see his jobs go to Powers.
TE Tom Santi — Prototypical tight end has battled injuries in beginning of career; needs to carve out a niche soon.
LB Jordan Senn — Performed well as a roster long shot last season, but it's unlikely he can do it again with the talent in front of him.
RB Chad Simpson — Good run skills, but doesn't have the total game that Hart has.
WR Taj Smith — Impressed fans in their first look last week, but could lose out to Hall, who has more special teams potential.
OG Jaimie Thomas — Seventh-round selection is big and physical and looks like he could eventually push out Justice and Richard.
OT Michael Toudoze — Another longtime backup, he has performed well when called upon. Will need a good preseason to create a fourth tackle spot on this team.

Afraid to Unpack: These players are giving their all in camp, but they know the odds are against them. Barring a few miracles or injuries, these players will be sent packing at the end of camp.

OT Brandon Barnes — Impressive blocker that could be a candidate for the practice squad.
TE Colin Cloherty — Has made some nice catches in practice, but is buried too deep on the TE depth chart.
QB Chris Crane — Has already been released once; second release is all but inevitable once Sorgi returns.
OG Kyle DeVan — Has also worked at center; the versatility is nice, but not exactly something unique on this team.
DB Nick Graham — Had a nice break-up in Saturday's scrimmage; could be a darkhorse for a roster spot.
LB Ramon Humber — Impressive physique, but that won't be enough to get him into the LB rotation.
DB Travis Key — Former Michigan Stater won't boost the numbers on this Big Ten-heavy roster.
DB Jacob Lacey — Had a great first day of camp, but has too much talent in front of him right now. Could be a guy the Colts want on the practice squad, though.
WR John Matthews — Made a pair of catches in Saturday's scrimmage but most memorable moment of first week was being told he was too slow in his cuts by Clyde Christensen.
WR Brett McDermott — He and Matthews are clearly a cut below the other WRs in camp.
QB Curtis Painter — With Sorgi's injury, he will get the chance to show what he can do in the preseason. He looks destined to quarterback the practice squad, however.
OG Tom Pestock — Undrafted rookie is huge (6-feet-6, 317 pounds); but this team is loaded in the interior.
TE Jamie Petrowski — Local product has looked comfortable in Terre Haute and caught a touchdown in Saturday's scrimmage, but like Cloherty, he's too far down on a deep TE depth chart.
LB Mike Tauiliili — Showed some playmaking ability in Saturday's scrimmage, but needs a huge preseason to earn a backup linebacker spot.

53-Man Roster:

Quarterbacks (2): Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi.
Running backs (3): Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Mike Hart.
Wide receivers (5): Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, Roy Hall.
Tight ends (4): Dallas Clark, Gijon Robinson, Jacob Tamme, Tom Santi.
Offensive line (10): Ryan Diem, Mike Pollak, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Lilja, Charlie Johnson, Tony Ugoh, Steve Justice, Jamey Richard, Jaimie Thomas, Corey Hilliard.
Defensive line (11): Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Raheem Brock, Ed Johnson, Eric Foster, Fili Moala, Terrance Taylor, Adrian Grady, Marcus Howard, Antonio Johnson, Daniel Muir.
Linebackers (6): Gary Brackett, Clint Session, Philip Wheeler, Tyjuan Hagler, Adam Seward, Freddy Keiaho.
Defensive backs (9): Bob Sanders, Kelvin Hayden, Marlin Jackson, Antoine Bethea, Tim Jennings, Jerraud Powers, Dante Hughes, Jamie Silva, Melvin Bullitt.
Punter (1): Pat MacAfee.
Kicker (1): Adam Vinatieri.
Long snapper (1): Justin Snow.

    NOTES: The last two cuts were DB Matt Giordano and DL Keyunta Dawson, although Toudoze or Federkeil could be interchanged with Hilliard, who was the last man in. The team will likely keep another tackle behind Diem, Johnson and Ugoh, so take your pick.
    Picking the offensive and defensive lines proved particularly troublesome, and we really haven't seen enough of the defensive tackles in particular to see who will emerge from that battle. Dawson certainly could end up in the mix and looks like he has been very involved as a defensive tackle, along with Brock, on passing downs. How that changes with the return of Antonio Johnson, as well as Fili Moala getting more involved, is yet to be determined.
    Grady is the only undrafted rookie to make the list, based on an impressive first week. However, he is probably a more likely late cut and perhaps a practice-team addition.
    In the end, Giordano just seems like a luxury for the team. Silva brings a lot to the table on special teams, and although Giordano has been a steady backup over the years, the rise of Bullitt has made him expendable.
    Another possible surprise cut could be Freddy Keiaho. He's played a little at all three linebacker spots, and it seems like he's become a little lost in the shuffle. Hagler has been superb and Seward seems dependable as well.
    The Colts kept four tight ends last year (five, if you're counting Snow) and there's no reason to think they won't keep the same group this year. But I question how much Robinson truly brings to the table that the team can't get from Santi and Tamme, although the team seems committed to Robinson. Also, having someone like Tamme — or Jamey Richard, who worked there last week a bit — take over the long-snapping duties from Snow would free up a roster spot.
    Like the team itself, it's a work in progress, and I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.


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