Colts Notebook: Aug. 15

Make sure you didn't miss any news out of the Indianapolis Colts training camp. Get caught up on what Caldwell thinks of Christensen, the Colts' plans to honor Tony Dungy, and plenty more notes and quotes from your favorite players!

— Jim Caldwell takes issue with the perception that Clyde Christensen — who is taking over the play-calling reins from veteran offensive coordinator Tom Moore this season — was a failure at running an offense with the Buccaneers.

"He's no different than I am. I think if you looked at my (won-loss) record when I was at Wake Forest, you certainly might come to the same conclusion. Some of you did indeed draw the same conclusion. So I don't anticipate that it's going to be any different for (Christensen)," the Colts head coach said.

"The other thing I would like you to do is to check his stats when he was down at Tampa, what we were trying to get done and what we got done. I think a lot of people make assumptions and have preconceived notions about things. But he's a very good football coach. He's a very capable guy. And he's an excellent leader. I think he'll see him do a great job."

— Players donned throwback blue helmets in practice last week. The Colts wore vintage 1955 uniforms during the team's preseason home opener with San Francisco.

The dark blue helmets sported two small horseshoes on the back instead of the more recognizable white helmets with the large blue horseshoe design.

"I love them, actually. Not to get in trouble, but I think the horseshoes (on the blue helmets) are a little oddly placed. I'm not sure they are necessary, but other than that the blue helmets are great. I think they are pretty cool looking," WR Anthony Gonzalez said.

"Variety is nice. I'll say that. Mix it in (the blue helmets) every now and then."

— PK Adam Vinatieri says that he is feels fine after missing most of 2009 with hip and knee issues.

"I don't have anything that's bothering me," he said. "And when we're out there and we're nice and loose and warm, it feels like it should."

Former Canadian Football League DE John Chick has caught the eye of Indianapolis coaches, particularly head coach Jim Caldwell and defensive line coach John Teerlinck.

"One of things that you can see about him, right at the outset, is he's got an unbelievable motor. He's just nonstop from start to finish. He's got the strength and he's wiry strong. But he's also got length," Caldwell said.

"We've been really pleased with him in terms of what he has been able to pick up and how's he been able to function thus far. But he's still got a long ways to go."

— QB Peyton Manning thrilled one youngster during one recent practice. During a cooling off break in the session, Manning had the boy come on to the field and line up as a receiver. The first throw into the end zone fell incomplete. A second throw from Manning, however, found its mark.

— Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry was an interested spectator during a couple of the Colts' practices last week.

Hendry's kids are big Peyton Manning fans. Colts general manager Chris Polian, meanwhile, is a huge Cubs fan.

— RB Joseph Addai, LB Clint Session and WR Reggie Wayne are all wearing beards during camp. How soon they'll cut them off remains in question.

"I don't know how long I'm keeping it. I just wanted to do something different. Actually the hair is going into my mouth. I don't know if I am going to keep it for that long. It is a different look. I'm just switching it up," Addai said.

"I am trying to get ready for the cold season early, so I don't have to start when the cold gets here. Me, Clint and Reggie all have it going right now. I'm waiting to see who is going to be the first to cut (theirs) off."

— Team president Bill Polian said that the Colts will induct former coach Tony Dungy into the team's Ring of Honor. The ceremony is slated for Nov. 1 when Indy plays the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Polian also said that if the NFL winds up moving to an 18-game regular season schedule, the Colts would like to face either Chicago or Cincinnati in future training camp scrimmages.

— S Melvin Bullitt doesn't mind sharing time with S Bob Sanders. Bullitt and Sanders could be on the field at the same time with S Antoine Bethea. "It's really just getting the best guys on the field at the same time," Bullitt said.

— While rookie WR Brandon James and WR Sam Giguere currently top the depth chart to be the team's punt and kickoff returners, no one has won a job. "We just need a guy who's going to be consistent," said coach Jim Caldwell.

— DE Robert Mathis thinks the defense will improve under second-year coordinator Larry Coyer. "We are a year into it, so we are getting the plays down a little bit more. It is not a learning process. It is a get better process," Mathis said.

— WR Anthony Gonzalez has been returning punts in practice. "If we have guys that we feel can go in there and do it consistently, we'll do that," coach Jim Caldwell said. "In his particular case, we know he can catch the ball."

— Undrafted rookie WR/PR Brandon James downplays any comparisons between himself and former Florida teammate Percy Harvin. "I don't really want to be compared to him. Our games are similar but we're two different kinds of players," James said.

— QB Peyton Manning doesn't think of himself being a coach on the field. "As far as out here helping younger players (in camp), I don't consider that coaching. I consider that just being a good teammate," Manning said.

— LB Philip Wheeler has had a strong camp. "He's always been a guy who's very focused and enthusiastic about playing, but I think he has a bit more confidence this year. You can see it," said coach Jim Caldwell.

— WR Reggie Wayne didn't take too kindly after a collision with LB Philip Wheeler at the end of a pass play during a recent controlled scrimmage. Wayne got up and flipped the ball to Wheeler afterwards. "Just a little brotherly tap," DE Robert Mathis joked later.

— The Colts have been rotating their offensive linemen to different positions during camp. OG Jamey Richard and OG Mike Pollak can both play center. Richard and Pollak can also play both guard spots if needed.

ROOKIE REPORT: DE Jerry Hughes (first round, 31st overall, Texas Christian): Still learning the craft of being a very good NFL pass rusher. He's got all the skills. Hughes just needs to keep working hard and settle in with a comfort level. But he's getting there in a hurry.

— LB Pat Angerer (second round, 63rd overall, Iowa): Has been steady in practice and on special teams. Needs to be a bit more consistent in reading his keys, but he's been doing a good job of hanging with it. A hard-nosed kid who will find playing time somewhere, probably on special teams to start off.

— CB Kevin Thomas (third round, 94th overall, Southern California): Thomas remains on the Colts' 80-man training camp roster. He suffered what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury during the team's May rookie mini-camp.

— OG Jacques McClendon (fourth round, 129th overall, Tennessee): Suffered a lower right leg injury in practice recently and has been forced to watch the workouts. He had been getting work at both center and offensive guard before getting hurt. The coaches really like what he brings to the table.

— TE Brody Eldridge (5th round, 162nd overall, Oklahoma): Pro Bowl TE Dallas Clark has been impressed by what he's seen so far of Eldridge. "(Brody) is going to do a lot of good things for us. He is smart. He is learning the offense," Clark said. "He's ahead of the curve."

— DE Ricardo Mathews (7th round, 238th overall, Cincinnati): Appears to be fitting in very nicely to the Colts' defensive line group. Reminds some observers of veteran DT Eric Foster when he first arrived with the team and that's a good thing.

— LB Kavell Conner (7th round, 240th overall, Clemson): Hard-hitting linebacking prospect who just needs to settle down and play with a little more consistency. Has a high motor, but must learn when to slow things down and be in position to make a play.

— CB Ray Fisher (7th round, 246th overall, Indiana): Has missed some practice time due to an undisclosed injury. He returned to the field recently, primarily as a kick returner. He will also see work on defense in the secondary.

INJURY REPORT: C Jeff Saturday will be sidelined from two to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. The procedure, which was performed at Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, was performed to remove "a loose body" from the knee.

"With scopes you never know," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. "You're hoping it's the shorter side of the scale. It just depends on the guy, how quick he can rebound."

Coach Jim Caldwell shied away from making predictions on just how much time Saturday will miss.

"I couldn't give you any timetable on when he's going to return. We're not going to place any limitations on him. I haven't heard any specifics (as to when Jeff Saturday will be able to return from knee surgery) from the doctor," he said.

"He's always been a quick healer. Whenever he's back and healthy and ready to go, we'll get him back in there."

TE Dallas Clark hurt his leg during a passing drill late in the week. "Just got a bit of a little tweak," Caldwell said. "He'll be back soon."


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