I'm chiming in with a short post this morning to cover some news and links I missed while traveling.
- First note: I'll be at training camp in Anderson. I'll try and tweet my location. Feel free to stop by and say hi if you are there tonight. I'll try and tweet observations from camp, but if nothing else will write it up late tonight.
- Charlie Johnson signs with the Vikings, and it makes Kravitz worry about the offensive line. I'm in the distinct minority here, but I'm glad Johnson isn't back. I did not want Indy to open the year with Johnson/Diem at the tackles. Even without OTAs, I figure that if recently signed Anthony Castonzo can't be instantly better than Charlie Johnson, then Indy drafted the wrong player. I know Johnson brought a lot to the table off the field, and we all thank him for his play in XLI, but he was a terrible left tackle. Yes, he can play guard, but I'm not nearly as worried by the Indy guards as I am about the tackles. Johnson was worth bringing back for the minimum, but I wouldn't have given him a dollar more. I don't believe the loss of him will hurt the Colts. I'm not worried about the offensive line because it simply can't get much worse than it's been for the past three years. I believe brighter days are coming, and while I wouldn't mind seeing Indy add more veteran bodies, they would just be stop gaps until the rookies are up to speed. I've said it before, but I believe O-line play to overrated.
- Phil B Wilson has started with the blogs from camp. I've long said it, but as a Colts fan the one guy you have to read before anyone else is Phil B. He's on the ground and plugged in in a way none of the other blogs are (for lack of access). He's my first stop daily.
- Indy signed a linebacker named Ernie Sims from the Eagles. Maybe he makes the team as a backup, and it's always good to bring in talented athletes on the cheap. I think the Colts' linebackers are respectable, and I expect Conner and Angerer to take major leaps forward in their development this year. With any luck, Sims develops into a quality role player or special teamer, not unlike Tyjuan Hagler.
- The Colts signed Jamaal Anderson from the Falcons. He's a DT/DE hybrid player, who reminds many of Raheem Brock. Again, he's a player who busted out in another system, and comes to the Colts on the cheap. Indy tends to find ways to use players that other teams don't value. Word is that Anderson is a good run stopping DE, so he could potentially be a short yardage option to replace Mathis.
- Finally in a move Colts fans have been hoping for for months, Indy landed former Bears star Tommie Harris. Harris is still young, and if he can get/stay healthy could prove a wonderful addition. DON'T GET TOO EXCITED. Harris has had just four sacks in the last two years. I love the move, and was hoping for it, but don't expect to see Harris as an every down player or 16 game starter.
- All three of these signings are perfect examples of how to use free agency in this chaotic time. As I said last week, I fully expected the Colts to pick up some veteran D-line help. Rosters are expanded, so the Colts don't have to worry about occupying valuable spots with older players who haven't worked out other places. Essentially, they added players with upside for little money. They will provide depth and in a best case scenario, one of them ends up as a starter or a major player. This is exactly what the Colts have done in recent years with signings like Antonio Johnson, Adam Terry, or Dan Muir. If these moves work out, they are a boost. If they fail, they don't hurt the team. They don't make or break the season.