The Washington Times-Herald

May 12, 2013

Colts rookie camp over

Tom James
Tribune Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Now that the Indianapolis Colts rookie camp has wrapped up, second-year head coach Chuck Pagano is now setting his sights on the team's organized team activities practices which are set to begin in two weeks.

Pagano came away from the three-day rookie camp happy with what he saw from the 37 players on hand for the workouts. Only safety John Boyette, a sixth-round pick from Oregon, failed to take part in the sessions.

Boyette is still recovering from torn patellar issues on both knees that sidelined him for most of the 2012 season. The Indianapolis coaching staff, though, remain hopeful of having him available for OTA work.

Overall, according to Pagano, it was a good rookie camp.

"it was a great weekend. The guys just did an unbelievable job," he voiced. "Again, what we're trying to find out is what these guys could digest from a mental standpoint. Physically they pushed through it.

"Having 37 guys and 36 of them going, there's not much rotation in there. So we took care of them as best we can. But they pushed through and they did a nice job."

There were plenty of positives and few negatives.

"Pleased with what they accomplished [Sunday]. We finished with some red-zone stuff [with the] highlight of the camp [being] a big pass play for a touchdown [to end the practice]," Pagano said of the 20-yard scoring pass from quarterback Tanner Marsh (Arkansas Tech) to tight end Justice Cunningham (South Carolina). Cunningham was this year's Mr. Irrelevant in the draft, taken with the final pick in the seventh round.

"What is was was our Detroit scenario. We try to do all these must-win mock situations, so four seconds on the clock and fourth down. Got to have a touchdown, a little walk-off home run if you will. So it was a pretty good way to end camp."

The "Detroit scenario" reference comes from last season's final play 35-33 road win over the Lions on a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck to former Colts wide receiver Donnie Avery.

Near interception -- Former Indiana State defensive end Jordan Bright turned in a good effort during the rookie camp.

Bright, who was one of 13 players who attended as try-out candidates, got the attention of the Colts' defensive coaching staff Sunday when he tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and then nearly came up with an interception off the tipped pass.

"Should have caught it though," Bright said afterward. "The ball hit me in my helmet and then I couldn't see where it was."

He should find out some time this week, maybe as soon as today, if the Colts coaching staff saw enough to warrant bringing him back for the team's training camp. Camp is slated to get underway the last week of July at Anderson University.

"I thought that I did alright. Could have done better," Bright said. "[The Colts] haven't said anything [as to when they will inform him of their plans]."

Bell gaining NFL notice -- With the 2013 NFL draft over, teams around the league have already turned their attention to next year's crop of prospective draftees. And, according to several scouting services, that list includes Indiana State senior running back Shakir Bell.

Bell is rated as the seventh-best running back overall heading into this fall by CBS Sports.com. The web site also listed him as the top-rated FCS running back.

Evan Sjdery, who writes about the NFL Draft for several league-related websites and publications, has Bell rated just outside his Top 10 running backs available in 2014. While Sidery is impressed with the running back's quickness, power and burst through the hole, his size remains a concern.

In moving on to the next level, Bell must show that he can become an all-purpose running back. That includes being a good pass blocker, can catch the ball out of the backfield and be a dependable kick returner.