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News » Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-05-04

Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-05-04

Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-05-04
Despite predictions that the Indianapolis Colts would most likely lean towards adding a wide receiver or defensive tackle with the 27th overall pick of the National Football League draft, team president Bill Polian in

stead went with the "best player available" when it came time for the AFC South team to make its decision.

In adding former University of Connecticut running back Donald Brown to an offensive backfield rotation that also includes starter Joseph Addai along with backups Mike Hart, Chad Simpson and Lance Ball, Indianapolis opted to bolster an area that had a vacancy due to the recent loss of unrestricted free agent Dominic Rhodes to Buffalo.

"A 2,000-yard rusher (2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2008), a scintillating player. Catches the ball. Blocks. We lost Dominic Rhodes. We've replaced him with Donald Brown. So it's good anytime you get a guy that's a game-breaker. You feel good about it. He was, in our opinion, the best player left (in the first round)," Polian said.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound native of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, led all Bowl Championship Series schools in rushing last fall, averaging 160.23 yards per game. He set school and Big East Conference season records as a junior in 2008.

"This guy is a game-breaker. He has the ability to take the ball all the way. A great kid. And we're thrilled to have him," Polian said.

First-year Colts coach Jim Caldwell concurred.

"We're really excited about (Brown). He's an outstanding talent, as Bill had mentioned. And a guy that's certainly going to come in and do some fine things for us," Caldwell said. "He certainly has the speed and the ability to run the ball. And not only that, he'll learn the (blocking) protections within our offensive scheme in a short period of time.

"When I visited with him on the phone (after Brown was drafted), the first thing he asked me about was the offensive (scheme) instillation for this coming weekend (rookie camp) in our (offensive) playbook. He's the type of guy that has the kind of personality that we are typically accustomed to working with."

Both Polian and Caldwell said that Brown was not meant to put additional pressure on Addai to improve his overall performance. Rather, they envision continuing the one-two running back rotation employed for the past three seasons.

"It's important to have two good backs in your (offensive) system. There's no question about that because of the workload that's put on that position week-in and week-out. You need two guys that can carry the mail for you. At least two," the Indianapolis coach said.

"It's not any different than what we've been over the years. I think you look back ever since we've been here, basically there's always been two quality backs there. And then obviously some more besides those guys. So it shouldn't change anything in terms of (Addai's) mindset, but knowing that he does indeed have some help."

Heading into the Colts' organized team activities and minicamps this spring, Addai -- a first-round draft choice in 2006 who has two more years remaining on his original contract -- will continue as the franchise's No. 1 running back.

"We are looking at it much like we've looked over the years," Caldwell explained. "Joseph is our No. 1 back. When Donald comes in, he's going to play a role. We're going to give him an opportunity to fit in just like we have with other backs that have been here."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 4, 2009

Dominic Rhodes Name: Dominic Rhodes
Position: RB
Age: 29
Experience: 8 years
College: Midwestern State
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