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Monday Morning QB (cont.)

Posted: Monday August 6, 2007 1:44AM; Updated: Monday August 6, 2007 8:41PM
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Ten Things I Think I Think

The Colts turn to rookie Tony Ugoh to take over for retired left tackle Tarik Glenn.
The Colts turn to rookie Tony Ugoh to take over for retired left tackle Tarik Glenn.

1. I think, and this is going to look pretty darn stupid if Peyton Manning is getting killed by the blindside pass-rush in November, that Tarik Glenn's retirement is going to be a virtual non-factor for the Colts. Manning will figure out how to make do if he has to. I just don't see it mattering much, because the way offensive line coach Howard Mudd works, he'll figure a way to get the left side glued before the real combat begins. And Manning's got such a quick release that I think he'll find the hot receiver when he has to.

2. I think the NFL has more important things to do than to send memos like the one dispatched to the Packers, dated Aug. 2, on the oh-so-important issue of "Unauthorized Use of Improper Tape Color.'' Seems the Packers were fined last year for wearing green tape spatting their shoes, and they're only supposed to wear opaque tape, or the tape-color of their shoes. "That's not the worst fine by the league,'' cornerback Al Harris told me. "The worst is when you're not showing the exact amount of white you're supposed to be showing on your socks. If it's just a little more, or a little less, you get fined. Those are the things that drive us crazy.''

3. I think I'm dying to know how the players functioned in the Baltimore-Washington scrimmage in Maryland on Saturday. Temperatures reached 141 degrees on the field. That night, in River Falls, it was 61 degrees, with occasional mist and a slight breeze. Felt like a November day at the Meadowlands. To paraphrase that old meteorologist Vince Lombardi, "What the hell's going on here!''

4. I think few fan bases are better served by a beat writer than those in Packerdom by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The other day, he told his readers how first-round pick Justin Harrell, the defensive tackle from Tennessee, was struggling mightily with his conditioning; how kicker David Rayner was 28 of 29 in kickoffs with competitor Mason Crosby so far in camp; how well players have adapted to camp, with no camp fights in the first nine practices; how free-agent defensive lineman Larry Birdline was embarrassingly fatigued in practice, so much so that McGinn wrote: "After that embarrassing episode, his career in Green Bay won't last too long.'' McGinn is an underrated giant in our business. I love reading him.

5. I think the three most impressive backs I saw in the last week, in order, have been Jamal Lewis, Cleveland; Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo; and Kolby Smith, Kansas City. That's right, Kolby Smith. You wonder why you don't hear the panicked bleatings of Chiefs worried about Larry Johnson's holdout? Here's why: running backs are among the most replaceable quantities on the NFL landscape. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound fifth-round back from Louisville played in Michael Bush's shadow for much of his college career, and the Chiefs saw enough last year (5.6 yards per carry, quickness around the corner) to think he'd be a good backup for Johnson and Michael Bennett. I do think Johnson will play, and I think he'll report by Labor Day, but if he doesn't, I don't think the Chiefs will have a rushing famine.

6. I think I have no idea why Priest Holmes is in camp with the Chiefs. And neither, frankly, do some Chiefs I talked to.

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