Tuesday, August 28
By John Oehser - Colts.com
DeMulling Termination Among 10 Colts Roster Moves Tuesday
INDIANAPOLIS – The day is never easy.
And Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said as an NFL team improves, the annual process of releasing players before the season seems to get tougher.
The Colts won the Super Bowl last season. So, Dungy said that Tuesday – the day the Colts announced 10 roster moves to trim their roster toward the NFL-mandated 75 players – was once again tough. Two veterans – guard Rick DeMulling and linebacker Keith O’Neil – were among players released, terminated or placed on injured reserve.
The Colts and the rest of the NFL must trim rosters to 53 players next Sunday.
“It’s really tough,” Dungy said Tuesday as the Colts (1-2 in the preseason) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) in the 2007 preseason finale at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday at 7 p.m.
“Next week, we have 22 we have to do. No matter how long you’re in it, and you know that these days are coming, it’s still not easy. Most of the guys have done a great job. A lot of the guys have the ability to play in the NFL, so it’s tough.
“But you have to keep in mind you’re doing what you think is best for the team and the collective thoughts of everybody – the front office and coaches. It’s not easy.”
DeMulling, a seven-year veteran, re-signed with the Colts this past off-season after spending the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions, with whom he signed as a free agent in 2005. DeMulling, a seventh-round selection by the Colts in the 2001 NFL Draft, played four seasons for the Colts, starting from 2002-2004.
He was listed among the team’s transactions on Tuesday as a Terminated Vested Veteran.
“We just felt like we had some of our younger players who were going to do a good job for us,” Dungy said. “Rick wasn’t playing that much better than some of the younger guys.
“Frankly, in a lot of areas, we just have better players. Some of our young group that we’re looking at had come on and really done well. We have tough decisions in a lot of areas. Guys who would have made our team several
years ago aren’t going to make it.
“I guess that’s good in a lot of ways.”
The Colts also waived eight players – wide receiver Aaron Brown, defensive end Noland Burchette, offensive tackle Gabe Hall, wide receiver Brian Hare, defensive back Cedrick Holt, defensive tackle Tom Johnson, defensive back Norman LeJeune and quarterback Mike McGann.
The team placed linebacker Keith O’Neil, a veteran who played extensively on special teams the last two seasons, on injured reserve.
“Keith was another tough one,” Dungy said. “Keith is a guy who has played for us, has played in game situations and played winning football. He had been one of our top special teams players. Anytime you’re letting veteran guys go, it’s tough.
“He and Rick in another year would have made it very likely. It’s just that type of year where we have a lot of guys who have done a good job.”
Also on Tuesday, Dungy said a few starters may be ruled out before Friday’s game, but the general approach is, “We’re telling all of our guys they have to be ready to play.”
“I don’t see the starters playing a long time,” Dungy said. “I foresee a lot of them not playing, but right now, it’s a little too early to say, ‘These guys definitely won’t (play).’’’
Dungy said the team is not yet game-planning for the regular-season opener against New Orleans. Game-planning for the September 6 opener won’t begin until after the preseason finale, Dungy said.
“You have to really fight that temptation,” Dungy said. “All the (head coaches) I’ve been around: Denny Green, Chuck Noll – have a routine. You get ready for a week for a team and it works pretty well. You have short weeks – Thanksgiving Week – where it works pretty well.
“We always have the temptation, ‘Well, we’ve got a couple of weeks. We can work on it.’ I think we learned from the Super Bowl. We didn’t do anything extra. We had two weeks. We kept our routine. It usually works out pretty well.
“I know we have guys who are looking at tape, but I’m urging them, ‘Let’s get through this game and we’ll have plenty of time to work on the Saints.’’’
so the biggest free agent signing by the colts doesnt even make the team wow