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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Quick hits from Polian and Caldwell

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Some items of note from conversations I had this morning with Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell. (Name dropping, one can’t help it during training camp.)

The 46th spot: Game day active rosters will now be 46 players, not 45 plus a designated third quarterback. Ultimately it will give a team like the Colts an extra special teamer.

But at the start Polian said it’s probably going to be used in an unexpected way.

“In our case, now because of Peyton [Manning's] situation, we’ll probably have to carry a third quarterback,” he said. “We’ve never done it before really, we’ve had that guy on the practice squad. Absent an injury to one of your quarterbacks I think the 46th guy is a good thing for the game, it gives you primarily an extra guy to play special teams.”

Polian said Curtis Painter has been “terrific” as Manning’s fill-in, making every throw. (I've seen him make a lot of good throws, but a lot of hard throws that haven't found the intended target.) Dan Orlovsky is the head candidate for a third spot right now.

Ben Ijalana: Polian said he doesn’t expect second-round offensive linemen to play any guard. He’s running as the No. 2 right tackle to Ryan Diem.

“I think you put him at tackle and let him go,” Polian said. “The young ones will ready when they are ready, and then they will get on the field. They certainly have enough talent, that’s obvious.”

Caldwell, though, said there are no absolutes, and left open all possibilities. He said it’s about getting the best guys on the field and reminded me that Diem played guard before he shifted over to tackle.

I think it’ll depend on how Diem and whoever the right guard is are doing.

Adding free agents: The labor agreement created a market that was advantageous for the Colts and allowed them to add three defensive free agents on one-year contracts.

The addition of Jamaal Anderson, Tommie Harris and Ernie Sims “shore some things up with more firepower,” Caldwell said.

Polian said the market was simply one that allowed the Colts to go a place that usually couldn’t, or that usually doesn’t exist.

“Guys were looking for jobs,” Polian said. “Agents weren’t looking to make markets, guys were looking for jobs. It was a different situation; we recognized it and these are three guys that fit perfectly for us.”

“I’m not sure that that presents itself in a more stable, traditional marketplace.”

Nose tackles: Polian said he felt good about Antonio Johnson and Drake Nevis as the team's nose tackle, suggesting he isn't looking for anyone else.