One player who is unsure of where he'll be lining up is Jamar Chaney, the linebacker who started in the middle in Stewart Bradley's absence for the final few games of the 2010 season. Chaney's versatility to play both middle and weakside linebacker is a plus, but it also means he's unsure of exactly where he'll look to make an impact this season.
"Either the MIKE or the WILL," Chaney said, when asked where he expects to line up on defense. "It doesn't matter. Whichever one they put me in, I'm going to do my best."
The lack of any mini-camps or organized team activities was unfortunate for Chaney and the rest of last year's rookie class because players are generally said to make their biggest strides from year one to year two. But Chaney thinks he still has plenty of room to improve, noting that he gained several pounds of muscle while working out.
"It's going to be tough as far as learning the plays," Chaney said." But as far as me being in shape, that's not a problem."
Another early arrival Tuesday was A.Q. Shipley, the center who spent the 2010 season on the practice squad. Under new offensive line coach Howard Mudd, Shipley believes he'll have a chance to push for a starting role, which makes sense when you consider Mudd's track record in Indianapolis of finding diamonds in the rough who excel in his scheme (the undrafted Jeff Saturday for instance).
"You have to think that way," Shipley said. "I'm going to go in and work my tail off to earn a starting position."
The deceptively athletic 6-foot-1, 315-pound Shipley is probably a better fit for Mudd's scheme than he was for Juan Castillo's.
"I would say so," said Shipley, who will meet with his coach later today. "I think looking at where (Mudd) has come from and what he's done, I think coming from Indianapolis, a lot of those guys are about the same size (as I am). I think coming from a zone scheme like Indy ran and like what I ran at Penn State, I think it fits me better."
Chaney and Shipley will be just two of many intriguing players to follow over the next few weeks, but isn't it great to be talking about them again?