News From Terre Haute, Indiana

CNHI News Service Originals

July 29, 2007

Welcome back champs: Indy begins its run for another Lombardi Trophy in Terre Haute

TERRE HAUTE — Remember those guys who were hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Miami almost six months ago?

You know, the ones who visited the White House and met President Bush? The ones who were prominently featured on the star-studded ESPY Awards?

Surely you haven’t forgotten their 6-foot-5 quarterback with the laser-rocket arm who hosted “Saturday Night Live” or their coach who appeared as a guest on “Late Show with David Letterman,” have you?

Yeah, those guys. The ones with horseshoes on their helmets.

Well, they’re baaaaack.

The defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts are back in Terre Haute. They arrived at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus Sunday to get ready for the start of another preseason training camp.

Anthony Gonzalez, a rookie wide receiver who played for Ohio State University last season, was the first to show up in the morning after he drove in from Indianapolis.

“I’m just excited to get in here and become even more a part of this team,” he told dozens of reporters who crowded around him. “I’m happy and thrilled to be a part of it.”

Peyton Manning, the above-mentioned quarterback, wasn’t far behind Gonzalez as he pulled up in a dark-colored Chevy Tahoe. Now that longtime friend and teammate Brandon Stokley is a member of the Denver Broncos, Manning revealed the identity of his new camp roommate — tight end Dallas Clark.

“Dallas has stepped up to the plate and has huge shoes to fill,” Manning said. “We’re going to miss Brandon deeply as a player and as a teammate.”

A smiling Clark later said he’s up to the challenge.

“It’s going to be good,” he predicted. “It puts a higher premium on performing well in practice.”

Manning quickly let the media know that the off-season fun is over and the Colts are here for business.

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