The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

August 2, 2011

Camp Notes: Rookie lineman Ijalana is a fast learner



The NFL lockout nixed any chance second-round draft choice Ben Ijalana had to learn the ropes of being a pro football player before Colts training camp. But he’s proving to be a quick study.

“My mindset is to acquire as much knowledge that I can learn from any veteran and try not to make any mistakes,” Ijalana said. “I play O-Line, if nobody says my name, I did good. I’m just looking to do my part, hopefully right away.”

The anonymity that Ijalana and other offensive linemen seek won’t be easy to come by with quarterback Peyton Manning recovering from neck surgery.

“It’s like Day 1 or Day 2, I feel like we’re doing good,” Ijalana said. “There’s still things to work on. We’ve got some things to work on.”

A pleasant surprise for the rookie is the lack of hazing from veterans.

“The team unity; it’s a veteran-led group,” Ijalana said. “You enter the NFL and like watch your back. But everybody watches out for everyone. It’s a good team to be on.”

Six Colts sit out

A half-dozen players sat out Tuesday’s activities to rest injuries. Wide receiver Taj Smith, defensive tackle DeMario Pressley and guard Mike Pollack were all sidelined with hamstring issues.

Defensive back Kevin Thomas rested due to a quad injury. Tight end Brody Eldrige sat out because of an ailing knee. And defensive tackle Fili Moala got the day off because of a foot injury.

DeVan offers advice

to rookies

Now in his third season, guard Kyle DeVan had some sage words for some of the newest additions to the team.

“I’m sure they’re extra wide-eyed this year being that yesterday was the first time they had ever put on a Colts helmet, but I was in their shoes a few years ago and the biggest thing is not to make the same mistake twice and more importantly don’t make it a third time,” DeVan said. “If you can do that and you can process our offense, you can find a spot on this team. That’s the biggest thing I learned when I got here. ‘Well, I messed up this time.’ But when I got that same look or same play I tried not to mess it up again.”

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