I was thinking about 5 specific players who are going to be under the microscope this season. These are 5 players we drafted with high hopes and are looking for high returns this season. In no specific order.............
1. Tony Ugoh. Traded a 1st round selection to nab him in the 2nd round. Has had some high and very low points. Remember the whiff on Merriman in his first year during the playoffs? I never will forget Dan Dierdorf saying Ugoh let Manning down when he needed him the most. Yikes. This will be his last year to prove his worth. I hope he proves everyone wrong and becomes the stud LT Polian drafted him for.
2. Mike Pollak. Another 2nd round pick. I loved this pick when we made it. I remember Pollak at ASU. He played aggressive, smart and looked like a great pro prospect. However, when I think of Mike Pollak, I think of one word.... Pancake. This guy has spent the majority of his career getting shoved into the backfield and on his backside. He is another guy I would like to see as our starting LG in this year's Super Bowl.
3. Phillip Wheeler. 3rd round pick in 2008. Had a great career at Georgia Tech. Slide into the starting lineup after Hagler's injury. I am expecting big things from Wheeler this season. This year's 2nd round pick, Pat Angerer, could push him for a starting spot.
4. Anthony Gonzalez. 1st round pick in 2007. I already feel all the hate coming from our die hard AG fans!!! Gotta love us Colts fans. We are the best. Let me try to explain why Gonzo is on the list. I don't think we can assume he will simply walk back into his starting #2 receiver position. These injuries take some time to recover from and we had a couple guys, Collie and Garcon (heard of these two?), put together "decent" seasons. I think the WR corp going into this season is the best it has ever been. I really hope Anthony comes back 100% healthy and has an awesome season.
5. Fili Moala. 2nd round pick in 2009. I remember when he was a top ten prospect after his Junior year at USC. Like Pollak, I loved the pick when we made it. This was classic Polian. Wait and get the player we want under the radar. This guy was one big question last season. Is he hurt? Why isn't he playing? Is he a bust? Is he in the doghouse? What is going on with this guy? 2nd round pick from a great program like USC, who played in just a couple games. I am very, very nervous about this guy. Why isn't he starting? Why are 2 guys (Johnson and Muir), who we signed off of the wire, starting over him? Lots of questions this year for Fili. I sure hope he is ready to answer them.