I maintain my cautious optimism regarding oft-injured Colts safety Bob Sanders and his status for the 2010 season. I am cautious because, if history is our guide, it is not a question of if Bob will miss games this season, but when. Bob has never played an entire 16 game season in his seven year career. Recently, he was named to SI's All-Injury Prone Team.
Gee, thanks @ssholes.
Like Anthony Gonzalez, Bob Sanders must prove he can play a full season. Otherwise, his legacy will be damaged. He has not earned the the lucrative contract the Colts gave him two years ago, after he won the Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2007 season. Also, waiting in the wings is a pretty good safety named Melvin Bullitt. Bullitt has done more to make a difference at safety the last two seasons than Bob Sanders has, but at a fraction of the cost.
However, one very positive step in the right direction is that Bob is entering training camp healthy for the first time since 2005. Here's Colts coach Jim Caldwell and Bob Sanders discussing the subject of Bobs health in a recent Colts.com article by John Oehser:
"He feels good about where he is physically, and when he feels good about himself physically, obviously he can relax and play the game the way he knows how," Caldwell said of Sanders. "All of us realize when he cuts it loose, some big things are bound to happen."
Said Sanders, "It’s been a long time. I was always at this time rehabbing and icing up a lot and spending a lot of time in the training room, so it feels good not to spend most of my offseason in the training room and actually be able to go in the weight room and get my weight back up and be able to compete with my teammates. Just being around that atmosphere of building that camaraderie and working with my teammates, it’s definitely encouraging and a lot of fun."
You know what, it's been so long since I've seen a healthy Bob Sanders play, I had to go back to vids from 2007 just to remember what it was like to see a Bob Sanders Beatdown Defense.
The hit he laid on that Jaguars running back at the 40 second mark got me pumped!
Cautiously pumped, of course.