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Life in the NFL can change very quickly. Last year this time, Anthony Gonzalez was the unquestioned starter at outside WR heading into 2009 training camp. This year, all signs point to him fighting with Austin Collie to get time at slot receiver. And while Gonzo likely doesn't have to worry about getting cut or anything, the same cannot be said for several other Colts veterans.
The Colts are pretty loaded this year in terms of talent. With the rapid development of young players like Collie coupled with a very interesting crop of drafted and undrafted rookies, several veterans on this Colts roster should be feeling the pressure to perform during training camp next month. The Colts are always partial to younger players they can develop as opposed to veterans who have, for whatever reason, not done much more than be solid back-ups. For these reasons, the following veterans are very much "on the bubble" as training camp looms:
Ervin Baldwin (defensive end)
Keyunta Dawson (defensive end)
John Gill (defensive tackle)
Marlon Favorite (defensive tackle)
Ramon Humber (linebacker)
Andy Alleman (guard)
Jamey Richard (guard)
Mike Pollak (guard)
Tony Ugoh (tackle)
Tom Santi (tight end)
Gijon Robinson (tight end)
Taj Smith (wide receiver)
I left off names like Jacob Tamme and Mitch King because, in my mind, the Colts have plans for these guys. Tamme is a quick, pass-catching tight end who is outstanding on special teams. He can also work as a long-snapper. Anytime a player can do not one but three jobs its a safe bet hat said player will stick around on the active roster. I think the same is true for Mitch King. He's a 6'1, 280 pound tackle who the Colts might be developing to replace Raheem Brock, who played both DT and DE. King could also be effective on special teams, which is where I think he really needs to prove his worth.
The reason people like Tony Ugoh and Mike Pollak are on the list is because both have not live up to their draft stock. If Ugoh flames out playing guard during camp, there isn't much use for him as a reserve tackle, especially if someone like Jeff Linkenbach steps in and starts looking good at tackle. Meanwhile, Pollak is one of seven players (including Ugoh) fighting for a starting spot as a guard.