INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 02: Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts watches from the sidelines during the NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 2 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
My first stab at guessing the 53-man roster was way back in June.
My second was the first week after training camp started.
My third was after the team had a couple of preseason games under their belt.
Now, with preseason concluded and cutdown day scheduled for tomorrow, I present my final guess as to the 2010 Indianapolis Colts 53-man roster... after the jump.
Please, be merciful.
RB: Devin Moore, , ,
WR:, , ,
Notes: Two weeks ago, I took some crap from some of you for having the Colts keep three quarterbacks. OK, I relent. Here I have them keeping just two, but notice that the sixth round pick from last year is missing. If I had to guess what the Colts will truly do, I'd say they'll keep both Curtis Painter and Tom Brandstater. Though, honestly, Painter has not earned a roster spot. And if the difference between keeping someone like Blair White or Ray Fisher is a scrub like Painter, then Painter should go. The rest of my offense is pretty intact, save dumping Brnadon James for Blair White. James' fumble against the Packers costs him a spot on the active roster. He's practice squad. Blair White has been excellent at receiver all preseason. He offers size at the position over players like Gonzo or Collie.
I left a 'Unsigned Veteran' on the o-line because I think the team will try and bolster that area due to the injuries along the line this preseason.
DT:, , , ,
OLB:, , ,
CB: Deshea Townsend, , ,
Notes: The only big change is Terrail Lambert getting dumped in exchange for Ray Fisher. Since the Buffalo Bills preseason game, Fisher has outplayed Lambert. Fisher also offers more on special teams as both a returner and a gunner. After Pat Angerer's outstanding preseason, he leap-frogs Glenn as the back-up MIKE. I still maintain the Colts will sign a veteran free safety, which is why that spot has the 'Unsigned Veteran' placeholder.
All in all, when I look at this roster I see a big boost to the special teams. Devin Moore, Ray Fisher, Pat Angerer, Jerry Hughes, and Mitch King will all add more speed and playmaking ability to kick returns and coverages. The receiving corps is just flat out amazing as is the overall defense. Excellent depth at all positions.
The weakness is the offensive line. Unless something dramatic happens, this is a weaker group than last season. This concerns me because the Colts will not win Super Bowl 45 with a weaker o-line than last year's. Remember, from here on out, it's Super Bowl or bust. Anything less than a another ring is a disappointment.
Overall, the players Bill Polian has brought in for Jim Caldwell to work with since March have been outstanding. However, the big concern is the offensive line. Though injuries in preseason have affected full and complete evaluation, it seems obvious to me that it was not improved despite it being the #1 priority area for improvement this off-season according to Bill Polian himself. I still question cutting Ryan Lilja and I still question why Charles Brown was passed on in the second round of the draft. Both players would provide significant upgrades to this offensive line regardless of the health of Jeff Saturday or Charlie Johnson.
Until I see this Colts o-line go out there and dominate a football game against a quality opponent, those questions will linger all season long. Don't ask me to 'get over it.' I'll 'get over it' when I see the Colts hoist another Lombardi trophy in Cowboys Stadium next February.
Regardless of my concerns about the o-line, the Colts have a damn fine football team for 2010. Obviously, I don't expect Jim Caldwell to follow this roster road map. He's a good coach and knows what will work and what won't. But, I think my guess for the final 53 is a good one. Hopefully, you agree. If you don't, discuss below.