These three finish out the eight needed for the squad, which also includes players like Blair White, Tom Brandstater, and Brandon James. Unfortunately, players like Javarris James and Ray Fisher weren't retained, but on a team that features three pretty damn good backs along with several veterans in the secondary, that was hard to do.
After the jump, Phil Wilson gives us some interesting insight into Brandstater landing on the PS, and what this might mean for (yes, I'm saying his name) Curtis Painter.
Wilson via his Indy Star article:
I'm guessing if Brandstater improves and gets more of a mastery of the Colts' playbook, it's going to be more difficult for the team to justify keeping Curtis Painter as backup. Maybe they stick with Painter this season, but if the differences are obvious in practice for an entire season, well, you have to think they would give Brandstater his just due. I've heard a lot from fans who question this decision, justifiably so, based on the preseason numbers. But it's not like we're going to talk much more about it as the season gets rolling because Peyton Manning doesn't get hurt. And presuming Manning stays healthy, the backup isn't an issue. In this context, with 18 getting it done, backup QB is the most meaningless roster spot on this team.
Again, it was obvious Curtis Painter did not deserve the back-up quarterback spot. So, when you hear the Colts talking about players 'earning' their spot, please note that such statements are a load of bull. However, as Wilson states, this is all a moot point because 'Manning never gets hurt.' The back-up QB spot is a pretty useless position on this team, unless you value clipboard holding and grabbing Peyton some Gatorade as 'valuable.'
I guess if I could articulate what fans fear it is this silly concept that if Peyton goes down, the season is over. Um, no. It isn't. If Colts management truly has that mindset, Colts management should be replaced. Yes, I said it, and I think you agree.
Players like Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Bob Sanders, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Adam Vinatieri, Gary Brackett, and Kelvin Hayden were not given big money, tops-in-their-position contracts the last five years because they are dog meat. They are some of the best players in the entire league. Because of this, the team is most certainly not built around a 'Peyton or bust' mentality. If it is, then we have serious problems.
If Manning were to be lost for a significant chunk of time, it is unacceptable to simply 'concede' a season because he is not under center. This is the NFL, not the NBA or the MLB. Nothing is conceded here. Nothing. With the talent here in Indy, this group is absolutely a playoff team. Are they championship caliber without Manning? Hell no! But can they win the AFC South without him? Yes, especially if the back-up QB is not a complete waste.
Unfortunately, Curtis Painter is such a waste, which is why fans 'justifiably' have their fear. Personally, I do not believe the Colts brain trust has the 'Manning or bust' mentality. I have more faith in them than that. Too much money, and too much talent, is invested in other areas to suggest they even remotely dabble in such a mentality. The Colts are built around Manning, but that does not necessarily mean they cannot win without him. Other people might disagree, and that's fine.
They're wrong, but that's still fine none the less. Nobody's perfect.
In the end, if Painter has to come into a key game and help the Colts win, like all of you I'll be cheering him on and hoping for the best. However, I do have my practical side,and that side does not have a lot of faith in the Purdue alum.
OK, I'm done talking about Curtis Painter and practice squad players. The roster is set for Week One against the Texans. Time to get ready for some real football.