Based on what we know now, the Colts don't have the kind of playmaker at strong safety which they will need if they want to win a Super Bowl. I've been lobbying for Quintin Mikell. Put Mikell on this team, and we have the pieces to win it all. Put someone like Aaron Francisco as the starting safety on this team, and we're one-and-done again in the post-season which, for this franchise, would be another meaningless, wasteful season.
That said, I don't rule out the slight possibility that someone like Chip Vaughn may be able to step in and surprise everyone. GoHorse88 found a good article recently discussing Vaughn's rehab this off-season, and things look promising:
Vaughn, who is rehabbing in South Florida at Bommarito Performance Systems, is putting in more physical work than in other offseasons. That work simply doesn't involve playbooks and pass defense, because those aspects of his game depend on contact with the team — which he can't have.
He starts his workout routine at 7:30 a.m. with two hours of rehab on both his ankle and left shoulder, which also was operated on in the offseason. Then comes stretching for an hour or more, followed by lifting weights.
He also does Pilates twice a week.
"If I was with the team, I'd be rehabbing still, but mixed in with meetings and practices," he says. "As far as team stuff goes, there isn't any of that now.
"This whole process is very delicate. I don't want to come back to the team in worse shape or with something lingering from last season to now. You don't want the team doubting how you were working. I can't give the Colts any reason to think I have not been busting my butt."
Realistically, Vaughn is a 'solid' special teams player. Nothing more. Then again, so is Francisco. In fact, Francisco is an outstanding special teams player and someone Bill Polian wants to keep in 2011. With Ken Hamlin, Al Afalava, and possibly Melvin Bullitt on this roster, I don't see how Vaughn can make a dent.
But, who knows? Maybe he'll surprise everyone.