A lot of Colts players have commented that with the new regime it's like being a rookie and they have to prove themselves all over again. That is especially true for some guys. Whether it is time running out, underachieving, high expectations or just not being a good fit, these players have the most to prove this coming year.
6. Drake Nevis. I think he showed a lot of promise last year, but that was in a 4-3. The new staff is going with a hybrid scheme and Nevis is not your ideal sized DT for it. Proving he has versatility and can contribute as a 5T is vital or he could become lost in the shuffle.
5. Austin Collie. I love Collie and think he brings a lot to the team. However, there is a lot that is going against him. He has a concussion history, is coming off a poor season and is not a Grigson guy. He also has two draft picks, Avery, and less 3 and 4 WR sets to deal with. I think Collie rebounds nicely, however he has to have a productive season if he wants to stay a Colt beyond this year.
4. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I'm probably going to get skewered for this, but these guys deserve to be on the list due to how much they cost and they expectations put on them. Freeney is a 19 mil cap hit with a 14 mil base. Mathis just signed a 4yr 36 mil contract. Freeney is controversial no matter how you cut it. Asking over 30 Pro Bowlers to learn new things is a huge gamble when they are making these kind of bucks. Beyond that, these are the only real playmakers we have on the D. If they cannot transition to the OLB role, even though it is not a full time 3-4 scheme, this year will not be good one on their side of the ball. Any chance we have of even being decent on D rests on their shoulders.
3.Fili Moala. A huge disappointment, he has been invisible a lot as a Colt. A chance to contribute as a 5T might be a better fit and should give him a better chance on a thin roster. He benefits from a fresh start, but must step up and beat out Nevis for the 5T spot to make an impression.
2. Jerry Hughes. A bust. That is most everybody's description of Hughes. One of the worst picks ever by Polian, he has done next to nothing. The good news is the expectations are just about gone and he has nothing to lose. A defensive switch gives him a chance to play a similar role to the one he played in college. I believe he gets a fresh start with a new GM and coach, but he either shows he can contribute or he won't even make the roster.
1. Donald Brown. I don't know anyone who has not been frustrated by Brown. A first round pick who hasn't come close to justifying his draft pick, he is under the gun more than all the other players. We've improved the line and brought in a front office that wants to be able to run the ball. The excuses are over here. We spent a draft pick last year and this year on RBs. Grigson has no loyalty here and wouldn't think twice about dropping him down the depth chart. He's not the cheapest option any more and a RB isn't the most difficult position to replace , so it's time to step up or move on.