With the 2012-2013 NFL season almost under way, I decided to share my feelings on the Indianapolis Colts final 53 man roster, I noticed we have tons of rookies and young players heading into the season. I feel this team will gel together and grow over the years into one of the best football teams year in and year out.
Despite all the youth on Offense lead by rookie QB Andrew Luck and veteran presence on Defense lead by DE/OLB Dwight Freeney, I can envision this team going 9-7 at best and 5-11 at worst. I don’t expect a playoff appearance this season but anything can happen on "any given Sunday".
QB: Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton, Chandler Harnish
RB: Donald Brown, Delone Carter, Vick Ballard, Mewelde Moore
WR: Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill, Donnie Avery, Kris Adams
TE: Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Dominique Jones
OT: Anthony Castonzo, Winston Justice, Mike Person, Jeff Linkenbach
OG: Joe Reitz, Seth Olsen, Mike McGlynn
C: Samson Satele, A.Q. Shipley
DE: Fili Moala, Drake Nevis, Cory Redding
NT: Antonio Johnson, Ricardo Mathews, Martin Tevaseu
ILB: Pat Angerer, Jerrell Freeman, Kavell Conner, Moise Fouko, Mario Harvey
OLB: Dwight Freeney, Jerry Hughes, Robert Mathis, Mario Addison
CB: Vontae Davis, Jerraud Powers, Cassius Vaughn, Justin King, Josh Gordy
FS: Antoine Bethea, Sergio Brown
SS: Tom Zbikowski, Joe Lefeged
Players who I wanted to see make it:
OG Hayworth Hicks
Hicks as been extremely consistent on the offensive line, he has a good blend of size and strength. Hayworth Hicks would have been a much better option at RG than Mike McGlynn and Seth Olsen. His best attribute is pass protection, throughout preseason he constantly keep defenders out the backfield and away from QBs Drew Stanton and Chandler Harnish.
OT Steven Baker
I noticed that Baker was pretty consistent as well at RT, despite being a larger lineman, he was more than capable of stopping quicker linebackers in their tracks and provided efficient blocking in the run game. I would prefer him as the backup RT on a still shaky O-Line.
OT/OG Mike Tepper
Tepper is a lineman who is very versatile. At 349 lbs. His size doesn’t slow him down when matched up against a DE, he can moved pretty well and is surprisingly athletic for a guy his size and blocks well in run blocking. I think he would have been a better Guard than Joe Reitz will at LG due to his versatility alone.
WR Jeremy Ross
Despite the fact that we are stacked at WR, I noticed that Kris Adams made the roster over Ross. Jeremy Ross has decent speed and route running with dependable hands. What stood out to me about him is that he is quite strong and can easily beat the jam at the line of scrimmage and break a few tackles in open space.
NT Jason Shirley
Shirley played against 2nd and 3rd string O-Lineman, but he completely dominated them and caused enough disruption on LOS to prevent the opposing QB from stepping up against the pressure. He would have been a great addition to this defense since he has starter experience along with our NT spot looking relatively thin.
NT Chigbo Anunoby
Most rookies in the NFL might come in raw and need more time to develop, but Anunoby looked really to go on to the next level. Anunoby is a force to be reckoned with and caused havoc this preseason. He played his gap assignments to a T and often forced RBs to bounce to the outside just to escape the collapsing hole.
FS Mike Newton
Newton came to the Colts back in 2010 and looked quite raw, but he developed well over the past few seasons and has played well since. Newton is a solid tackler and thrives in coverage and has great closing speed. I honestly thought he would become the backup Free Safety to Antoine Bethea or serve on the Special Teams.
CB Chris Rucker
We have Vontae Davis and Jerraud Powers as our starting CBs. But the nickel and dime CB spots remain questionable going into week 1 of the regular season. Rucker might not have been an ideal starter but he does have starter experience as a rookie and played decent enough to have another look under the new regime.
Players who shouldn’t have made it:
OT Jeff Linkenbach
This guy is completely awful; at RT he was terrible and gave up numerous pressure and sacks on Peyton Manning. When giving a RG role, he got badly abused by NT Antonio Garay and lost his spot to Mike Pollak, that’s right folks, Mike motherfuckin’ POLLAK. After injuries to LTs Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana, he was giving the LT spot, where he played badly but not as badly as being a RT. The new regime tried him at LG and he is still awful. No matter where you put Jeff Linkenbach, he cannot play the part.
RB Mewelde Moore
I know he has tons of experience under new Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians, but he didn’t show much this preseason to earn a roster spot and was injured after a few snaps. I think Deji Karim and Darren Evans would have been a better option as a 4th RB than Moore would. I really didn’t expect the Colts to keep no more then 3 RBs on the roster.
WR Kris Adams
I really can’t say too much about Adams cause he couldn’t do anything when taking first unit reps with QB Andrew Luck and seemed well covered and lacked the ability to get open even in a zone defensive scheme. He has pretty good height and decent measurables but that’s pretty much it. If you can’t do anything against a starting defense, you can’t make it in this league.
OG/C Mike McGlynn
I can name other Guards who were on the team that played better than McGlynn and also managed to stay healthy enough to impress me but I’m not going to go into that. Considering we had Ryan Diem as our starting RG last season; I though McGlynn would have been the biggest upgrade on the O-Line coming into this season, we can try him out as a center but how much will that help?
CB Josh Gordy
I hope Grigson and Co. didn’t decide to keep this guy around just because we traded for him, during the snaps he took on the field, he was abused. Gordy needs to work on his awareness and change of direction skills in order to make it into the NFL, lucky for him; the Colts are a complete mess at CB depth.
LB Justin Hickman
Hickman wasn’t that bad, but he seems too slow for a 3-4 linebacker and his coverage skills are non-existent However, I do praise his ability to blitz the QB and shed his block in run stopping but I think the front office could have found a better linebacker for depth. He might be a better option as a DE than an OLB.
UPDATE: SS Jermale Hines, OT Ty Nsekhe, and CB D.J. Johnson all have been released and this article has been modified to co-exist with the updated information.