Having exhausted every article on Colts Authority, I turned to a more mainstream site, CBSsports, to entertain myself during the doldrums of the offseason.
It's a thirteen question test designed to determine the depth of NFL rosters. Naturally, I wanted to fill it out on behalf of the Colts. And so we go.
1. Does your team have a real swing offensive tackle, a guy that can play left or right tackle and has experience?
Kind of? Some have argued that Costanzo and Cherilus could switch positions and still be effective. Behind them, we have Mewhort, who some say is better suited to play tackle than guard. Other than that, there isn't much. But I'm a homer so....
2. Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center?
Most likely. There was even speculation early in the preseason that Donald Thomas would end up being the starting center. Assuming he has recovered from his injury, he should be a solid and versatile player on an interior line that really needs one.
3. Is there a quality second running back that can deliver a 100-yard rushing day if he had to start?
Tricky, tricky. Although the Colts lack a clear starter, they do seem to have good depth. I would normally say that Ballard and Bradshaw would both be capable of 100 yard games (at least, behind a good line), but they are both returning from injuries.
4. Is there a good second tight end on the roster?
Yup. Fleener may be a crappy blocker, but he is, at worst, a decent pass-catching tight end. He had an underrated season last year and was one of the few functional pieces of the post-Reggie Colts offense.
5. Can the third wide receiver step up and start in the two-WR packages if a starter went down?
In my mind, the Colts have the deepest receiving unit in the league. Hakeem Nicks is an overqualified third-stringer, and having high-upside youth like Da'Rick Rogers and Donte Moncrief waiting in the wings doesn't hurt either.
6. Does your team have a designated pass-rush specialist who could play the early downs if need be?
Uhhhhh, can we just go back to talking about receivers? Bjoern Werner was drafted late in the first round as a project, but he did very little in his rookie year to inspire confidence.
Answer: FUCK, PLAYING THE BRONCOS AND EAGLES WITHOUT MATHIS IS GOING TO SUCK BALLS.
7. Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be?
The Colts do a fair bit of rotation on the defensive line under normal circumstances, probably due to a lack of elite talent. Cory Redding is the starter that sees the most snaps, and Arthur Jones is a good run stopper and so-so pass rusher that is also likely to play a large number of snaps. Behind those two however, is mediocrity and mystery. The mediocrity is named Ricky Jean-Francois. The mystery is in players like the talented but injured Josh Chapman
willhugyou . The Colts seem to have the potential to put together a pretty solid D-line this year, but the rotational guys are going to need to step up in a big way for that to happen.
Answer: NO, PROBABLY, BUT IT IS LIKELY.
8. Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses?
Darius Butler is a good as a slot/nickel guy.
9. Is there a fourth corner for dime packages?
Do we even have four cornerbacks? Josh Gordy doesn't count.
10. Is there a third safety for big nickel defenses?
AHA! This fanpost was well timed! Two weeks ago I would have had to say no, but Mike Adams, our lord and savior, has descended from the temple in the Mile High Sky to our aid!
Answer: YES, AND PLEASE GOD LET LANDRY HOWELL AND ADAMS STAY HEALTHY.
11. Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punt and kick returns or contribute as a real position player?
Seriously, when was the last time we had a good return man in Indy? T.Y. isn't the expert returner you might expect him to be, but that doesn't matter because a) he's a beast in the passing game and b) he's too important to risk as a returner anyways. He-who-shall-not-be-named was a disaster last year, but Brazill and Whalen did a decent job at kick returning and punt returning respectively toward the end of the season. Unfortunately, one of them will probably not make the roster, and neither seems to possess the aptitude to do both jobs well, or even be elite at one. Yes, it seems the return game is the main thing that prevents a special teams unit that features Vinatieri, McAfee, and Sergio Brown and Colt Anderson from being truly elite.
12. Does your team have a special-teams linebacker that leads the specials and can play inside linebacker in a pinch?
ADONGO MOTHAFUCKAS. Or, at least, we hope so. Actually, he's an outside linebacker so he shouldn't even be here, but I like typing his name in all caps so oh well. Frankly I think it is more likely that we see contributions from the likes of Josh McNary this year than Adongo. This could be a very good ILB unit. Still, as of right now there is no solid evidence that any of these players will contribute in a major way this year.
Answer: NO, BUT, MAYBE?
13. Do you have a backup quarterback that could go 2-2 in a four game stretch as the starter?
Obviously, because Andrew Luck is indestructible, this would only be necessary if the Colts lock the division up by week 13 and decide to rest Luck for the playoffs. In that case, I'd say 2-2 is reasonable to expect from the experienced Matt Hasselbeck. Assuming, that is, that the rest of the roster is healthy.
Answer: YES, BUT OF COURSE NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO ANDREW LUCK SO IT'S REALLY JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE TO KEEP HASSELBECK ON THE PAYROLL BECAUSE HE FOUND OUT ABOUT ALL THOSE DEAD PROSTITUTES IN McAFEE'S BASEMENT AND McAFEE DOESN'T WANT TO GET FINED.
The final tally is: 7 YES and 6 NO. Clearly, this poll was designed by biased talking heads from the East/West coast media that hate the Colts because they're jealous of our hard-won swagger.
Have a problem with my answers? Let me know in the comments. But first, a poll: