In possibly the biggest game yet for the 2009 season, Colts coach Jim Caldwell left 2007 second round pick Tony Ugoh and 2008 second round pick Mike Pollak inactive for the game. They were not hurt. They were not disciplined for an off-the-field incident. They seemed to be left inactive because... well, they just plain suck right now.
Their replacements on the line (Charlie Johnson and Kyle DeVan, respectively) allowed only one sack and blocked for a running game that averaged 5.1 yards a carry during the game.
While most of you know that Charlie Johnson is a 6th round pick from 2006 while Kyle DeVan was playing Arena Football in Boise last year, the fact that essentially two "nobodies" can beat out two highly drafted young players speaks volumes as to how well managed the Colts are as a team. Yes, Ugoh and Pollak are busts. They are stains on an otherwise Hall of Fame drafting resume for Bill Polian. Their lack of production has cost this football teams wins in the past, and with them both being healthy scratches for the biggest game of the year (so far), I'm pretty confident in saying their futures with the Colts stand at "Not For Long."
Sunday night, there was a noticeable difference with Kyle DeVan on the right side blocking on run plays. Chad Simpson had some hard runs, and (once again) Joseph Addai was masterful running the ball hard in the 4th quarter against a gased Patriots defense. Addai's 4 yard TD run and his 9 yard run to the goal line prior to Reggie Wayne's game-winning TD grab are the kinds of runs a team needs to beat a squad like the Pats.
By the way, the Addai TD run was to the right, with DeVan providing an excellent block on Vince Wolfork and Jerod Mayo.
In his weekly Monday press conference, Jim Caldwell confirmed that DeVan has won the starting job over Pollak, and then went on to praise DeVan's work ethic and ability to "fight" as a lineman. Clearly, Pollak did not play with the consistent toughness and tenacity DeVan has played with. This lack of toughness and fight is the same thing that cost promising tackle Tony Ugoh is starting job in Training Camp.
So, while I'm sure you all are upset like me that, essentially, two very high round draft picks were wasted on these two crappy players, the positive is we root for a team that (as Jim Caldwell states) will put ego aside to honestly evaluate their roster. As a result, the people who are playing the best actually play, as opposed to the people drafted the highest.