Comcast has generously agreed to support the best NFL community around -- us! As part of that effort, between now and the end of the 2010 NFL season Comcast will be sponsoring a variety of special editorial and interactive features on our site. They begin today with the launch of the Comcast HD War Room, your weekly destination for key draft insight and opinion.
One of the themes I've tried to focus on with these Comcast-sponsored articles is how rookies and younger players will factor into the 2010 Colts roster. An area I've given specific attention is the return game because, from the way things are shaking out, it seems very likely that the Colts will use one or possibly two rookies as the primary returners on kicks and punts.
Over the weekend, Eric Hartz tweeted that "Brandon King, Blair White and Ray Fisher all were returning kicks." Fisher is a rookie 7th Round pick from Indiana while King and White are collegiate free agents from
Florida Purdue and Michigan State, respectively.
We've talked a bunch about who may or may not return kicks for the Colts in 2010, but missing from the discussion is Sam Giguere and Jerraud Powers. During the 2010 NFL Draft, Bill Polian stated that both would return kicks if the season started without the rookies on the roster. Now, the Colts don't seem to be utilizing either player as returners.
The smart money right now is on Ray Fisher winning the punt returning job. The Colts are thin at corner, and Fisher provides depth in both the secondary and on special teams. Being able to play well at a position other than returner is a big boost. Regular Stampede Blue reader naptown_ninja attended the practice and took note of Fisher:
Ray Fisher appeared to have a good workout: looked good in coverage and punt returns.
In almost any other year, especially last year, Blair White would have a real, legit shot at making the active roster as a wide receiver. However, the Colts are so loaded at that position, it doesn't seem likely they will keep White on the active list unless he is simply dominant as a punt returner.
I'm not sure if Eric meant Brandon King or Brandon James was the other returner. King is a corner and James is a running back with more experience in college as a returner. In fact, James was arguably the most dangerous returner in college football last year. So, if Brandon James was not returning kicks, but was healthy enough to do other drills this past Saturday, that's something to take note of.
[UPDATE]: Brandon James was held out of practice on Saturday. So, it was indeed Brandon King working as a returner. I believe King also rolled his ankle in practice that day.
Comcast is a proud supporter of Stampede Blue. You’ll get your Indianapolis Colts games as a part of over 120 NFL games Comcast provides in HD, as well as On Demand game recaps from every NFL game every week, faster Internet speeds, and stunning HD. With Comcast and NFL RedZone, you get every touchdown from every game every Sunday afternoon! Call 1-800-COMCAST or visit http://www.comcast.com.