It's not updated on the colts.com (because the guys in charge of the team. just. don't .care), but Paul Kuharsky tweeted the 'official' depth chart, which the team sent out to all their media buddies.
Newsflash: I'm not a Colts media buddy. No blogger is. We get coal for Christmas.
Anyway, prior to Kuharsky's tweet, reader Odin1980 kindly posted a link to a recent Pro Football Weekly article starting the rookie fourth round pick Delone Carter had beaten out Donald Brown as the Colts No. 2 runningback. I reserved my annoyance when reading this article because we hadn't heard anything else about this. As far as any of us knew, Donald Brown was the team's No. 2 back. If he wasn't the No. 2 back, there was simply no reason to keep him.
I mean, come on! If you are a first rounder and you can't beat out a fourth round rookie, you REALLY stink. Plus, with Javarris James getting cut, it made no sense to have Brown as the No. 3. James, unlike Brown, was a good special teams player and a solid goal-line and short yardage back.
Thus, the thought of Donald Brown as the No. 3 was ludicrous. Simply ludicrous! Until...
#Colts list Delone Carter as second back, Donald Brown third in new unofficial depth chart. Joe Lefeged is returner. Hughes third RDE.
Before I rant on the stupidity of keeping Donald Brown as the team's third runningback, here's the depth chart for Week One, 2011:
QB: Peyton Manning, Kerry Collins, Black Hole... er, sorry, Curtis Painter
RB: Joseph Addai, Delone Carter, Donald Brown, Darren Evans
WR: Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez, Blair White,
TE: Dallas Clark, Brody Eldridge, Jacob Tamme, Mike McNeil
H-B: Austin Collie, Chris Gronkowski
LT: Anthony Castonzo
LG: Joe Reitz
C: Jeff Saturday, Mike Pollak, Jamey Richard
RG: Ryan Diem
RT: Jeff Linkenbach, Ben Ijalana
LDE: Robert Mathis, Jamaal Anderson
LDT: Fili Moala, Drake Nevis
RDT: Antonio Johnson, Eric Foster
RDE: Dwight Freeney, Tyler Brayton, Jerry Hughes
SLB: Pat Angerer, Philip Wheeler
MLB: Gary Brackett
WLB: Kavell Conner, Adrian Moten, Ernie Sims
LCB: Jacob Lacey, Terrence Johnson, Mike Rucker
RCB: Jerraud Powers, Justin Tryon, Kevin Thomas
SS: Melvin Bullitt, Joe Lefeged
FS: Antoine Bethea, David Caldwell
LS: Justin Snow
P: Pat McAfee
K: Adam Vinatieri
Quick note: Don't freak out over the H-Back listing. The Colts are not lining up Austin Collie at fullback. H-B is essentially the third WR on pass packages and the FB-TE on short yardage.
OK. Now on to the obvious stupidity inherent in this roster.
First, I'll quote Derek Schultz, radio personality at 1260 AM in Indianapolis:
This may sound weird, but I think I'm listed ahead of Jerry Hughes on the Colts' DE depth chart. #OnlyKindOfJoking
- Hughes is listed as the team's No. 3 DE on the right side, behind Tyler Brayton, who was signed two weeks ago. For those still thinking Hughes hasn't been given a chance, kindly slap yourselves across the face and have a nearby stranger scream in your ear 'WAKE UP!' Hughes is a bust. sorry, but I'm just not taking any arguments in favor of Hughes seriously anymore. Apparently, neither are the Colts.
- Remember, Hughes was kept over John Chick, and Chick pretty thoroughly outplayed Hughes in preseason. You think the Colts decision to dump him over Hughes sat well with Chick? He was offered a spot on the Colts practice squad, but turned it down! He's now with the Jaguars.
- Does it comfort you to know that the Colts have three centers, and that two of them wouldn't be back-ups on any other NFL squad? Why was Kyle DeVan cut again?
- This team cut Tommie Harris, who was well respected in the Colts lockerroom, so they could keep six tight ends. Yep, makes a lot of sense.
- Jacob Lacey, who is a horrible man-to-man cover corner, is starting over Justin Tryon, who is a better man-to-man cover corner.
- And finally, Donald Brown. Brown offers nothing as a special teams player, which is what the 3rd RB on the team has to play. He isn't a good gunner, and he can't return kicks. He also is not all that good at short yardage running, or goal-line running. In short, unless he is backing up Addai and getting significant snaps, there is no reason to keep him. None. Zero. In fact, the only reason I can come up with that he's on the roster is the Colts simply did not want to deal with media bashing them for admitting they busted their first round pick in 2009. That is really all I got!
I'm sure some people will comment that all I'm doing is playing Debbie Downer here, but come on! Look at this roster! Even with Manning healthy, does this look like a team that can beat the Packers? The Steelers? The Ravens? The Patriots?
No, of course not. Even the most blind, pathetically short-sided homer has to see that. Certainly, Football Outsiders doesn't think highly of this team.
Look, not all the roster moves are bad. I like the decision to keep Jamaal Anderson. I like having Brayton in there. I totally agree Delone Carter is the No. 2 back (I listed him in my last guess of the 53-man roster prior to the cut down to 53). I like Collins as the back-up QB. It was good Philip Wheeler was kept.
But many of these other roster decisions just look like they were written in by four-year-olds with crayons. If guys like Hughes and Brown can't even be considered quality back-ups, as third stringers clearly are not, they shouldn't be on the team. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe it's unrealistic of me to expect Bill Polian and his kids to cut early round picks (even though the Patriots have cut Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather the last week or so).
But, I don't think I am being unreasonable in questioning these moves. This isn't a deep team. Depth was tossed aside (like DeVan, Chick, Harris, James) in favor of scrubs (Brown, Hughes, Pollak, Richard).
Am I alone in this opinion? Am I screaming in the dark?
Good lord, after looking at this depth chart, I need a drink... and it's not even noon!