When the Colts signed free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks this offseason, the move was widely praised. The Colts gave Nicks a 1-year, $3.975 million contract, and the reasonable deal just contributed to the great move for the Colts - one of low risk but high reward. Nicks is a very talented wide receiver and for a couple of years with the New York Giants he was among the best receivers in the league. The past few years, however, Nicks has struggled with injuries and his play has suffered as a result. There's no guarantee that the Nicks of old will show up this year for the Colts and thus was the reason for the contract Nicks ended up getting, but if he can get there that'd be a huge addition for the Colts. Fans are excited to see Nicks on the field with the Colts.
Those who have seen Nicks on the field with the Colts, however, don't seem to be as impressed. At least Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton still wants to see more from Nicks, that's for sure. In his presser on Friday, Hamilton was asked whether he's seen enough from Nicks:
"I don't know if I can say that I've seen enough. I think he is still working to get himself in game shape. His talent is well documented and his ability to be a productive receiver in the league is without a doubt something that we are not questioning, he's a special talent. Hakeem and I had the same high school coach and I've been watching him for quite some time."
I don't know about you, but that's not a vote of confidence by any means. Basically, what Hamilton is saying is that Nicks hasn't been as impressive as expected and that either he showed up to camp out of shape or that he's not quite ready to play right now. Neither of those options are good things.
There is the hope that Nicks is a great receiver for the Colts, but perhaps the best thing for the Colts is that they're deep at the position and they don't need Nicks to produce - though that'd be a huge boost if he did. With T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne as the top two receivers and then Donte Moncrief and others backing up Nicks and the tight end group of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, there will be plenty of targets for Andrew Luck to throw to.
In training camp, Nicks has showed improvement. On the first day especially, he looked like he was still adapting and learning and he took a back seat, but as the practices went on Nicks has started to get more and more into the offense and in the past week he has been getting a lot of practice time. He has had a couple of drops and stuff, but I wouldn't say he's been bad. But Hamilton's assessment that he hasn't seen enough from Nicks yet is right in line with what I would say and what I assume many watching practice would say too. He has gotten more involved with the offense, but we need to see more from Nicks himself - and Pep Hamilton agrees.