"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."
Those comments, it seems, were taken further than Hamilton intended, and Nicks said that he's in fact in the best shape of his life. He told ESPN's Josina Anderson:
"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in...I came in weighing 209 when I was supposed to come in weighing 212. After Pep came to me to clarify, he said that he (meant) everybody's getting into game shape right now--it's the beginning of camp. He came apologizing to let me know he wasn't just singling me out.
"I think that I have been performing well. They tell me the same thing. We're grown men. They would tell me if I was lacking. Like coach Pep told me, he said 'if I felt like you were lacking in any area I would come straight to you.' You know, Pep and I have history from Charlotte."
All of that said, Pep's comments were still a variation from the typical coach speak, and there is still something to the comments - Pep wouldn't have said what he said if there wasn't some truth to it, even though I think it's pretty clear that they've been taken out of context and stretched way too far.
Nicks was signed by the Colts this offseason after spending five years with the New York Giants. He has recorded two 1,000-plus yard receiving seasons, and for a few years he was among the league's best wideouts. Injuries have slowed him down in the past two seasons, however, and now people are wondering whether he'll ever get back to the level he used to be at. He's playing behind T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis, but will certainly get plenty of chances to catch passes from Andrew Luck.
Since Hamilton's comments, there has been a lot of misconceptions and overreactions about Nicks. Some have speculated he might get cut: he won't. Some have speculated that he's missed significant time with injury: it was just one day. Some have speculated that he has been terrible in camp: he hasn't been, but he hasn't been great either. Thus is the danger of taking comments and making them the end-all (especially from national media folk who haven't even watched Colts practice, or if they have, have only been around one day). Comments, like Pep's, can be taken out of context or stretched further than intended.
At the same time, however, it's clear that the Colts are still wanting to see more out of Nicks, and I think anyone who has watched practice would reach the same conclusion (I certainly have). That doesn't mean he has been bad, but it's exactly what Pep said - that he hasn't seen enough. He wants to see more. The part about Nicks not being in shape is the part that I can totally see how it was not as Pep meant it, and Nicks' clarification is very helpful there.
While Hakeem Nicks might be in the best shape of his life, the Colts and fans are still wanting to see more from him. Hopefully, that'll start tonight when Nicks suits up for the Colts in his first game with the team.