On a conference call with local reporters yesterday, Frank Reich was asked about his starting MIKE linebackers. He was specifically asked if Anthony Walker was any closer to getting back, and also what Skai Moore has shown in his absence.
It is pretty is easy to go full tin-foil hat and start making connections that don’t exist when dealing with coach comments, but I found Reich’s response to be interesting. This was his response:
“Skai continues to do well. Like a lot of young guys, he’s really flashed and look good, but at time needs a bit more consistency, but he’s making progress. Anthony is starting to feel better and I wouldn’t say we’re close, but almost like Castonzo, I feel good about the process.”
Look, there isn’t anything all that telling in what Reich says here. He is a pretty innocuous speaker and doesn’t give a lot away. However, I found two things to be somewhat interesting. First, he answers the questions in a different order than he was asked.
Maybe that doesn’t mean anything. It could simply mean that he would rather talk about a guy who is playing than one who is hurt. However, it would not be a stretch to think that Skai Moore could now have the inside line on the starting spot at this position.
Anthony Walker has the potential to be a very good player, but he has had a relatively hard time staying on the field. Frank Reich and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus have gotten to see Moore flashing in practice and in minicamp, while Walker has been largely unavailable.
Second, it sounds as though Walker is trending in the right direction, but groin injuries can linger. If he comes back too soon, he could easily reinjure it and miss more time. Vontae Davis played seasons with the Colts with groin issues and it noticeably impacted his play.
The silver lining here is this: Skai Moore lacks the consistency that will come with time and reps, but he has flashed and impressed the coaching staff. That means that even if they don’t want him to be locked in yet at the starting spot, they have a suitable replacement until Walker is fully healed.
Having young and talented depth, however raw, at the linebacker position is unfamiliar territory for the Colts, but it looks like they just might be on their way to having it.