Updating Indianapolis Colts' Key Position Battles in Training Camp
The position battles are getting really good entering Week 3 in Colts camp at Anderson, Indiana. The team has been practicing very hard, and I've been up there to witness the action for myself.
All of their hardwork is paying off and it showed big time in Sunday's 38-3 trouncing of the St. Louis Rams. With new schemes, a new coaching staff and new players, making the roster is no guarantee. Many guys from the previous regime had a lot to show this training camp in order to see if they can make the 53-man roster for the 2012 season.
With everyone playing so well, the position battles are phenomenal and the coaching staff has some tough decisions to make on who to keep and who to let go.
These are the top position battles in camp right now.
Vick Ballard vs. Mewelde Moore
Mewelde Moore was brought to this team as a veteran presence, as he followed his offensive coordinator from Pittsburgh to Indy. He was thought of to be the third running back on the depth chart who could help in short-yardage stands.
Yesterday, Vick Ballard showed us he has what it takes to be an NFL running back and really upstaged the veteran Moore.
Moore finished the day with four yards on two carries. He didn't seem quick enough to hit the holes and was stopped after short yardage.
Ballard, on the other hand, had a phenomenal day. He was quick, strong and hit holes hard. The rookie finished the day with 28 yards on six carries, including a long one of 13 yards. He ended up with the most rushing yards on the team for the first game.
If Ballard can continue to improve through camp, I wouldn't be surprised to see him No. 3 on the depth chart.
LaVon Brazill vs. T.Y. Hilton
First thing's first: Both guys will make this Colts roster. This is a battle for playing time in the offense at this point. Hilton is a speedy return guy and should have that spot to himself. What these two are battling for is the No. 4 spot behind Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie and Donnie Avery.
Both rookies excelled big time in Sunday's game. They both made great grabs and had huge days. Both are speedy and look like veterans.
Hilton finished the day with three receptions for 25 yards. He even had one carry for nine yards as well. He can be lined up in the slot and also to the outside. He's very mobile.
Brazill's day was just as good, if not better. He finished the game three receptions for 38 yards. He lined up primarily to Luck's outside and showed he can beat NFL corners for catches.
I think this battle will be big in camp to see who gets on the field more in regular-season action. Both are deserving and will only make this team better.
Quan Cosby vs. Kris Adams
Quan Cosby is entering the season sixth on the receiver depth chart and Kris Adams is right there with him battling for that spot. It's conceivable both are battling for the last roster spot or a practice-squad spot.
Cosby was sort of a disappointment before Sunday's game, but he excelled when the lights came on against an opponent. Cosby made a great catch near the goal line that set up a Delone Carter score near halftime. He finished the game with three catches for 44 yards, including that big 32-yard reception in the second quarter.
Adams only finished with one catch for nine yards, but where Adams is making his presence known in on the practice field. I saw him catch everything thrown to him when I visited camp, and he looked great. He's a very big and fast receiver and can make an NFL roster.
The Colts aren't going to keep both of these guys, so they need to show what they've got. It's going to be a great battle to the end between these two.
Chris Rucker vs. Justin King
The battle for the No. 2 corner is going to be good as well. Rucker got some big playing time last year with the injuries to the Colts secondary. He is young and still has a lot to prove, but yesterday he made the most of it by getting an interception and playing good defense on the Rams receivers.
Justin King started the game, but was picked on an awful lot by Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. King was playing the old way of Colts defense by playing 10 yards off the ball, and he got beat every time they threw at him.
That's not going to cut it in today's NFL, as Jacob Lacey did this every down last year—and look where he's at now. This defense is built on getting to the quarterback and playing tight coverage. If King is giving up too much space, the defense will look terrible, as the opposing quarterback will throw to an open receiver before the defense gets to him with ease.
King has a lot to prove this week and in the next game against Pittsburgh.