Indianapolis Colts Roster Cuts: Who Stays and Who Goes in Indy
Tom Brandstater was cut this week instead of Curtis Painter, who "won" the backup quarterback spot for the Indianapolis Colts.
Before I get to the rest of the interesting cuts made by Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell and crew, I want to wax a little poetic on what should be on the minds of the front office when finalizing an NFL roster.
It's obvious that Colts' General Manager Bill Polian will forget more football than I will ever pretend to know but the way I see it, the best players get on the field and in the case of Brandstater and Painter, that just isn't the case.
The Colts made up their mind many months ago as to who their backup quarterback would be, it was always Painter. No matter how lousy he played (which he did), even if Brandstater solidly outperformed Painter (which he did), the Colts knew from the get-go that Painter would be Peyton Manning's backup.
Where is the spirit of competition? Isn't it supposed to be the best man wins? Is this what the Colts did and I'm just not seeing the validity of their argument? I suppose that is up for you decide.
Here are 10 cuts made by Indianapolis and my take on each.
Tom Brandstater: The Better Quarterback
Tom Brandstater found himself without a job after final cuts were made and then signed with the Colts' for a position on the practice squad, Curtis Painter should be thanking his lucky stars.
Brandstater lit it up in the preseason finale throwing for 178 yards on 10 of 18 passing, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 129.2. Yes, it was against the Cincinnati scrub squad but still, impressive considering where he is now.
I have broken the statistics down between the two quarterbacks for weeks now and I suppose I'll do it again just to hammer home my point.
Curtis Painter 2010 Preseason Statistics
ATT/COMP: 29-56 CMP percentage: 51.8 Yards: 372 TD: 1 INT: 4 Rating: 49.1
Tom Brandstater 2010 Preseason Statistics
ATT/COMP: 18-31 CMP percentage: 58.1 Yards: 212 TD: 4 INT: 1 Rating: 105.1
I won't say anymore.
Blair White: Practice Squad Bound
Blair White's release isn't really a surprise, not because he didn't do enough to make the team but because of the personnel that is already in Indy.
With Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez, and Austin Collie in tow, the Colts are pretty much set at wide receiver.
White put up decent numbers this preseason recording 12 receptions for 181 yards for a 15.1 average. He did all he could to make the roster in the preseason finale, lighting up Cincy's secondary with seven receptions for 132 yards.
We should eventually see White in regular season action if injuries present themselves. I see a brighter future for White than his current predicament might suggest.
Ray Fisher: Return Game Was Not Enough
There are no photos registered for Ray Fisher in Getty Images' archives, which says everything. Fisher was mainly in a four-way battle for kick and punt returns and he never really had a chance.
Fisher had a healthy average on kick returns, with a 33.3 yard average and one big 58-yard return against the Packers but struggled in punt return duty only averaging 4.7 yards a return.
Another factor could have been the fact that Fisher is a defensive back and the Colts already have six on the roster. Fisher could turn up somewhere this year if a team decides to look for a spark in the return game.
Sam Giguere: Not a Returner, Not a Receiver
Sam Giguere really never brought anything to the table. He was brought in as competition for kick and punt return duty but did very little to ensure himself a place on this team.
Other than being just plain ordinary in the return game, he was very inconsistent as a wide receiver. His chances of making were slim to begin with and after putting up very mediocre numbers, he was cut.
You don't win a return job by averaging 20.4 yards a return and you don't win a sport as a wide out if you drop passes. Giguere did both of those things, better luck next year.
Brandon James: Mistake Likely Cost James
Brandon James' fumble against the Packers that led to six, likely cost him a spot on the Colts' roster. James had decent numbers, averaging 23.2 yards a return on kickoffs but lacked in punt returns only averaging 5.8 yards a return.
His mistake and numbers, coupled with the performance of running back Devin Moore, spelled the end for James who most though would come away with the spot in early August.
James did re-sign with the Colts after being released, for a position on the practice squad. Only time will tell if James sees action in Indy this season.
Taj Smith: Torn Hamstring and Log-Jam at Wide Receiver Spell End For Smith
Taj Smith played well this preseason finishing with seven receptions, 133 yards and a touchdown catch. He faced an uphill battle from the beginning however, with a talent laden receiving core ahead of him.
After suffering a torn hamstring injury, he was assured of being cut. It's too bad because I saw plenty of potential in this kid. I hope the injury heals quickly and catches on somewhere else, he could be a solid slot receiver somewhere in the near future.
Adam Terry: Cut By Colts, Lands Deal With Chargers
One man's trash is another man's treasure or at least that's how the Chargers see it. After Adam Terry was released by the Colts on cut-down day, he signed a one-year deal with with the San Diego Chargers.
San Diego likely signed Terry to help fill the void Marcus McNeil's holdout has presented. According to some reports McNeil may sit out the entire season if a deal is not reached.
As for Terry, he has talent, he just never looked healthy in a Colts' uniform. Maybe after some R & R he could contribute for the Chargers. This was a cut that I cannot argue with and do not see the downside of it.
John Chick: Another Practice Squad Addition
John Chick was cut, then signed to the Colts' practice squad. Chick was the CFL's 2009 Defensive Player of the Year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season, an accolade that gave him the opportunity to earn a spot with the Colts.
According to the Montreal Gazette, players on an NFL practice squad earn an average of $5,200 a week, whereas in the CFL he would earn a mere $500 dollars week.
So unlike most players who see such a distinction as a downgrade, Chick will take the raise that will earn him tenfold the weekly salary he made last season.
Mike Newton: Cut, Then Signed To Practice Squad
Mike Newton is the guy on the ground in the photo above if you're wondering, the best I could find. It's funny because that is where he will likely be for the remainder of the season, taking licks as a member of the Colts' practice squad.
Newton, an undrafted rookie out of Buffalo, recorded 11 tackles and had one pass deflection in preseason play.
Marlon Favorite: Journeyman On the Move Once Again
Not a big surprise here. Marlon Favorite is a former LSU Tiger who spent last season on four different teams' practice squads: St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle, and New Orleans.
Favorite signed as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers last season. He appeared in 40 games, starting 17 at LSU and was on the team when LSU won the National Championship in 2007.