Ranking the 5 Worst Players on the Indianapolis Colts Roster

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIDecember 16, 2011

Ranking the 5 Worst Players on the Indianapolis Colts Roster

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    You would think writing an article about the worst players on an 0-13 team would be easy. The truth is it's not easy finding too many bad players on this Indianapolis Colts team.

    The reason why it's hard to find too many awful guys on the Colts is due to their success over the last decade. The Colts won the most games of any NFL team in a decade. They made two Super Bowl appearances, winning one of them. They won at least 10 games for over a decade straight.

    Many players on this current roster were All-Pros and have played in Pro Bowls.

    When there's guys like Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, Jeff Saturday, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Antoine Bethea on this roster, it's hard to find the weak links. After all I just named nine guys, and there's only a total of 53 that can dress each game.

    Don't be alarmed though; I did find five guys that not only don't belong on this NFL roster, but any roster in the league.

    Here are those top five guys on this Indianapolis Colts team.

Jacob Lacey

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    Jacob Lacey may be the worst cornerback in NFL history. He's horrible to watch play this game.

    Every week I watch Lacey play 10 to 15 yards off the line of scrimmage, and get beat on slant routes all day. Against Kansas City he got beat five times on one drive on the same exact play.

    This is an every-week thing for him. You would think he'd figure it out after 13 games of playing so far off the ball that you can't even see him in the TV screen.


    It's not even that he gets beat by any receiver that he has to match up with; he looks lost when the ball isn't coming his way.

    I fully blame Coach Caldwell for not taking him out or having him adjust, but you have to think Lacey would have figured it out by now.

    Let's just hope he's not on this roster next season. He's single-handedly lost games for the Colts due to his weak coverage. Look at that coverage in the picture on the pass by Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards that set up the game-winning field goal in last year's playoff game.

    What would have happened if he was playing tighter coverage?

Chris Rucker

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    I know Rucker is a rookie, and didn't even play until Week 4, but if it wasn't for him, the Colts may have beat the Patriots a couple of weeks ago.

    He made rivals with Jacob Lacey for the worst cornerback in the league that game. Every pass he was 10 to 15 yards off the ball. He gave up five first downs on one drive by himself. The sad part was all five were 3rd-and-long situations and he had to know they were throwing.

    When a corner plays so far off the line, that tells me he's not good enough to guard a receiver. He's surely not.

    I had higher hopes for Rucker, but I would be happy to see him and Lacey gone next season. He couldn't even guard a middle school receiver.

    This picture was his first play of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs back in October. He got turned around and beat on a third down for this touchdown.

Joe Lefeged

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    I've never heard of this guy before this season, and I have a feeling I never will hear from him again after.

    He's just a rookie, but he's a horrible kick returner. It's almost laughable every time the opposing team kicks to him.

    He's not very fast and he barely can make it 10 yards on a return. I don't think I've ever seen him make a break at all this season. Now, you can blame that on bad blocking, but after all these returns he's getting due to the defense not keeping the opposing team off the scoreboard, you would think he would break one.

    On defense he's not horrible, but he's not an every-down player. He does have two interceptions this season, but don't look too far into that.

    I don't expect to see Lefeged on this roster next season.

Jerry Hughes

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    Jerry Hughes may be the Sam Bowie of the Colts. He had such high hopes from everyone when the Colts selected him in the second round of the NFL draft a couple of seasons ago.

    Many thought he would be a great complement to Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the defensive line, but they also said he had the speed and strength to be a linebacker as well. Two years ago, that sounded fantastic.

    Since, we've been all severely disappointed.

    Hughes can't even find himself on the field. If a horrible coach thinks you're so bad that you can't play on a winless team, then you must be awful.

    Out of two years and 21 career games, Hughes only has 17 total tackles.

    For someone who was supposed to be this big stud and sack machine, he has only one career sack, and that came this year on Monday Night Football against the Bucs.

    Jerry Hughes is such a disappointment, and I think this will be his final year in the NFL. Bill Polian can also thank him if he gets fired soon. Many people label Hughes as the worst pick in Polian's draft career.

Curtis Painter

5 of 5

    At one point of this season I would have had Painter as the biggest surprise in the NFL. I used to think he was slow, inconsistent, inaccurate and struggled to read defenses.

    When he entered the game against Pittsburgh in Week 3 and had the poise to lead the Colts down the field to take the lead on just his second possession, I thought he may have proved me wrong.

    After a great Monday Night Football game where the Colts seemed to move the ball and were on the verge of winning, I thought we may have a chance.

    The week after that against the Chiefs, I thought Painter looked like Peyton Manning in the first half of the game where he threw three touchdown passes for 237 yards in the half.

    Since that half, he's proved everything I thought of him prior to the Pittsburgh game and more.

    I've never seen more of a decrease in effectiveness in my life.

    How do you go from the league's ninth-rated passer to 34th when there's only 32 teams in the league?

    He went from five touchdowns and one interception in three games to one touchdown, eight interceptions and five fumbles five games after that.

    Normally people start off like the latter stat and ease into the first, but in Painter's case he did the opposite, and I've never seen that before.

    Painter led the Colts to the biggest letdown and overall points deficit in five games in the team's history.

    He went from a contender to be Peyton Manning's replacement until he got his shoulder figured out to a guy that won't be on any NFL roster the rest of his life.

    If he ever cut his hair and decided he wanted to be an NFL quarterback he would have been fine, but he didn't do that. Now the only thing being cut is himself at the end of the season.