Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If he was that good, he would be starting!

That line of thinking really makes me very uncomfortable.  I'm not looking to get into an argument, but when people say things like "He's a backup for a reason" or "If he's so great, why is he on the practice squad?", it makes my skin crawl.  These kinds of lines are sort of a close relative to the classic "Scoreboard!" argument that some fans make, in an attempt to end all discussion by saying something idiotic to end all debate on a subject.

While it is sometimes difficult to quantify which players/teams are good, versus lucky, or succeeding due to the peculiar circumstances that surround them, I think most people would agree that weird things do happen, and that the simplistic "Scoreboard!" view of things probably doesn't capture the truth a lot of the time.  The better team doesn't always win.  The player with the most gaudy stats isn't always the best.  A coach with a good win/loss record may still be a bozo.

The only reason that I mention all of this, is that I have a creepy (possibly paranoid) feeling about something that may occur soon.

The recent Reggie Wayne injury was obviously unfortunate.  He's a quality player, with no character issues that I am aware of.  In his absence, the Colts are left with T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey, as their starting wide receivers, a somewhat sketchy position for the team.  Both of them are useful/good receivers, though Hilton seems to easily be the better of the two, but neither seems like the type to fill the void that Wayne will leave behind.  They are mostly just deep threats, while Wayne provided the steady and reliable option for Andrew Luck to throw to.  While Hilton and Heyward-Bey have caught 50.9 and 51.4 percent of the passes thrown their way, Wayne has been catching 66.1 percent of the balls targeted to him.  Granted, the deeper routes that Hilton and Heyward-Bey typically run, tend to be lower percentage types of plays in general, but even if they start running more short to intermediate routes, I doubt their overall catch rate would climb to Wayne's level.

So, this leads people to speculate about, and apparently clamor for, a trade.  The object of everyone's deranged desires seems to be the Brown's receiver Josh Gordon.  While Gordon has generally been a fairly good receiver, and would probably do even better with the Colts, everyone knows he has some significant baggage that he brings along with him.  If the rumors are true, he's just one exuberant Saturday night away from a year long suspension. His history of idiocy is fairly impressive for someone who has been in the league for such a short time, just as it was before he was drafted.  He spent more time in college suspended than actually playing.

At the same time, the Colts already have a potentially talented malcontent lurking on their practice squad, in the form of Da'Rick Rogers.  Despite his bad reputation, Rogers' only documented offenses seem to involve smoking weed in college and a scuffle outside of a bar during his freshman year.  Small potatoes compared to Josh Gordon's accomplishments in this area.  While I am a fan of Rogers, I obviously can't guarantee that he will be a success.  All I can say for certain is that the evidence suggests he could be quite good, but, of course, none of that matters if he isn't going to be given a chance.  At 6'2" tall, and 217 pounds, he seems to be built for the role the Colts are looking to fill, and his combine measurables suggest he is highly agile and explosive.  His college stats also point to Rogers being a better alternative than the other options that exist.  Best of all, it wouldn't cost the Colts anything to find out what he has to offer.  Why trade for a talented idiot, when you probably already have one?

Considering the Colts' most recent act of desperation, when they traded for Trent Richardson (how's that working out?), maybe they should be a bit more cautious this time around.  Maybe, they should save some of those draft picks that they have been eagerly trading away, and try to actually find out if it is worth giving a shot to some of the players that they already have.  Or, they can just run with their initial evaluation, and dismiss Da'rick Rogers as a mere "practice squad player".  After all, their initial evaluations have been so good, that it has gotten them in this mess in the first place.  Why would anyone second guess that?

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