In case you're unaware, the Colts released their first unofficial depth chart for the 2012 season, the one that will be in place for the first preseason game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, August 12th.
The depth chart IS unofficial, and is not yet completed on the team's website. The team did however, release pictures of the base depth charts on Instagram, and tweeted them out for the public to see, as well as providing them to the local media.
The offense depth chart can be seen here: http://instagram.com/p/OAYOvwJ6zT/
The defense depth chart can be seen here: http://instagram.com/p/OAYfkFJ6zg/
Special teams: http://instagram.com/p/OAYoGZJ6zm/
Some notes and thoughts on the depth chart after the jump.
- Starting offensive line is: LT Castonzo, LG Linkenbach, C Satele, RG McGlynn, and RT Justice
- As I've stated multiple times, I fully expect Reitz to win the left guard spot, and Linkenbach to primarily be the backup right tackle (which is where he worked on Monday)
- George Foster is getting most of the reps at left tackle on the second team, and for good reason. He's the only one of the backups with extensive experience, and he is a huge guy.
- Starting wide receivers are Wayne and Collie, which was expected, but Donnie Avery is backing up Collie, and LaVon Brazill is backing up Wayne
- Brazill is ahead of fourth round pick T.Y. Hilton, who is third team behind Austin Collie. However, based on reports from camp there seems to be a clear separation between the top five receivers (Wayne, Collie, Avery, Brazill, Hilton) and the rest.
- As expected, the roster lists two starting tight ends (Fleener and Allen), although Allen is listed as "F," presumably because it is a tight-end/H-back role.
- Donald Brown is, as expected, the starting running back, but in a move we speculated about last week, Mewelde Moore is the second back, ahead of Vick Ballard (third) and Delone Carter (fourth). It seems that Carter will likely have the short yardage role, and Ballard will probably start the year contributing a lot on special teams. I would expect one of the two to pass Moore as the season goes on.
- Antonio Johnson is the starter at nose tackle, with Brandon McKinney backing him up. Johnson is reportedly up to 330 pounds this season.
- Corey Redding and Fili Moala are the starting defensive ends (although Moala is listed as a "DT"), with Ricardo Matthews and Drake Nevis respectively backing them up. It's nice to see Matthews to be finding a place on this defense after persevering with the team over the past two years in a 4-3 defense.
- Kavell Conner and Pat Angerer are the starting ILBs, with Jarell Freeman and Mario Harvey backing them up. Yesterday, George Bremer of the Herald Bulletin let us know that Freeman has been taking some starting snaps in Conner's place at times during camp. I was most optimistic of him coming into camp, his tape from the CFL was encouraging. He can react quickly to the ball in coverage, and is an explosive hitter.
- Cassius Vaughn starts opposite of Powers, with Justin King and Korey Lindsey listed as the nickel/dime corners. King had a mild injury on Sunday and Monday which likely contributed to him not being the starter.
- Chris Rucker, who has sat out a few practices due to injury is currently sixth on the depth chart at corner. This could be due to injury, but it doesn't seem like the new coaching staff is too impressed with him. I wouldn't be surprised if he was cut in favor of one of the new defensive backs.
- LaVon Brazill is also beating out Hilton for the punt and kick return positions, listed as the starter for both. Hilton is the second name on both lists.
I like that Linkenbach is pushing Reitz. If he's still holding Reitz off going into the second week of camp, Link must've really stepped it up (relatively speaking). I remember his afternoon at RG as his WORST day of 2011. I have no illusions: they're probably both better backups than starters, but I like thinking that Link might be getting better at the thing he was the worst at.
@naptown_ninja Reitz has worked with the first team the last three days though. Just saying. :D
@Kyle Rodriguez And we do love the local guy... One reason I'm looking forward to this season is rooting for some of the guys who just got crapped on last year. Some were inexperienced, the coaching situation was less than ideal, some were drafted to play "out of position", some had injuries. With all the dead money this year they can't be replaced so quickly. So they get another shot to prove themselves. Some defensive guys I'm pulling for to have big years: Hughes, Moala, Nevis, and Mathews. I was hoping that Pagano might uncover a diamond in the rough with Rucker, T. Johnson, or Thomas, but it looks like the new guys are just better. Although I still hold out hope for Brandon King to make the team
Is there any particular reason why Link is going to be the backup RT? He was horrible at RT last year. The only position he's shown any competence was LT, and that was only because he was a UDFA backup.
@Payton He shouldn't be your starting tackle, at either side. Still, he is able to play either spot in spots. He has the ability to succeed, but only in small doses. He's not a terrible option to have as a backup, but he IS a terrible starter.
Interesting that the top 5 WRs are separating from the rest. Wonder what happened to all that "gushing" over Sambrano? I'm most concerned over the O-line and their ability to protect the franchise. I expect the pass defense to be horrible, so even mediocre would be welcome IMHO.
I am happy with the progress of Brazill, he seems like he might be a steal of a late round pick, also hoping that Ty pushes for the return gig, I have seen him in returns before and he is very good, I am sure he will have opportunities at slot for the Colts this year as well.
@DougEngland as far as Carter and Ballard are concerned, I think Carter missed OTA's and is coming back and going to have to earn a lot in the rest of training came, neither him nor Ballard have much experience compared to Moore, and having a good 3rd down back, which I assume most of Moore's time will be spent, is really helpful for a young RB. I still expect Carter and Ballard to get more touches and opportunities than Moore in short yardage and goal line packages.
Last year, a lot of Colts fans and several members of the local Colts seemed to be clamoring to see more of Delone Carter. This despite the fact that he was a fumbler and was not even that successful in converting short yardage situations.
I never got this love for Carter... I guess it was just because he was not Donald Brown.
Personally, I have nothing against Carter, I just want the Colts to be as successful as possible. Still I feel somewhat justified to see the new regime ranking the running backs the way I would..
@DougEngland Yeah, to me, Carter was hyped up before the season and then did nothing of note. If you take out his one really good game (89 yds on 10 rushes against the Saints) his numbers look pathetic, as they drop to 288 yards on 91 carries (3.16 ypc). Add in the fumble issues, and he was basically a valueless contributor.
Now, he can get better (Donald Brown sure has after a bad start), but I like Ballard more. I'll be shocked if Carter is a Colt in 2013.