While some players are guaranteed a roster spot, as long as they're healthy, the majority of players on the 90-man roster will be in danger of losing their jobs come August. With training camp just a few weeks away, one of the things that we'll be talking a lot about are the so-called "bubble" players.
These "bubble" players are ones that we see as right on the edge of the 53-man roster, ones that wouldn't surprise us to see cut or kept when the August 31 deadline rolls around.
Everybody has their opinions on these bubble players, so, while working on my training camp primer for Bleacher Report last night, I asked the world of Twitter who they saw as bubble players as we near camp.
The results were interesting, to say the least. Here were the most mentioned players, in descending order.
Others receiving votes:
Dan Moore, LaVon Brazill, Samson Satele, Jeremy Kelley, Nathan Palmer, Cassius Vaughn, Josh Gordy, Drake Nevis, Griff Whalen, Donald Brown, Jeff Linkenbach, Teddy Williams, Joe Reitz, Ricardo Mathews, Justin Hickman, Dominique Jones
My list included a lot of the players on this list, and one who wasn't mentioned at all:
A few: Trying to make it- Cleary, Whalen, Swanson, Price, Williams Vets in danger- Ijalana, Carter, McKinney, Mathews, Gordy— Kyle J. Rodriguez (@ColtsAuth_Kyle) July 9, 2013
Emmett Cleary is a guy that I wouldn't be surprised to make the roster that doesn't have a lot of hype right now. The reasoning behind Cleary being on that bubble is two-fold.
First, the Colts' depth at tackle is non-existent. Jeff Linkenbach is the only backup I'd trust at all, and he's been practicing as the third-string guard. Ijalana has some potential there, as does Justin Anderson, but all-in-all, if one of the starters go down, it's a really bad sign for Andrew Luck.
Second, Cleary was one of the most sought-after undrafted free agents. Cleary was named Gil Brandt's second-best OL available and his $20,000 signing bonus was the second-highest given to any individual UDFA this year. With decent potential and a weak position for the Colts, Cleary will have a shot at earning a spot in training camp.
A few other notes on 'bubble' perceptions:
- A few players mentioned that I would be surprised to see cut: McGlynn, Satele, Brown, Nevis, Brazill, Vaughn, Linkenbach, Reitz
- I know McGlynn and Satele were bad last season, but while I could see them losing their starting spots, I'd be shocked if they were cut outright.
- I really like Ricardo Mathews as a depth end, but he's definitely a bubble player. There's just too much competition on the DL. Nevis, however, would be a surprise to see cut. The only thing that makes that happen, IMO, is an injury.
- Justin Hickman is, on the other hand, one of the bubble players I fully expect to make it. He's versatile, being able to play both inside and outside linebacker, and is a strong special-teamer. He should be one of the final LB spots.
- The CB 'bubble' list is long, and includes Gordy, Swanson, Price, T. Williams, and Marshay Green. Swanson has versatility to play safety, which will be an advantage, but I also like Williams' potential. He's still adjusting to football after not playing in college, and has natural speed that is enticing.
These lists will flex and evolve as training camp progresses, and it's one of the most intriguing parts of training camp. Let me know your top bubble players as we head into August, via Twitter or in the comments.
I know im in the minority but i really hope Ijalana makes I really liked him coming out of college I know the knee issue is a red flag. If he can stay healthy he could be a nice guard IMO
I have no doubt that Whalen, Cleary, Hickman, Satele, Nevis, Brazil, Mckinney and Linkenbach will make the team the rest are bubble players..
Bad sign for Andrew Luck? Please, it really doesn't matter who is out there as Luck showed last year. Of course we all want a solid line but Young Andrew has no reason to worry.
@stpetejohnny Luck getting hit more is a reason for EVERYBODY to worry.
I agree....it was such a stupid post it didnt even warrant a comment in my mind..LOL..but glad you addressed it. offensive line is precisely the reason why we havent won the super bowl since 2006......we cant run the ball...once tarik glenn retired, adam meadows was shipped off, jake scott, ryan lilja, ryan diem, and jeff saturday and various other quality players add in our love of passing th eball with our superstar QBS first 18 now Luck, and a "soft" defense built to play with a lead, and what do you have? a recipe for losing in the playoffs to more well rounded and physical in nature teams.....period....thats why I like lots of the changes we are making.....
but he constantly gets lauded for being a hall of fame executive......please....Bill Polian is a joke...yah yah...ok. he obviously knows some football, but he knows far less than he thinks, and he has had far LESS success than he thinks......he is a stat padder...only concerned with his resume.....its his disgraceful decisions that have cost the colts multiple super bowls and a chance at a perfect season......fuck him...glad hes gone....
polian built the exact style of a team in Buffalo....and what happened they LOST 4 super bowls in a row to teams that were more physical.......Polain is great for getting a team built to have success against the weaklings of the league (if he has a HOF qb, anyone can do that) and he is even better at keeping that team from winning anything meaningful..
@stpetejohnny Luck was hit behind the line 114 times last year, leading the league by over 20 hits (next closest is Philly). I think, even with a solid o-line, Luck has reason to worry.
@Lou Pin @stpetejohnny The passing O last year was a down the field offense. Luck led the league in passes thrown beyond 20 yards and also beyond 10 yards. The offense this year with Pep Hamilton will have many more short passes, including to backs. He also rarely had a check off receiver last year. Luck whether with a bad line or a decent line will not be under as much pressure.
He did kind of get hit often and had a lot of pressure on him, bet he would rather havea stable pocket, just imagine what he could do with that.
I still think Joe Lefeged could be on the bubble, good special teams player, but has not stepped up much on D, combine that with him coming from the previous management and the potential of some of the young guys in the secondary.
That is not even touching the arrest issue.
@paulcareyjr I disagree about his play on D. He's been a very good reserve safety. I'd take him in a heart beat over any of the other guys behind Bethea/Landry.
@Kyle Rodriguez I thought he was an okay reserve, but I really did not like any of the safety play last year, maybe I am just harsh. I agree as far as potential production this year I think Lefeged has them beat, but I feel Boyott can has more potential and will be better eventually and Swanson has a chance, but is still very raw.
@paulcareyjr @Kyle Rodriguez the safety play was horrid because zibby sucked and bethea had to compensate which took him away from what he is best at...roaming and being a good cover/tackling safety...the addition of landry will strengthen bethea...we will see the bethea of old, and if landry doesnt "coast" because he got paid, and plays like the beast he has shown flashes of (i.e bob sanders type play) and stays healthy, we wont have to worry about Lefeged or anyone else.....in fact I much prefer Boysett, and even darius butler as a nickel corner, who can play some free safety.....not a big fan of lefeged...at all. if we are arguing is lefeged better than anyone behind bethea and landry, well, possibly but if he isnt even a legitimate 3rd safety that we have to argue about just get rid of him and try to get a better player or groom a better player....boysett,butler, to play the position if need be...Butler is very versatile coming from new england and could excel at free safety if needed in a short term type role...
@paulcareyjr I deluded myself into trying Madden 13 again - which, in all respects, could not be worse - and Lefeged happens to be returning kickoffs for Indy. Wouldn't that be a fun twist (though I've heard he's not great at running/avoiding ...)
What about Angerer? He was a tackle machine under the old 4-3, but he has never fit the profile of an inside 3-4 linebacker. if he gets beaten out as a starter, would the Colts let him go in favor of a player who could be more of an asset on special teams?
(By the way, I like Angerer, but he was here before Pagano... and I just wonder how he fits into the Colts plans moving forward.)
The more I think about it, the less I see Donald Brown seriously contributing next year, and as a fifth year running back, you have to think that his career is winding down a bit. Not that I think he will be cut; just, if he is, I won't be terribly surprised.
And - even after all of that - I'm pretty sure he only has one year left on his contract anyhow.
@Lou Pin if brown gets a chance I could see him having his best year...why? contract year....if I was the colts id give him the rock 250 times......you KNOW he is going to give his best effort so he can get PAID.....
I know the anti-Donald Brown bias is so ingrained in the minds of many Colts fans, that he could morph into Eric Dickerson, and it still wouldn't change their feelings.
Still, as the Cotls continue to field a rather mundane stable of runnings backs, I feel that Brown is no worse than #2 on the list and probably #1.
@DougEngland Only you see Dickerson in fifth BUST Brown===what an eye! But he is very fast at running to the sidelines. Every back brought in from our sideline no matter how mundane has edged him out. Please, he has earned his evaluation.
@DougEngland The sad thing is, most of the frustration was at Brown's inability to fill in for Addai, even if the latter was constantly injured and eventually unable to get out of the backfield. I was even starting to warm to the idea of Brown last year, but it seems like they've given up on him.
@Lou Pin I'm thinking the RB battle this offseason will be pretty heated, I really have no good idea how the rotation will be come the beginning of the regular season.
@smonroe Completely agree with this. Either practice squad or active roster, won't be surprised either way.