I haven't been particularly enthralled by the Colts' activity in Free Agency. I had in mind a list of potential players who I'd hoped Ryan Grigson would pursue, which unfortunately didn't seem to correlate at all with what the Colts FO were thinking.
Instead of marquee proven production, the team opted to slightly mitigate the risk and take guys widely seen as a level below the top players available, though in doing so the Colts' haste looks to have created a recipe for mediocre players on bloated contracts. That's my initial take, though it is of course far too early to judge. The pursuit of players with more potential upside than prior production took on new meaning with the signing of Darrius Heyward Bey - the archetypal Al Davis Raiders selection, taken 7th in the 2009 NFL draft. Famed for his incredible raw speed, his atrocious hands along with the permanently stunted Oakland offense precluded any great development - which is fairly problematic, considering DHB was widely acknowledged as a project receiver coming in.
The Colts have the perfect situation in which DHB can thrive - a future star entrenched at QB along with primarily young offensive pieces. He even has the benefit of Reggie Wayne every day in practice - and there isn't a receiver I'd prefer to have over Wayne when it comes to passing on the skills and fundamentals of the position to colleagues in the receiving corps.
Anyway - to the crux of the piece. I've put together a few plays below to show DHB's capabilities and issues and look at the acquisition moving forward...
The first play I've chosen comes from the Raiders vs. Lions game in Week 15 of 2011, in which DHB accrued 8 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown - possibly his best performance in a Raiders jersey.
The play in question is a 2nd and 12 from the OAK 4, with 11:45 left in the 2nd Quarter. As you can see, it's a 7-7 game.
Heyward-Bey is lined up opposite Eric Wright, and the Lions are playing a single-high safety zone coverage, as far as I can see. The corners on the outside have some freedom to stick to their receivers given the Full House formation deployed on offense - necessary, when you consider the ball is being snapped from the 4.