Last year, the Indianapolis Colts made a pair of moves that will never be forgotten, nor will one be mentioned without the other. Letting go of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning was a move that wasn’t a favorite by every fan out there, but in the organization’s eyes it was necessary.
Andrew Luck more than made up for the disappointment of watching the former face of the franchise leave, and led the team to the playoffs in his rookie season. One missing link to the offense though was the lack of a true run game. Vick Ballard and Donald Brown are serviceable, but no where near as good as Bradshaw can be.
For that reason, the Colts went out and signed free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw, formerly of the New York Giants. Bradshaw is one of the more underrated backs in the league when healthy, but that appears to be just the problem so far.
Bradshaw returned to practice this week, thankfully, but still looks like a long shot to make an appearance in a preseason game. It will be tough for the offense to get any true feel for Bradshaw at game-speed if that fails to happen, but head coach Chuck Pagano doesn’t seem to care much.
“He understands what it takes to be ready once the season opener hits,” Pagano said according to the Indy Star. The head coach added that getting Bradshaw in preseason game action would be “a bonus. If not, I’m not worried about it.”
I love Pagano as a coach and a person, who doesn’t? But he definitely should be worried about Bradshaw’s health and the chemistry between he and the offense, especially Luck. He could be a vital part of the success they have this year if he adjusts to his new team quick enough, but not getting any game action until the regular season may put a damper on that idea.
It will be interesting to see if the new guy in town can get into some game action prior to the season opener. If not, he will have to play catch-up and get into the groove on short notice, come week one.