Friday, February 29, 2008

Say it ain't so, Cro!

The Colts released Craphonso Thorpe today, thinning the logjam at reserve wide receiver and reducing the number of experienced kick returners on the roster to just one. (1) To those who follow the Colts, Cro's release shouldn't come as that much of a shock. Pressed into action last year after injuries decimated the club's receiving corps, Thorpe stepped in and was so-so. He showed decent hands and speed, but suffered greatly from the slightest of chucks and was frequently put off his routes. He never dared go anywhere near the hashmarks (2) and was consistently outwrestled. The result was 12 catches out of 20 thrown his way for a decent 60 percent average, but gained just 70 yards (5.83 per reception), (3) with a mere 17 yards after the catch (1.42 per reception) — and just four first downs. Perhaps more pointed is the fact that the Colts went 1-2 in games Thorpe played, and 12-1 when he didn't.

He was okay, but nothing special as a returner, going 15-318-0 (a 21.20 average) on kicks, and 6-31-0 (a 5.20 average) on punts. (4)

So where does all this leave the Colts? Well, I'll be writing my wide receiver positional analysis in the next few days and we can discuss it then.

Until then, some points to ponder while we wait for the draft and watch the other teams play free agency:

• The Colts' fourth-best wide receiver is Devin Aromashadu (5)
• The Colts' third-best guard is Mike Elgin
• The Colts' second-best center is Patrick Ross (6)
• The Colts' third-best defensive end is Jeff Charleston
• The Colts' second-best inside linebacker is Victor Worsley

1. For better or worse, the Colts have put their return stock in TJ Rushing. Although I like him as a returner and sometime defensive back, I'd love to see the Colts bring in some competition.
2. Arrrr, there be hard-hittin' safeties thar.
3. I'm sorry, 5.83? That's awful. I always think 12.50 is the bottom acceptable for a wideout, 10.00 for a tight end (unless he's a big-time blocker) and 7.50 for a halfback. To put this in perspective, 60.00 percent of passes to Cro were complete. Those that were, gained 5.83 yards, so throwing to Cro averaged 3.50 yards. Makes you want to go wishbone.
4. But he had NO fair catches. Look, we all know the Colts are horrible at protecting their return men, so that this guy could catch six with once waving is a spectacular testament to his courage.
5. Before you tell me that Roy Hall is nine feet tall and 7,000 pounds and runs a 0.03 forty, let me tell you that I have actually seen young Mr. Aromashadu outwit and outrun NFL-quality defensive backs, and I haven't seen Hall do anything close to that.
6. Or Ross Patrick, I'm not sure.

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