The big news in Coltland these days is probably the release of Chad Simpson. I was surprised. Say what you will about him as a returner. While his boom-or-bust style didn’t always endear him to fans, at least he caught the ball, and his numbers certainly weren’t bad (47-1,087-1 last season for a 23.13 average, 53-1,242-1 career for 23.43). But I liked him as an extra halfback.
Considering the injury histories of Joseph Addai, Donald Brown and Mike Hart, it makes sense to have a capable fourth halfback. To cut Simpson in favour of Hart mystifies me. Over the last two years, the pair played about the same amount, but check out their numbers:
Simpson: 30-147-3 (4.90 average)
Hart: 28-79-1 (2.82)
Simpson 6-31-1 (5.20)
Hart 6-72-0 (12.00)
But keep in mind that Hart had the luxury of playing most of his snaps in blowouts with Manning at the wheel, while Simpson played most of his in the hard times when Curtis Painter was leading the team. People tell me hart is a better blocker and special-teamer, but I don’t see it. If he has an edge in either case, I’d say it’s too slight to be worthwhile.
So, in my opinion, the Colts cut a superior halfback and serviceable returner with 4.40 speed for an inferior halfback with no return ability and a 4.69 forty before he shredded his ACL.
Fine. But the Colts still need a fourth halfback. I know they like Southern Illinois’ Deji Karim, and could also be interested in Kentucky’s Alphonso Smith, but it’s a total crap shoot to see if those guys are better than Simpson or not.
• Daniel Muir and Melvin Bullitt signed their one-year tenders. That means they are on probation for their jobs. I know lots of fans are nuts about both of these guys, but Muir was only so-so last year and has a history of injuries, while Bullitt was really exposed in coverage. Don’t be surprised if potential replacements are drafted for either or both.