Watching the Indy Colts crush the NY Giants in the Manning Bowl made me wonder - Where is former TCU All-American DE Jerry Hughes?.
The first round draft pick of the Colts is ... not doing much of anything. At all. For the second time in as many games Hughes was listed as "inactive". That's not good if you're a first round pick. On the surface this has something to do with the fact that he's behind Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but the Colts didn't spend a first round selection on a player they thought would be inactive in Weeks 1 and 2.
Hughes is listed last at DE on the Colts depth chart.
Having covered the NFL for few seasons, you can bet that somewhere in the Indy front office someone is saying, "Can't play." This reminds me of what happened to LB Bobby Carpenter when he was a first round pick of the Cowboys in 2006; he was all but written off by the coaches at rookie mini camp, one week after he was picked.
People are written off early in that league, but Hughes does have the benefit of first-round signing bonus that will keep him around. The Colts are vested in seeing him do well.
Most people had projected Hughes as an NFL outside linebacker, but the Colts thought he fit the edge speed rusher they have thrived with at DE. Hughes is such a good guy you have no choice but to hope he does well, and Colts GM Bill Polian seldom whiffs of the draft, but this isn't a great development.
On a completely different side of the spectrum is LaDainian Tomlinson. Left to retire after the Chargers dumped him in the offseason, LT may have a little something left. In a win against the Patriots, new Jets RB rushed 11 times for 76 yards. That is one week after he rushed 11 times for 62 yards against the Ravens. Since he is 31 there is no way he's the same guy he was eight years ago, but despite his advanced age and playing a position that chews men up he continues to prove why he is destined for the Hall of Fame.
- Mac Engel