In preparation to host the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium the Colts have made some roster moves. First, they released veteran RB Mewelde Moore and waived ex-Philadelphia Eagle NT Antonio Dixon. To take their spots on the 53-man roster, the Colts signed CB Marshay Green and FB Robert Hughes who were on the practice squad. They also have signed speedy CB Teddy Williams for one of the openings on their 8-man practice roster.
After the jump, we’ll take a peek at what these moves might say for the team.
Signing Mewelde Moore over the summer made a ton of sense for a young team who could use some more veterans sprinkled in, here and there. Moore seemed to be the perfect fit. As a former Steeler he knew Bruce Arians’ offense and could teach the young running backs as a player-coach. When he made the team he was expected to take the 3rd-down back role and flourish as Andrew Luck’s personal protector on passing downs.
Well, Moore was underwhelming in that role.
I, for one, am glad the Colts front office has decided he’s no longer needed in the rotation. With Donald Brown back healthy, Vick Ballard coming off his highlight-reel performance and Delone Carter showing some effectiveness in short-yard situations, we can feel confident there’s some potential to get things done between the 3 of them.
Besides, Brown has done markedly better with his pass-pro in recent seasons and Ballard hasn’t looked half bad in that area either.
Interestingly enough, they did add another back to the stable in Robert Hughes. Now, he is listed as fullback, so we shouldn't expect to see him get a ton of carries anytime soon. A plodder, clocking 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, Hughes went undrafted out of Notre Dame last offseason. He has spent time with the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a brief stint on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad earlier this season.
As the Colts get more consistent play from their offensive line, it seems the hope is that they can continue to run effectively. They were forced to play LB Mario Harvey at fullback yesterday, so having a true one on the roster could allow them to focus on more short yardage and a clock-killing power running game. It’s been awhile since any Indianapolis Colts team had that.
Antonio Dixon was an injury fill-in from day 1, and while there was hope he could make a smooth transition into a run-stuffing, two-gap NT even though that wasn’t really his background. Well, it didn’t happen. NT Martin Tevaseu was healthy enough to play yesterday (a welcome sight) and Dixon didn’t even dress for the game. It does still seem like Dixon is young enough and has the build to play NFL football, but it’ll likely come in a different uniform.
To fill Dixon’s roster spot, the Colts brought Marshay Green up from the practice squad. This was likely done in response to CB Vontae Davis’ injury from the Tennesee Titans’ game yesterday. Green has been with the team for about a month and has a history practicing in this style of defense, having played with the Arizona Cardinals for the last two seasons as we discussed before.
Best case scenario is that Green doesn’t see a ton of snaps on defense. With Cassius Vaughn likely moving into Davis’ full-time starting role, the Colts should limit his play on special teams, which is right where Green likely has his future (if he has one) in this league. Green was known more for his returning skills than his cornerback play at Ole Miss but should be able to help out in a pinch in coverage. The Colts likely get CB Darius Butler back this week and they seem to like his play in the nickel package.
It is interesting that the Colts haven’t brought back CB Justin King, who was our starting CB for much of the offseason and early-season nickel back. With Green on board now, it seems that ship has likely sailed.
To take up one of the two opened practice squad spots, the Colts have agreed to terms with CB Teddy Williams. This blazingly fast former Dallas Cowboy was an undrafted free agent in 2010 after four years at University of Texas-San Antonio. The main reason he went undrafted was because he hadn’t played football since high school! UTSA doesn’t even have a football program. While in college, Williams was a track star - at one point besting a mark set by Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt.
He was clocked at an unbelievable 4.26 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day and quickly signed by the Cowboys to try and develop into an NFL player. They tried to use his athleticism by playing him at both cornerback and wide receiver. After a few years at it, the Cowboys gave up on the project, waiving him at the end of this season’s training camp. As we've heard many times before, you can't coach speed - let's hope some of it translates to football skill soon.
Stay tuned for one more practice squad signing.
Follow me on Twitter at @GoHorse88