Phil B: Is there anything specifically you’d like to bring up this week?
Heather: The Montori Hughes situation just absolutely breaks my heart. (Hughes’ 3-month-old daughter passed away unexpectedly last week.) I think that’s one of those things where football players are deemed superhuman until you see something like that. That would crush them just like it would any of us.
Phil B: Are you a mom?
Heather: I have step-kids who I’ve helped raised since they were real little. I also have nieces and nephews, so to hear that, it just absolutely killed me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to deal with that with your family, then get back into work eventually and get back on the field. I just give him all the love and support in the world and all the credit for being brave and getting through that because I know it’s not going to be easy. That’s one of those things, like I said, athletes seem superhuman to us until you see them deal with a real-life, human issue like that, that would bring any of us to our knees. I just feel really bad. I hope they feel the love and support that I know Colts Nation is showing them right now.
Phil B: That’s excellent. Well said. Moving onto next week, the first round of roster cuts, do you have any thoughts or any anxiety about guys you’ve watched at camp or guys you like? How much do you get worked up over knowing that the NFL reality is coming?
Heather: I always find myself attached to a few players during the preseason that end up off the team after GM Ryan Grigson goes through and makes some cuts. It’s hard. You watch these guys out there, giving it everything they have. It was their dream to actually get taken by a team, you see them spending months and months working hard at that, then you see that dream kind of fade away when they get cut. Hopefully they get picked up somewhere else and they can continue to work toward their goal of playing in the NFL. It’s kind of heartbreaking for them, and it’s heartbreaking for me when I watch some of these players during camp that I really like. And this year, it’s going to be really hard to let some of those players go because we’ve got some incredible depth at a bunch of different positions. It’s always heartbreaking, too, if you get down to those numbers, we do cut a few players, then you see them move on somewhere else and have success, then it really gets you in the gut. Yeah, there are a lot of guys that really want to see on this roster and I cannot tell you with 100 percent certainty that they’re all going to make it. And that’s hard.
Phil B: Any positions in particular?
Heather: I wouldn’t want to be the one making the cuts, let’s put it that way. I think at wide receiver, at running back, for some of the special teams positions, even tight end. I want to see Erik Swoope on that roster because I want to see what he can do. I want to see (RB) Zurlon Tipton. I want to see (CB Loucheiz) Purifoy. I don’t know that all of those guys are going to end up on the team. I sure see their progress and I see a lot of potential in some of them. I hope they get a chance with us, but if they don’t, I hope they get a great opportunity somewhere else.
Phil B: I was going to ask you if there was a favorite guy you’re worried about. Not to jinx it, but I know a lot of people have asked me about wide receiver Griff Whalen a lot, he kind of embodies that ‘Little Engine That Could.’
Heather: I feel this year that Griff is going to be on the team. I kind of feel like Griff has secured that spot this year on the roster for wide receiver.
Phil B: So wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers goes, or do you keep six receivers?
Heather: See, that’s the problem. Personally, I would keep six because I have to have Da’Rick Rogers on there, too.
Phil B: I’m with you. I’ve said that, too. I know people have said they can’t keep six.
Heather: I think you keep six. I think we need Rogers. And Griff Whalen, we definitely need him. But then here’s what happens. Do you have room for Erik Swoope now? Because, boy, he has potential. He hasn’t played much football, but he’s athletic, he’s making some plays. Purifoy on special teams, I think he’s done some really great things these last two games. My problem is I want to keep ‘em all. And you can’t keep ‘em all. I guess it’s better than someone is not me is making the decisions because I would have a really hard time this year.
Phil B: And you’re involved in fantasy football, too. You run a team.
Heather: There are times that I’m playing fantasy and I will think I could probably run a football team. Then I look the stuff that’s happening right now and I watch ‘Hard Knocks,’ and they bring these players in and make cuts, I’d be crying. It would kill me.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.