Former Dallas quarterback Drew Henson, who had a tryout with the Carolina Panthers last week, was in Indianapolis working out for the Colts on Tuesday. The team also brought wide receiver Kevin McMahan in for a look as well.
Henson, who was jettisoned by the Cowboys after dropping to number four on their depth chart, is one of the more puzzling athletes in the NFL. The Cowboys released him in August after they couldn't find a team interested in trading for the player who was once considered to be "a clone of Troy Aikman" according to one of Dallas' respected scouts. Mike Fisher at our Dallas affiliate, TheRanchReport.com, had this to say about Henson after learning that his chapter in Dallas was coming to a close.
"Henson's failure here is maddening because he truly is blessed athletically. Quick feet, a strong arm, smart as a whip..." Fisher wrote. "Maddening because there was a time when he outplayed Tom Brady to the Michigan bench."
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound quarterback has just one
start while making seven game appearances in his two years with the Cowboys.
He's thrown just 18 passes, completing 10 for 78 yards, and has one touchdown
and one interception to date.
So if he's been such a bust in Dallas, why are some teams interested in him? Probably for some of the same reasons that teams continue to call former Colts quarterback Jeff George. Henson has shown he has the raw talent, the strong arm, intelligence and confident leadership skills that you want in a NFL quarterback. But he just hasn't been translate that ability into convincing results at the pro level yet.
That said, the Cowboys truly haven't been able to cultivate a young quarterback since the Aikman era, so questions abound as to whether or not Henson's coaching and the offensive scheme has slowed or even hurt his development. He'll lose any such crutch if the Colts move ahead with signing him as he'll have the opportunity to learn from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. If Henson could start to unleash some of his raw talent while working for the Colts, he would provide the team with a tough, strong, durable reserve who wouldn't likely land on the injury list during his limited playing stints.
Perhaps the most puzzling thing about Henson's visit is why now? Just one week ago, Dungy was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "...there is no imminent plan to bring Drew Henson in right now." And the Colts interest in Henson seemed no greater over the past few weeks than in other players on the waiver wire. So maybe it's nothing more than wanting to put an end to some curiosity about him. But we'll see.
The Colts also took a look at rookie wide receiver
Kevin McMahan, who had the honor of being "Mr. Irrelevant" of the 2006
draft after being selected with the final pick of the last round by the Oakland Raiders. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver out of Maine has the physical size and
speed (4.34 forty-speed) to be a real talent, but the Colts interest in him will
likely be no more than as a development project that could land on their practice squad. McMahan could use some grooming to
improve his route-running and to become a bit more sure-handed.
A true four-year senior at Maine, McMahan also has experience as a returns specialist, so that could be an added attraction for the Colts in considering him for the practice squad or perhaps even as an offseason signing as a player they could designate for NFL Europe duty.