The Buzz: Concern Over Simon's Knee?

ColtPower has learned that the Colts brought a defensive tackle in for a tryout on Tuesday -- and he's not just any defensive tackle. Take a look at some of the eery similarities and it could be interpreted as a signal of some concern over Simon's progress.

According to one of our sources close to the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts worked out former Boston College defensive lineman Tim Bulman on Tuesday. His workout for the team in some ways is even more intriguing than quarterback Drew Henson's.

Bulman was the only defensive lineman Indianapolis invited for a tryout on Tuesday out of three players who worked out for team officials. And if you believe Corey Simon's stated height and weight of 6-foot-2, 300 pounds at the team's official website, Bulman compares favorably to that physical size at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds. If added to the Colts roster with Simon currently sidelined, Bulman would be the beefiest defensive lineman.

Now let's assume that Simon is carrying more weight than that, even though we have no evidence to support that assumption. In fact, if you look at the photo of the two men at the bottom of this article, they look pretty similar. The shot of Simon is from his arrival at training camp this summer. The Colts and Simon have refused to talk about what his current weight is beyond what they have displayed at the official website. But casting aside the size comparison for a moment, think about what the Colts count on Simon for the most in this defense. Simon was brought in a year ago to be a disruptor in the middle, using his intial burst and strength to push his way straight forward into the backfield and disrupt the run. He's not a guy with great lateral moves on the line, his role is to penetrate and create a ruckus.

Well, meet Tim Bulman. He doesn't have the credentials, experience, or the refined skills of a Corey Simon, but when you look at his skill set and what he did at Boston College, the write-up would look eerily similar. And he's the kind of guy the Colts would admire, a put it all out on the field, 60-minutes kind of player. Another thing about Bulman that the Colts should like is his speed and the way he launches himself at his opponent at the snap of the ball. He's just plain quick when it comes to straight-ahead speed out of his stance. A little over a year ago at his Pro Day, he was clocked at 4.93 in the forty-yard dash. That's faster than any of the top ten defensive tackles from this year's draft.

At this early stage of his career, he can't replace Simon outright by any means, but he sure can bring a similar skill set and approach to the game to the team if needed. From there, it would be up to defensive line coach John Teerlinck to accelerate his development.

As a rookie last year, Bulman played eight games for the Arizona Cardinals after spending the first two months of the season on their practice squad. He made seven tackles and was credited with one pass defensed during that stretch. Arizona used him as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense which really magnified one knock on him that some draft experts put on him. Some of them believed he was fine battling one-on-one with a guard, but struggled when having to deal with double-teams. The Cardinals had a major competition at defensive tackle this summer, and Bulman missed a few days and one preseason game with a back injury. He was released in the final round of cuts.

The Colts could be looking at him simply in case Simon's knee doesn't soon come around. But the fact that Bulman was in Indy at all certainly raises a red flag since the Colts are otherwise pretty healthy at the defensive tackle spot. From what we heard from one of our NFL sources last week, Simon tried to do some light running at least one day. And as of Wednesday, he still hasn't returned to practice. Bulman has practice squad eligibility, so don't be surprised to see him at minimum get a spot there unless he just didn't impress team officials during his workout for some reason.

Tim Bulman photo credit: Getty Images
Corey Simon photo credit: AP

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