Colts Blog: April 11, 2007

Kevin Barlow has shown he can't be a starting running back in the NFL, but there's nothing wrong with his ability to move the pile up the middle - and isn't that what the Colts are looking for anyway?

Like it or not, the Colts appear to be considering the addition of Kevan Barlow to their 2007 roster.

While they obviously need a No. 2 halfback and would certainly prefer it was a big guy, Barlow seems a stretch at first. While he is big, fast, talented and has a 1,024-yard season under his belt, he hasn't exactly been setting the league on fire of the late. In the last three seasons, he's lost two starting jobs and averaged just 3.21 yards per carry, including a dismal 2.82 average last season with the Jets. Still, in those three seasons, he did rush for 16 touchdowns (14 in short-yardage situations), and that's what the Colts need him for.

Besides, he can catch the odd pass and isn't as bad a pass-blocker as most halfbacks.

The rumor is that his problems are mental, and that he still has 1,000-yard legs. This is one case where the interview will be a lot more important than the workout. Keep in mind that while Barlow failed in both different starting opportunities, he's been a valuable contributor when he hasn't been pressured to be the No. 1 guy.

Should they sign him, it would relieve the need to draft a heavy duty running back.

• So the Mike Doss era is over in Indy. Despite Bill Polian's words to the contrary, I can't see how (or why) the Colts would have gotten into a bidding war for him. Not that he broke the bank — he signed a one-year deal with the Vikings for a million bucks — but having him back at any price didn't make much sense.

Colts fans were absolutely delighted when his stocked tumbled to the back half of the second round in 2003, but Doss' NFL career didn't exactly reflect even that draft status. While Doss exhibited a few flashes of brilliance (seven picks and five forced fumbles) over the years, he'll mostly be remembered as a Colt for a few key missed tackles, blown assignments, frequent injuries and some bizarre off-the-field behavior.

While the Colts are actively looking for safety depth, Doss didn't really fit their plans. He's a former starter and does not appear to have the mentality to accept the fact that he'd be No. 3 behind Bob Sanders and Antoine Bethea. And the Colts really don't like paying backups seven figures.

It would have been great if it worked out for him with the Colts, but it didn't. Good luck in the land o' lakes, Mike. I hear it's just super up there.

Ben Utecht re-signed with the Colts, but don't get too excited. Although most magazines and websites reported he was a restricted free agent, his first year on injured reserve rendered him an exclusive-rights free agent, unable to negotiate with any team but the Colts. Next year he'll get the tender and, if he stays healthy, the long-term deal.

• Backup defensive tackle Darrell Reid was arrested last week for possession of weed and surrounding complications. While I don't think he'll get into too much trouble with the law, it's not a great idea for the fourth-best defensive tackle — one who made not a single big play last season — on a team looking for defensive tackles to be endangering his status like that.

• If you want to know what the Colts will draft, take a look at their depth chart and how many players at each position the team normally keeps.

QB (2 or 3): Peyton Manning's rock solid and Jim Sorgi, if he re-signs, will fight John Navarre for the No. 2 spot. No real need here.

RB (4 or 5): Joseph Addai is the starter, but the other guys on the roster are just spare parts. If Barlow signs, it lessens the need, but doesn't eliminate it.

WR (5): After Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, the cupboard is essentially bare. Look for the Colts to bring in volume here, including draft picks, waiver claims, street free agents and undrafted guys.

TE (4): They're three-deep at a place where they normally use four. And Dallas Clark and Utecht are hardly iron men. Don't be surprised to see a pick here.

T (3): Starters Tarik Glenn and Ryan Diem are solid; No. 3 Charlie Johnson is serviceable, but probably not a future starter. I wouldn't expect a pick unless a potential star falls is their lap.

C/G (5): If restricted free agent Jake Scott re-signs, they have five guys — Scott, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Dyland Gandy and Rick DeMulling — with starting experience at three spots. Why add to that?

DE (5): Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Josh Thomas are solid, Ryan LaCasee may turn out to be. But the Colts are looking for size here, and Bill Polian never met a pass-rusher he didn't like.

DT (4): Raheem Brock and Anthony McFarland are solid, Dan Klecko and Reid, less so. Look for at least one draft choice, almost certainly a first-day pick, here.

OLB (5): Fred Keiaho, Gilbert Gardner and Rob Morris are fighting for the two starting spots and none is that impressive. Look for at least one draft choice, almost certainly a first-day pick, here as well.

ILB (2): Gary Brackett won't be dislodged easily, but he has no notable backup, although Tyjuan Hagler has shown some promise.

CB (5): Despite three first day picks in two years, this could be a need. Starter Jason David will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and the other contenders — Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden and Tim Jennings — are unproven. Besides, Polian loves to draft corners.

S (5): The starters — Sanders and Bethea — are top-notch, though Sanders is injury-prone. Top backup Matt Giordano is useful and worth a roster spot, but not who you want starting. After him, there's nobody of note. At least one pick will be made here unless Jackson moves to the position.

Specialists (3): There's no urgency to replace Adam Vinatieri, Hunter Smith or Justin Snow.


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