1. Daniel Federkeil: He is hopeful to enter his fourth season with the Colts. Since 2006, he has appeared in 22 games with three starts, all coming in the injury-ravaged season of 2008.
He has managed to make the roster every year since he joined the team due to his ability to play both guard and tackle and the fact that Indianapolis always seemed to be thin enough on the offensive line that they could not afford to cut him loose.
However, now that Charlie Johnson has starting experience at both guard positions and both tackle positions, second year players Mike Pollak, Steve Justice, and Jamie Richard have some versatility — Pollak and Richard can play either guard position and Justice can substitute at guard and center — time and good fortune may be running out for Federkeil.
Add in the fact that rookie Jaimie Thomas can play both guard and tackle and Ryan Lilja appears to be returning healthy, and it all points to a possible pink slip for Federkeil when the final cutdowns are announced in September.
If Hall doesn't step up, it could be time for the Colts to part ways with him
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2. Roy Hall: Hall has always been long on potential and short on results. When the Colts had three established players in the starting lineup, they had the luxury of keeping some guys on the roster that had the ability to develop in quality players, but just weren't ready yet. Ironically, now that they are uncharacteristically thin at the position — at least at the top of the depth chart — the time has officially arrived for Hall to put up or shut up.
He is not helped by the fact that, during mini-camps and OTAs, all the buzz surrounding the receivers was directed at rookie Austin Collie and second-year players Pierre Garcon and Taj Smith. He needs to create some buzz in training camp and produce some results in the preseason, or the hospitality that he has enjoyed thus far in Indianapolis will run out.
It's evident that Hall has the potential, athleticism, and size to succeed in the NFL. He just needs to stay healthy and show it.
3. T.J. Rushing: While it's true that he can't be blamed for the fact that he was hurt and spent last season on injured reserve, it's no secret that he has underachieved thus far, both as a cornerback and a return man. With return men Lance Ball and the aforementioned Garcon currently on the roster, Rushing may find himself on the outside looking in.
In addition, the Colts didn't draft Jerraud Powers in the third round to cut him, so he'll have every chance to make the team, with the expectation that he'll be able to contribute on the coverage units in the kicking game and on defense if need be.
The good news for Rushing is that he has two chances to establish himself, assuming that he's healthy. He can turn heads as a returner, where the competition is anything but fierce, or he can show the Indianapolis staff what he can do in kickoff and punt coverage, as well as on defense, where a number of players are also returning from injury.
It may happen that the Colts find themselves short on bodies at the position and need to retain him, but, if he's smart, he won't count on that and only try to control what he can control.
Simpson needs to separate himself from Hart and Ball in the preseason
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4. Chad Simpson: Simpson has the ability to return kicks as well and made enough of an impression on the coaches last year to remain on the roster. But, with Indianapolis selecting Donald Brown in the first round and Mike Hart returning from injury, as well as Ball being in the mix, there are a limited number of spots up for grabs.
He is an explosive young player with a lot of skills and is a better fit in the system than Hart or Ball, but he needs to prove that out in camp and the preseason for Indianapolis to consider retaining his services. Hart proved himself last offseason before he got hurt and Ball did enough to stay on the team as well, so there is no guarantee that the Colts will keep him on just because he looks good in shorts. He needs to prove himself on the field and he can't do that until the pads go on.
5. Sam Giguere: Although he is not under the same microscope as Hall, there are definitely eyes on Giguere as the team enters camp. Indianapolis should keep six receivers and it remains to be seen whether or not Giguere will be one of those men.
He surprised a lot of people by making the team last season, even after an underwhelming training camp and preseason. Now that the team is flush with a number of similar options and lean on a number of no-brainers, he will not enjoy a similar fate this year if he has another average camp and preseason.
Giguere was another receiver that was noticeably not showered with praise during mini-camps and OTAs. Now that camp is opening, he needs to create some buzz or hope for a practice squad invitation.
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