Big Blue’s matchup on Monday Night Football versus the 5-3 Indianapolis Colts serves as a homecoming for two Super Bowl winning former Giants, two-time winning running back Ahmad Bradshaw and 2011 postseason star receiver Hakeem Nicks. For the two players their football careers post-Giants have been going in different directions. One of them has become one of Andrew Luck’s favorite red zone targets, but it may not be the player you think. Bradshaw, who may soon supplement Trent Richardson as the Colts’ top running back on the roster, is also on pace to shatter the league’s single-season running back touchdown receptions record. Meanwhile Nicks, who took a one-year “prove it” deal with the Colts this past free agency, finds himself down the list of Luck’s preferred targets and is almost certain to lose snaps to impressive rookie Donte Moncrief. Nicks, who struggled with injuries and had his commitment come into question towards the end of his career with the Giants, insists his health shouldn’t be in question.
“Physically, this is the best I have felt since my early career in New York,” Nicks insists. “My last couple of years were rough for me, fighting through injuries and playing through them or whatnot. Right now I have been good. My body is feeling good. I have to keep working hard and making sure I am taking care of my body. Just have to keep on going. We have a lot of games left.”
Nicks, whose free agency plan clearly centered on getting into an offense with a prolific quarterback to get his production up again for the 2015 market, could not have asked for a better situation to do so. Andrew Luck, the 1st overall pick in 2012, has found another level in his third season – the Colts have him drop back more than any quarterback in the league on average, and he’s currently leading the league in passing yardage and touchdowns. However Nicks has not found his early Giants form with the Colts and has even downplayed hopes that the sentiment involved in this matchup could ignite a spark: “As far as myself looking forward to this game, I think everybody knows we are all looking forward to this as a game to win because it is the next game.”
Naturally, the media was interested in asking Nicks the parallels between two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning and the young quarterback that seems destined to win one sooner or later. On comparing Andrew Luck and Eli Manning, Nicks refused to dive too much into the comparison, calling them both “great quarterbacks”. The one difference he said he does see however was there personality types.
“[Their personality differences are] nothing that you can really put your hand on.” Nicks said of the main difference he sees between the two star quarterbacks. “You have to be around them to observe them. I am an observer, so after being around Eli for five years and seeing how he is and then being around Andrew for this year, they have different personalities. Eli is more laid back and quiet. Andrew is a little bit more outgoing. [He] interacts a little bit more. But as far as that, that is all I can say.”
Nicks hopes that Luck will interact with him a little bit more on the field this Monday night, but all signs point to this being nothing more than a quiet visit.