Good teams always build from within; it insures that a team knows exactly what they are going to get from a player. They know how he is going to do his job because they taught him how to do it.
While this is a good way to build a team, it is one that takes time. Some players may develop faster than others while some take time. The key is that the team actually have the time necessary to develop a player without forcing them into the limelight too early. If the Colts are unable to get some of their pro bowlers into camp they may be forced to play some young guys more than or before they would want to.
So far wide receiver Reggie Wayne, defensive end Robert Mathis, and safety Antoine Bethea have been a no-show at the team’s OTAs. Reggie Wayne has traditionally chosen to work out on his own in the off season so this is no surprise; he’s probably pretty busy dealing with his ex-girlfriend and the $93,000 she charged on his credit cards (wouldn’t mind just having a card with a limit like that myself). The team may need to be concerned about Mathas and Bethea though.
Mathis has been a large part of the success that the Colt defense has had in recent years. On any other team he would definitely be a #1 rusher; on the Colts he is the #2 thanks to the presence of Dwight Freeney on the other side. Combined the two are a dangerous duo; if you double one the other will get you. If the Colts do not do what is necessary to bring Mathis back they will have to hope that their first round draft pick is as good as expected.
Bethea will be a bit harder to replace. The Colts have gotten lucky picking up late round guys that can play pretty decent defense; they are hardly ever great (except the now-often injured Bob Sanders). When you have an offense like the Colts a great defense is not necessary.
However, when you roll the dice so much you will eventually get burned. Mike Newton currently sits behind Bethea on the depth chart. If you said ,”who?” you are not alone. He was an undrafted cornerback out of Buffalo that joined the Colts last season.
Vince Lombardi said it best,”Offense wins games; defense wins championships.” Hopefully the Colts will do what is needed to insure there is a defense fans can be proud of next season.