Is Free Agency Done?— If fans have learned one thing about Ryan Grigson’s never-ending pursuit to improve the Colts roster, it’s certainly “never say never”.
Grigson is entrenched in dissecting college film right now but that doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping a watch on the active NFL waiver wire with the second week of free agency coming to a close.
“If one of my guys brings me a name that is of interest, I’ll look at him,” Grigson said on Friday morning.
“We had a plan in place and we feel really good about it. Of course, we are going to look towards the draft but again you never say never. We are always trying to get better. If somebody pops up here and they make sense from a roster standpoint and they fit the specs—age, and money, and big picture, then I’ll look at it.”
One position Grigson knows he has a void at is the safety spot, vacated by eight-year veteran Antoine Bethea.
Grigson said the Colts are still evaluating all options at the safety position but called returner Delano Howell “no slouch” and thought he did a “heck of a job” in his three starts for LaRon Landry in 2013.
Another area of focus on Friday’s call came with a look at the interior of the Colts offensive line.
The Colts signed four-year center Phil Costa late last week and he is expected to compete for the starting center position with second-year center Khaled Holmes, among others.
Grigson said Holmes was drafted to be the Colts “center of the future” and is anxious to see the 2013 fourth-round pick have a healthy offseason.
A former offensive lineman himself, Grigson has an interesting take on how he views the center position.
“You’d always like to be able to plug in a Pro Bowler there or someone that’s a five-year starter and have that luxury but I’ll say this to make this point…about center in general, I’ve fortunately been to three Super Bowls with two teams and on those three teams, all three of those centers were CFAs (college free agents),” Grigson said.
“That’s a position where you can find a proven quality guy and you don’t always need to have a high profile guy at that spot.”
With the college film now absorbing most of Grigson’s attention, it looks as if the Colts 2014 free agency class will be on hold for the immediate future.
Areas were addressed on both sides of the football and Grigson is very pleased with the haul the Colts are adding to their playoff roster.
“I felt like we really helped our team in some very key areas obviously getting Vontae (Davis) back, getting another playmaker at wide receiver (Hakeem Nicks), getting that guy to call the (defensive) huddle, that veteran in the middle of our defense in D’Qwell (Jackson). Then you throw in Art Jones, a guy that’s an every down defensive lineman, that has versatility at all the positions, that plays at a high level every snap,” the general manager said.
“We truly got everyone we went after."
How Are The Injured Guys Coming Along?—Last season, the Colts placed five different offensive starters on injured reserve by their Oct. 27 bye week.
We know the status of Dwayne Allen this offseason, but Grigson was also able to provide some clarity in regards to the other four offensive starters who missed massive chunks of the 2013 year.
-Grigson on Reggie Wayne: “Reggie is just one guy we don’t have to worry about. He’s kind of like that Jerry Rice type mindset. He just doesn’t stop working and he’s so determined. I really don’t worry about him and I know Chuck doesn’t. I feel like he’ll be ready to roll.”
-Grigson on Vick Ballard: “I saw Vick actually three days ago and he looks great. He looks fantastic. He’s right on track.”
-Grigson on Ahmad Bradshaw: “I felt really good after talking to all of our doctors about Ahmad. You saw Ahmad even last year was still banged up when he was playing and you saw how he was playing against San Fran. I was really happy about Ahmad’s progress with the surgery and things like that. He should be good.”
-Grigson on Donald Thomas: “He’s on the right track. His bicep is fine now. How often do you rupture two major tendons on one play, or within a few plays of each other? It was a terrible thing that happened to him last year. He was really playing well and he really would have helped our interior.
“Now he’s getting that quad strength. He’s squatting. I told him I really felt like this offseason his lower body strength and through his hips, he’s stronger than nine acres of garlic up top. The guy is so strong with his upper body. He just has to really get that lower body with the quad injury as strong as possible so he’s a complete player in our interior.”
Thoughts On Jim Irsay—While Friday’s call was dominated by free agency and injury news, Ryan Grigson opened up with some thoughts on Owner Jim Irsay.
“I want to start off by saying nothing but great things to say about Jim (Irsay). He’s been magnificent and has done so much for myself, Chuck (Pagano), the entire building. Everyone in the building loves the man. We all would run through a brick wall for him. We all just really wish him a full, and complete recovery, and we are all really pulling for him.”
Preparation for the draft will not change with Irsay away from the organization.
Grigson said the reason for that comes from how Irsay has put things in place inside of the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
“He’s never been a micro manager, never has been meddled or anything like that,” Grigson said of Irsay.
“He leaves football decisions up to myself, and the head coach. He’s really been great in that respect. Carlie (Irsay-Gordon) is going to be in his place while he’s recovering.”