Big Changes On The Roster


I’m back and hopefully for good now that I’m not as busy as I’ve have been.  There have been some big shakeups on the Colts roster.  Here are the players who have come and who have gone:

New Guys: Running backs Clifton Dawson (from free agency) and Chad Simpson (from the practice squad), offensive guard Ryan Lilja (from the PUP list), defensive tackle John McCargo (from the Bills), linebacker Tyjua Hagler (from the PUP list)

Gone But Not Forgotten: Running back Mike Hart (to the IR), defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey (to the waiver), a 2009 fourth round draft pick (to the Bills)

To go along with Hart, Ramsey, and the pick leaving, Joseph Addai is out for two to four weeks with a torn hamstring.  Ryan Lilja also won’t play immediately, and there will have to be two more cuts for Lilja and Hagler before the Packers game.  Here is a rundown on the players we’ve picked up:

Who Is Clifton Dawson?

Most of you remember Dawson.  He was on and off the roster during training camp, and he has been with the team since the 2007 training camp besides a short stint with the Bengals at the beginning of the 2007 regular season.  He is a graduate of Harvard majoring in economics, and he set the record for rushing yards in a career for Ivy League players.  He ran for 4,841 yards while gaining over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons.

Dawson was not drafted in the 2007 National Football League draft, but he was taken by the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League draft.  He ended up signing with the Colts following the two drafts.  He didn’t make it through the final cuts, but after he was cut by the Bengals, the Colts resigned him and kept him on the roster for the rest of the season.  Last year he carried the ball 30 times for 64 yards and one touchdown.

Until Addai gets back, Dawson will be the number two back behind Dominic Rhodes and will get some carries.  When Addai comes back, Dawson will take a special teams role I would assume.

Who is Chad Simpson?

Chad Simpson was an undrafted free agent from the 2008 NFL Draft who signed with the Colts following the draft.  He came out of the Division formerly known as 1-AA Morgan State and was the MEAC player of the year in 2007.  In the preseason, Simpson ran for 49 yards on 16 carries.  In the preseason game against Carolina, he had 27 of those yards on only 4 carries.  Here was my description after he signed with the Colts in the spring:

“Chad Simpson/RB/Morgan State-Simpson is the 4th leading runner in Morgan State history, but he only played 2 years there. His freshman and sophomore years were spent as a kick returner at South Florida. He ended up being a letterman in track at Morgan State as well. Chance of Making 53 man roster: 22.5%. He could be the returner the Colts are looking for.”

So as you can see, he was talented enough to play D-1A, and he was great at Morgan State.  His lettering in track shows his great speed.  I still think that he could be a great returner, and I hope Dungy gives him a shot in Lambeau come Sunday.

Who Is John McCargo?

While I was writing this, I got some disturbing news.  From Pro Football Talk, an unnamed source (probably the Redskins’ electrician or wherever Florio gets his info), John McCargo failed his physical.  I’ll believe it when someone who knows something about football and journalism posts it, but if it is true I AM PISSED.  We got ripped off.  Now the trade deadline has passed and a trade that has probably been in the making for a week now is gone and we can’t get another defensive tackle.  Of course, you have to remember this was the guy that said Dungy was retiring last season.

So on the assumption Mike Florio is a liar, here is a Bills fan rundown on McCargo:

“He was drafted in 2006 by Marv after we traded up into the 1st to get him.

He broke his foot in 2006 and didn’t play at all.

In 2007, he was rotated in between Tripplett and Williams and he was a fan favorite, as he was getting a lot of pressure in the backfield, getting a lot of tackles for loss.

Well, we got Marcus Stroud in the offseason, and we expected him to challenge Kyle Williams for the #2 DT spot. He came into camp overweight, and was reported to be not all that interested in football (translation: lazy). He of course didn’t even come close to winning the spot; he was actually the #4 DT on our team, behind Stroud, Williams, and FA pickup Spencer Johnson.

Overall, he is considered a bust in Bills-land, and I feel that what we got for him (a 4th rounder) is pretty nice. And before you bring up the “well Bill Polian must have seen something in him” argument, remember that Marv Levy, former fellow Buffalonian with Polian (Marv was coach and Polian was GM during the Bills consecutive SB years) drafted him, so they may have just seen the same things in him that weren’t really there.

So overall, I’d call him a bust that shows a bit of promise and might have a few good moments, but don’t expect him to contribute a whole lot. As a point of reference, some Bills fans even think Larry Tripplett is better than him (I disagree, but each to his/her own).”

He didn’t even get to 30 tackles last year, so he wasn’t the best defensive tackle in the land, but he was big (6-2, 307) and was the nose tackle we have needed.  This is a bummer if it is true.

Tyjuan Hagler is back in practice and will play against the Packers.  Whether he will start or not has not been released yet.