May 22, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bjoern Werner (92) goes through drills during organized team activities at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts 2013 training camp unofficially officially starts today when rookies can report for duty, and the only player not yet under contract is first round pick Bjoern Werner, the new DE/OLB from Florida State.
After the Colts signed Erik Walden in free agency to a pretty rich contract, it’s important for Werner to get into camp as early as possible so he can win the starting job. Otherwise, it might be a few weeks into the season or even later than that before he steals snaps from Walden, who probably should be a backup.
This year’s rookie group for Indianapolis features some intriguing roster position battles.
Rookie guard Hugh Thornton may have the best chance to start right away, given the current status of Bjoern Werner’s contract and everything. Thornton is battling Mike McGlynn at the right guard position, and despite the fact that McGlynn started 16 games last season, he played on a line that wasn’t great in any regard last season. He is certainly not irreplaceable.
It might be difficult for rookie Khaled Holmes to take over the starting center spot from Samson Satele, even though Satele wasn’t very good last year. Holmes is in need of some development, and he regressed as a prospect over the last year or so. The Colts snatched him up in the fourth round, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to be a day one starter, but it could be tough.
Kerwynn Williams has as good a chance as anyone on the Colts roster to be the opening day return specialist, but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be used on just kick returns or on punt returns also. He was a big time kick returner at Utah State, and that’s likely why the Colts drafted him in the seventh round.
John Boyett has a good chance to see significant playing time this year. LaRon Landry isn’t exactly the most durable of players the league has ever seen, and Joe Lefeged could be facing discipline from the league. I think Boyett–if healthy–has as good a chance as any rookie besides Werner to see significant action this season.