Colts HC Frank Reich is making the right call by slow-playing rookie WR Dezmon Patmon’s development.
At this point in the season, it’s glaringly evident that the Indianapolis Colts could use some help at wide receiver. TY Hilton had one of his best games of the season in Week 10 and didn’t even eclipse the 40-yard threshold, which perfectly encapsulates how everything’s going on that front.
Second-year breakout candidate Parris Campbell, meanwhile, has been on injured reserve with a knee injury for two months, and his return, at least according to the coaching staff, appears to be anything but imminent.
The emergence of 2020 second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr. against Tennessee was incredibly timely, but even he might not be enough to solve the Colts’ receiving woes for the remainder of the campaign. However, don’t expect this desperation to coerce Frank Reich into amending his coaching methods of another promising rookie.
2020 sixth-rounder Dezmon Patmon not having made his NFL debut proves Indianapolis views him as a developmental prospect and Reich not thrusting him into a significant role before he’s ready is undoubtedly the right call.
“He looks good, continues to work really hard in practice,” Reich told reporters when asked about Patmon’s progress. “We feel very good about Dez and his development, and what he’s doing right now.
“We’re really excited that we have a really strong corps of young receivers. We see them fitting into certain roles, and so, as there have been opportunities earlier in the year for certain guys to step into certain roles we needed, we made the moves that we thought were best at the time.”
We hear the argument from fans who claim Indianapolis doesn’t rate Patmon because he’s been a healthy scratch in every game so far despite the receiving corps being decimated by injuries. However, we would counter by saying that he wouldn’t have been kept on the 53-man roster for this long if the Colts didn’t think he was worth developing.
At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Patmon received rave reviews during training camp for his ability to make catches in traffic and down the sideline. It would be coaching malpractice to risk losing that sort of raw talent and athleticism to waivers.
Spending four years in a Washington State offense that really simplifies things for wide receivers, the 22-year-old was always going to have a harder time adjusting to the speed and complexity of the NFL compared to other rookies.
Reich and the rest of the coaching staff is clearly aware of this and slow-playing his development will undoubtedly benefit him in the long run.