The Indianapolis Colts struck gold in the undrafted free agent market last offseason when they signed kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who ultimately beat out Chase McLaughlin during training camp and the preseason for the starting job.
Despite enjoying an impressive rookie season — he finished fifth in the NFL among qualified kickers with 139 points — the Colts decided to loosen the screws on his job security following the surprise signing of free agent Eddy Pineiro.
With OTAs officially underway and fans begging for answers about the kicking situation, head coach Frank Reich confirmed this week that there will be an “open competition” between Blankenship and Pineiro for the duration of the offseason.
That seems a little harsh on Blankenship give the success he enjoyed in Year 1 and it’d be understandable if he was a little down in the dumps in light of this decision.
However, the 24-year-old is acting as if is job isn’t on the line. In fact, if you can believe it, he recently struck an iconic Lion King pose with DeForest Buckner at OTAs, something we were extremely unprepared for.
Colts fans were definitely caught off guard by Rodrigo Blankenship’s “Lion King” moment with DeForest Buckner.
We’re not entirely sure whose idea this was (Indy’s latest Twitter activity suggests cornerback Kenny Moore was behind the camera for the team’s latest photoshoot), but whoever it was deserves a collective thank you from Colts Nation, because this is gold as far as content is concerned.
Not that chemistry was ever a question with this group of players, but the team morale in Indianapolis seems to be overwhelmingly positive, even with a number of positional battles already taking place at spring practices.
For any fans questioning the context behind the “10 minutes later” caption, the Colts’ official Twitter account actually told fans they’d make the photo their profile picture as long as they managed 1,000 retweets of it.
To nobody’s surprise, it only took 10 minutes for that goal to be realized, so the Colts probably should’ve set the bar a little higher.
We know hindsight is 20/20, but when you consider that Blankenship and his goggles are a fan favorite in Indy, maybe something in the 5-8,000 range would’ve made things more interesting.
There’s always next time, right?
With the NFL news cycle moving agonizingly slow at this stage of the offseason, this picture should appease Colts fans’ appetites for the next few days…which is actually when a Julio Jones trade is expected to go down, so make of that what you will.
In any event, Blankenship’s peculiar pose will sure have more fans in the his corner in terms of rooting for him to come out on top in the kicking competition.