Even in a miserable season when they have the “luxury” of being able to give a guy significant snaps in the hopes that he will “get it” and things will “click” for him, the Indianapolis Colts haven’t found much work for Jerry Hughes.
The team’s first-round pick in 2010 out of TCU, he was tabbed as an eventual heir to Robert Mathis or Dwight Freeney. Mathis is heading toward free agency after this year. If he’s not re-signed, it certainly won’t be because the Colts feel they’ve found his replacement in Hughes.
Hughes has been inactive for four games this season, including the past two, when Mario Addison, a recent waiver claim from Chicago has gotten some action. He was credited with five tackles against New England and tracked Ray Rice for one against Baltimore while also playing special teams.
It’s hard not to listen to coach Jim Caldwell’s review of Addison without taking out of them some messages about Hughes.
“(Addison’s) got an intense desire to play well,” Caldwell told Indianapolis reporters on Monday. “He hustles, he does what we ask of him and he’s learning. He’s new within the system, and it doesn’t mean that he does everything right, but the effort he gives is superb. He participates in special teams and does a lot of different things for us. (He is) a good, young guy with a lot of energy.”
“…He’s one of those guys that will make a play here and there, and you can just tell that with a little bit more time he’s going to be alright.”
I expect Bill Polian would continue to urge patience with such a big draft investment like Hughes. But when a pickup like Addison is playing in front of the second-year first-rounder, you have to wonder if that second-year first-rounder will be a member of the Colts in his third year.