INDIANAPOLIS -- When it comes to suspense surrounding the Indianapolis Colts offense, there really isn’t anything major outside of when quarterback Andrew Luck will start throwing the football following his right shoulder surgery back in January.
You could say there’s a little uncertainty when it comes to right guard and right tackle. The battle for the third receiver spot between Phillip Dorsett and Kamar Aiken could end up being one of the most competitive competitions – a theme hit home by general manager Chris Ballard – on offense for Indianapolis. T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are in line to be the team’s top two receivers.
Dorsett is the Colts’ 2015 first-round draft pick and Aiken is the former Baltimore Ravens receiver who signed with Indianapolis in free agency. Aiken had 29 receptions for 328 yards and a touchdown last season with the Ravens.
“We already had a lot of talent in the receiving room and then we added Kamar,” Dorsett said. "It just adds competition to the room. I feel like if you’re not a competitor, you’re not cut out for football. It’s competition everywhere, every day.”
There's more pressure on Dorsett than Aiken.
The good news for Dorsett was that he was a first-round pick. The bad news for Dorsett is that he’s a first-round pick who hasn’t played to his potential so far. The last thing he wants do is flame out like Colts 2013 first-round draft pick Bjoern Werner did. Werner was released following the 2015 season.
It's time for Dorsett to produce because Ballard has proven in just a few months on the job that he wants production or he’ll look elsewhere to get it. So flashes, something Dorsett has provided in his two seasons, will no longer cut it.
Dorsett has 51 receptions for 753 yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons. His speed is what makes him intriguing to watch. His 16 yards a catch last season was good enough for eighth in the NFL. The Colts want Dorsett to do more than just run deep routes. He had a chance to step up and show his value last season when Moncrief missed six games with a shoulder injury. But Dorsett had only 13 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns in those six games.
“I would say every year is a big year for me,” he said. “That’s how I look at it. I’m not really trying to worry about where I got drafted. Put your head down, grind and compete. I love competition.”
Dorsett has spent a significant portion of the offseason working out at the team’s facility. New receivers coach Sanjay Lal has put an emphasis on detailed route running with Dorsett so that he can become a more complete player instead of being one-dimensional.
“Expect a new and improved guy,” Dorsett said. “I took my body to another level this offseason. I’m just going out there to being a better player, trying to go out there every day and figure out any way I can get better in all aspects of the game.”