When Colts’ wide receiver, Da’Rick Rogers, caught a 7 yard touchdown pass from back-up QB Chandler Harnish and punted the football in defiance late Thursday night, many fans were suddenly calling for his head. He was being bashed on social media outlets as a knucklehead and not a team player, a guy that had “character” issues and should be released as opposed to being kept around as the team’s 6th wideout. To me, the ill-advised touchdown celebration was more about maturity than character. Whatever past transgressions Rogers had previously to the Colts, he hasn’t shown it in Indianapolis. By all indications, he’s been a hard worker despite his one lapse in better judgment against the Bengals.
The Colts felt the same way and decided that Rogers was too talented of a receiver to let go. Keep in mind Da’Rick Rogers is only 23, keep in mind, he only had 3 years of college football experience. Yes, he’s raw, unpolished, and even a bit immature, but the talent is clearly there, especially when you’re looking at your 5th or 6th receiver on the depth chart. That type of talent is too hard to pass up, yet alone release, and on Saturday afternoon, the Colts stuck to their guns and kept that talent on their roster.
It was a similar theme at cornerback, where the team opted to keep the talented, undrafted rookie free agent, Loucheiz Purifoy, who had his own “character concerns” coming out of Florida. While traded cornerback Marcus Burley was perhaps more productive in preseason, the team opted to go with the talent and potential that is Purifoy as its 5th cornerback. The Colts likely valued his special teams return versatility, but they also must’ve seen the raw ability and immense potential to eventually be a pretty good cornerback in the NFL.
Time will tell whether the Colts overlooking of “character” for “talent” truly pays off in these instances, but the moves signify that the team valued talent over anything else, and they left Saturday at 4 PM with the most talent possible at wide receiver and cornerback.