Bradshaw ready to carry load in Indy

Authored by Stew Blake on Jun 19, 2013
Bradshaw ready to carry load in Indy

Summer may be full of fun, sun and all-around good times, but for football fans, it marks the beginning of a football drought that is never easy to cope with.
Yes, people do love football this much and I’m so happy they do!
The good news? The drought will be over in just a few weeks when training camp officially starts. The bad news? We still have to endure those few weeks.
As for the Colts, this little offseason break gives the staff and players time to collect themselves and prepare for the non-stop grind that is an NFL season.
The Colts also have a lot of new guys to implement into the program and the one that I’m probably the most excited about is Ahmad Bradshaw. You know, the two-time Super Bowl champion who played for the New York Giants? The back that can do just about anything out of the backfield while rushing for 1,000 yards? Yes, that gentleman.
When he was released by the Giants due to a lingering foot injury, I immediately thought, “He should be a Colt!” Yet, after some soul searching, I began to feel more and more comfortable with letting Vick Ballard, Donald Brown and Delone Carter (Yes, even you, Delone!) anchor the backfield in 2013.
In fact, in my last column, I wrote about how enticing and serviceable this collection of backs would be, along with the addition of speedy Kerwynn Williams in the draft. However, I also challenged the Colts inability to feature a primetime back since, well, Edgerrin James. Could Ballard be the one to step into that role? Would he be the premiere 1,000-yard rusher the Colts would lean on to take some attention off of Luck?
Unless Bradshaw gets injured, that is probably something we will not discover in 2013. Adding Bradshaw makes the backfield a little crowded and makes each carry that much more important.
Come September, Bradshaw should be the definitive starter, but it’s hard to imagine him handling a load of 200+ carries with Ballard right behind him. I’m fine with giving Bradshaw control of the rock, but I believe Ballard will be alternated with Bradshaw quite evenly, especially in short-yardage situations.
However, it’s obvious that when healthy, Bradshaw is one of the most complete and versatile backs in the game. He’s effective in just about every situation and he’s a guy that could snag close to 40 catches in Indy.
Bringing in Bradshaw also adds some more veteran leadership to the locker room.
The seventh-round pick in 2007 has not only kissed two Lombardi trophies, but he’s also worked with one of the better quarterbacks in the game since that time. It’s obvious that Bradshaw will be very good for Luck’s continual development. He’ll also be important to the development of the rest of the young backfield.
Ultimately, Bradshaw is a guy that enjoys being your workhorse and that’s what I hope for him to be for the Colts. Indy was 22nd in rushing last year. 22nd, folks. If the Colts are ready to take the next step and challenge for a title, the run game needs to become more consistent and formidable.
Signing Ahmad Bradshaw does exactly that.
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