Colts rookie RB Carter could play key role

Posted July 14, 2011 @ 9:40 a.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

The winds of change have been blowing through the Colts' backfield this offseason — and more change is on the way.

In January, the club fired longtime running backs coach Gene Huey. His replacement, former University of Maryland running backs coach David Walker, is responsible for jump-starting a lifeless ground game that has finished in the bottom four in the league each of the past three seasons.

Indianapolis spent a fourth-round draft pick on RB Delone Carter, a between-the-tackles back who is expected to become the Colts' short-yardage rusher.

With RB Donald Brown currently the only Colts back under contract, an even bigger role could be in store for the 24-year-old Carter.

"I just want to take my role and expand it by any means possible," Carter told PFW in a recent phone interview.

Carter has spent his locked-out offseason going back and forth between his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and Indianapolis. He recently participated in an unofficial two-week minicamp with Brown and free-agent RB Mike Hart, among others.

Although Carter has not yet received a Colts playbook, he did get DVDs of the offense and has spent a lot of time reviewing his University of Syracuse playbook to stay "football savvy."

"Coach Doug Marrone put it on us there with the playbook and a lot transfers over. And even though this lockout has put all of the rookies behind, I feel like I'm ahead of the game because of what I already know from our playbook at Syracuse."

Although Carter was not asked to do a lot as a receiver out of the backfield in college, he knows that his blocking and receiving skills are paramount in the Colts' pass-heavy offense.

"I like being physical so I have no problem stepping in and meeting a linebacker in the 'A' gap or going off the edge and chipping a big end. I also feel very confident in my hands."

One major absence at the Colts' camp was QB Peyton Manning, who is recovering from his second neck surgery in the past 15 months.

"He [Manning] wasn't out there but we have communicated on the phone a lot. He has done a great job sending me workouts and keeping me in the loop."