Kudos to Joe Baker of SB Nation's terrific Indianapolis Colts blog "Stampede Blue" for responding to some questions on Austin Collie's rookie season. It should provide a bit of the Colts' fan-base's perspective on the former Cougar.
1 - What are Colts' fans overall impressions of Austin Collie now as compared to last April when he was drafted?
Collie was impressive, we knew he was suppose to be a polished, low ceiling-high floor type guy, but no one expected him to play as big of a role as he did. His expectations going into the year were a competent slot guy. This coming year everyone was so impressed they are expecting Brandon Stokley 2.0.
2 - How does Collie fit into next season's plans with Anthony Gonzalez presumably returning from injury?
Another WR back into the mix can't help Collies playing time, but against the idea most people have, the Colts like Gonzalez on the outside more than in the slot. That means Gonzalez will be taking Pierre Garçon's role not Collies. I expect the situation to be the same it was going into last year. Gonzalez and Wayne on the outside, with a camp/preseason battle between Collie and Garçon for the slot WR spot (Collie won last year after Pierre struggled to catch anything in preseason).
3 - What would you project for Collie in terms of his career? What should his long-term goals/potential be as a receiver?
He's brought back memories of Brandon Stokley in the Colts fan base. I think the ceiling people see for him is as a healthier Brandon Stokley (health was always his biggest flaw), which isn't anything to wave away. In Stokley's only 16 game season in Indy he caught 68 passes for 1077 yards and 10 TDs. I think that's the attainable dream Colts fans have for him.
4 - With Collie's recent success and players like Rob Morris having success in Indianapolis in the past, what are your opinions of BYU's football program, if any?
Indy's two experiences drafting players from the program have been fantastic. Morris doesn't live up to most of the Colts history of 1st rounders, but he was such a hardworking, unselfish, team player, who was absolutely vital in winning the Super Bowl in 2006, that no one can be disappointed with him. Collie seems to be in that mold.
5 - In your opinion, what are the odds of the Colts resigning Aaron Francisco and how would you rate his performance (despite missing much of the season)?
Francisco was a solid addition. He lived up to his reputation as a excellent special teamer, and worked his way into the defense as a dimeback and backup safety, where his didn't stick out (a complement for a backup DB in a good secondary).