INDIANAPOLIS – An open competition.
That was how the wide receiver reps for 2017 were described to Kamar Aiken, when he signed a one-year deal with the Colts.
Coming into the 2017 offseason, finding a wide receiver in free agency was not thought to be too high on the off-season priority list.
But Chris Ballard wanted to complement the speed already in place, while trying to get Donte Moncrief and Jacoby Brissett to reach their potential.
So here comes the 6-2, 215-pound Aiken into the mix.
"A bigger receiver, a great guy, great teammate, tough, will do the dirty work," Ballard says in describing the 27-year-old Aiken. "We think Kamar's got a lot of upside.
"We added competition, but it's not just competition for Phillip. It's competition for Moncrief, also."
When the Colts decided to go the wide receiver free agency addition route this offseason, they had a specific skillset in mind.
Finding an asset who has excelled in the red zone was wanted. That's something Aiken has accomplished.
"He's a big, physical guy that can play with the ball in his hands, without the ball in his hands," Chuck Pagano says. "He will be a force in the run game. He's not afraid to mix it up.
"We've had some bigger guys, but just not enough of them. He brings a big, physical presence to that room."
That sort of description is similar to how Aiken views his own game.
With Aiken now in Indianapolis, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has a new toy to play with. It allows Chud to incorporate different personnel groupings with various traits to match what the Colts want.
"I'm versatile," Aiken, who led the Ravens in receiving two years ago, says. "I can go inside/outside. I'm a power guy, with speed at the same time and I still have that physical aspect of the game and that mindset to be not your typical receiver, but to dominate on blocks and do certain stuff like that. To do the dirty job."
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