5 Questions Indianapolis Colts Must Answer During Training Camp
Five Questions Indianapolis Colts Must Answer During Training Camp
The Indianapolis Colts open training camp trying to build on the surprise success they had last year.
Just one season after going 2-14 and picking No. 1 overall in the draft, the Colts made a charge in 2013 and made the playoffs. The reason? Well, of course, that would be because of who that No. 1 overall pick turned out to be.
Andrew Luck had one of the best rookie season we’ve seen in a long time, joining fellow rookies Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson in a quarterback class that is on it’s way to becoming one of the best the NFL has ever seen.
Led by Luck, the Colts are ready to begin another run of dominance over the AFC South, the division they ran roughshod over after they chose another franchise quarterback first overall, Peyton Manning.
There are plenty of questions though. The offense lacks playmakers. Reggie Wayne had a surprisingly dominant season last year, can he keep it up at his age? And if not him, what other receivers will? Not to mention the running game.
But don’t forget about the defense. A group that finished 26th overall in yards allowed has plenty of questions too.
Andrew Luck is the key for the Colts this year and for the future, but they’ll need to round out the rest of the team if their going to go even farther this year than they did last year.
But to do that, they're going to need to find answers to these five big questions heading into training camp.
5. Are The Expectations Too High?
After defying the odds and making the playoffs last year, the Colts aren’t going to sneak up on anyone anymore. Andrew Luck has them heading toward great things, but are the expectations too much for a team just one year removed from the worst record in all of pro football?
4. Will Andrew Luck Become An Elite Quarterback?
Andrew Luck had a great rookie season, but from now on, he’s going to be compared to the elite signal callers in the league, not just other rookies.
If the Colts are going to get back to the playoffs, it's going to be on his back, and that means he's going to have to be on the same level as guys with names like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.
3. Where Will The Pass Rush Come From?
You have to rush the passer to play good defense in the NFL. You just can’t expect to keep passing offenses from putting up points if you let their quarterback sit back and throw with impunity.
Gone is former sack master Dwight Freeney, so who will provide the pass rush?
Robert Mathis has been a dominant pass rusher in the past, but he’s entering his 11th season in the league. He struggled at times last year after switching from a defensive end in a 4-3 to an outside linebacker in the team’s new 3-4 scheme, but still managed to put up eight sacks.
If Mathis can have another great year, the team will have a better showing on defense, but if father time takes it’s inevitable toll on him this year, then someone else will have to step up and be the pass rusher for the Colts.
2. How Much Does Reggie Wayne Have Left?
Reggie Wayne came into the 2012 season with little expectations. Heading into his 12th season, he was coming off his worst year since 2003. But the addition of Andrew Luck made him a factor at receiver once again.
Now, heading into his 13th year, the veteran receiver will need to again be a force in the passing game if the Colts want to find themselves at the top of the division for the second consecutive year.
1. Who's Going To Be The Running Back?
In the end, it all comes down to the offense this year for the Colts. We know they have the quarterback and the passing game to get to where they want to be this year, but to win in the playoffs you need a running game.
Last year, they relied mostly on rookie Vick Ballard, but he wasn’t a true No. 1 back. To compete with Ballard for carries, they signed veteran Ahmad Bradshaw in free agency to go along with former first-round pick Donald Brown.
They have a few options at running back this season, but the Colts are going to need one of them to step up this summer in training camp if they’re going to repeat their success from last year.