The Indianapolis Colts come into 2013 light years ahead of where they were heading into the 2012 season.
Last year they were coming off a two-win season where they were tied for last place. But at least that last place finish landed them in the enviable position to draft Andrew Luck, the best quarterback prospect to come into the league since, well, maybe since the last franchise quarterback the Colts drafted, Peyton Manning.
And Luck came in firing bullets last year. The precocious quarterback led the team from the bottom of the league to a playoff berth in just his first year in the league. So this year the expectations are high in Indy, but there are still plenty of questions they need to answer.
We know Luck has what it takes to be a great quarterback, but for him to reach his potential they will need to surround him with a running game that can take the pressure of him. So the biggest question for the Colts this year will be who can step up as the running back.
Last year rookie Vick Ballard emerged as the number one back. Ballard has promise, but he wasn’t considered the kind of talent you can build a running game around when the Colts took him in the fifth round out of Mississippi State.
If Ballard doesn’t cement his hold on the starting job the carries will trickle down to either former New York Giant Ahmad Bradshaw or former first round pick Donald Brown.
Bradshaw has a lot of wear and tear on his body and could again struggle to stay healthy, and Brown has been a disappointment since Indy took him with the 27th overall pick in 2009.
The future is bright for Luck and the Colts, but this year they will need someone to step up and take the reigns as a true number one running back if they want to repeat their success from last year and find themselves in the playoffs again.