The season is nearing for the Indianapolis Colts and things are beginning to shape up for the team. But the third preseason game is when the starters show their stuff. Most of the starting players will play the entire four quarters of the game. It will be telling just how well the Colts starters can get a challenge since their matchup this week is the Cleveland Browns.
Andrew Luck is heading up the quarterback position. So far this preseason, he has showed immense progress from last season. His biggest improvement has been his ability to take care of the ball. He has cut down on his interceptions and hasn’t fumbled yet this year. Everyone will be looking to see if he can keep up his lower turnover play in a near full game.
The offensive line has to get better. Luck took way too many hits last year. This season, the line should improve but this coming game should give the Colts a good look at how much improvement there really is. Gosder Cherilus from Detroit is a huge addition and will bolster a tackle spot in dire need of talent.
If Ahmad Bradshaw can play this week, he probably won’t do much. If Donald Brown gets some carries, expect him to be playing all out. He is trying very hard to make his mark and possibly even the roster. Kerwynn Williams also needs touches or he could be cut. Vick Ballard will most likely receive the bulk of the carries at halfback.
The receiver position is pretty much set at this point. Reggie Wayne will be in the first spot and T.Y. Hilton is going to split out on the opposite side of the field. However, the tight end position is shaky. Coby Fleener has not done anything to help himself. He had a perfect opportunity to challenge for the starting spot and honestly, the Colts wanted him to have it. Unfortunately for him, he has squandered all his chances away to this point. Dwayne Allen will start at tight end but whoever works in with him better play well because they’ll be in a tryout for the backup job.
On defense, the main focus is still on the defensive backfield. The cornerbacks and safeties played far better last week but still let up quite a few big pass plays. They will be exploited this week unless they show more improvement. Brown’s quarterback Brandon Weeden could tear them apart. He is on a hot streak right now. As for the rest of the defense, the linebackers are looking solid. The defensive line is also looking well.
The starters now have to make their mark. If there’s any doubt in any player the coaches will figure out this game just what they want to do with them. It’s time for an NFL-style dress rehearsal.