Found August 16, 2013 on
Robert Griffin III
Florida State Seminoles
The 2013 NFL regular season is right around the corner. With that being said, it's time to launch our team previews. FOXSports.com contributor Taylor Jones will answer important questions for every franchise.
2012 Record: 11-5. Eliminated in wild-card round by Baltimore
What must the team accomplish to consider the season a success?
This is an interesting question, because I'm not sure the Colts can match their 11 wins from 2012, but I'm not going to discount them making another playoff run. 2012 was supposed to be a rebuilding season. By all accounts, it would be a mirror image of the 1998 season in which Peyton Manning was a rookie and the Colts posted a 3-13 season, but they completely outplayed expectations. Advantage Andrew Luck.
The Colts were fairly active in free agency, but failed to bring in a surefire upgrade over last year's roster. Many would argue that they were too active and overpaid for players that are nothing more than just your average role players. See: Erik Walden and Gosder Cherilus. All the while, the Texans got healthy and the Titans added integral pieces to help the running game get back to form. If the Colts can post even 10 wins -- regardless of making the playoffs -- that should be viewed as a successful follow-up to the completely surprising run of 2012.
What is the team's biggest asset?
Luck obliterated Cam Newton's single-season rookie record for passing yards and was able to do it while leading his team to 11 wins, just two fewer wins than Newton has posted in his first two seasons combined. But that doesn't mean Luck has no room for improvement. In fact, Luck's 23 turnovers (18 interceptions and five lost fumbles) were the second-most in the NFL. Only Mark Sanchez had more and anytime you are in the same conversation with Sanchez can't be a positive thing.
Additionally, Luck only completed 54 perecent of his passes and was sacked 41 times. His favorite target, Reggie Wayne, after having the luxury of playing in the same offense for the first decade of his career, will now have the mentally taxing challenge of learning another new offense, his second in just two years at the ripe age of 35.
Luck may have been outstarred by fellow rookie Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, but Luck is still the best quarterback of the bunch and has the best upside moving forward. However, Luck will have to improve on a record-setting rookie season if the Colts want to match the success of last season.
Which rookie stands the best chance to succeed?
Replacing the Colts' defensive emotional and statistical leader of the past 11 seasons will be no small order, but the Colts drafted Bjoern Werner with the 24th overall pick to do just that. Werner is far from the same explosive player that Freeney was, but he is very capable in his own right. With his blue-collar approach, he is more comparable to Jared Allen in that his productivity is far greater than his athletic ability. Werner has a nonstop motor and plays with a high level of intensity for the entire four quarters. He's actually much better in the run game than Freeney ever was at the point of attack.
Werner grew up in Germany and is still learning the game after only playing two years of football before going to Florida State. This year, he will be learning an entirely new position as the Colts will ask him to stand up in the 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker. I liked him more as a down lineman, but I felt the same about Ryan Kerrigan who made the transition look easy for the Washington Redskins. Werner has those same rigid movements that Kerrigan shows in space, but as long as he isn't asked to drop back too often, it may not be that big of a deal.
What is the team's biggest addition/loss from the previous season?
The Colts got a preview of what it will be like without Bruce Arians in the wild-card loss to the Baltimore Ravens last season. Arians was hospitalized with an illness prior to the game and the offense was never able to find its rhythm in his absence. Luck is familiar with new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton from his time at Stanford, but it was the chemistry between he and Arians that will be hard to replicate. This is just another reason why this team may take a step back before it starts moving forward again.
Where do you predict the team will finish in the division?
When Manning left the Colts, it was supposed to be the Houston Texans' time to dominate the AFC South. While they did win the division, it was only by one game as the Colts were knocking on the doorstep up until the final week. I'm not sure the Colts will be able to keep pace in the same fashion this season as the Texans are still the team to beat and the Titans have gotten markedly better.
The 2012 Colts rallied around Chuck Pagano last season as he battled cancer and that was clearly a rallying cry for the entire city, but this year, the Colts are going to have to create their own momentum and Pagano has tried to shift the focus from him onto the Lombardi Trophy. That may be a little ambitious, but the Colts are heading in the right direction.
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Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck is a star (don’t worry this is still about Hilton) – I just wanted to gush over the rookie phenom a little bit. Andrew Luck doesn’t get enough credit; he took the worst team in the league (2-14 in 2012) to 11-5 and into the playoffs, and 12-year pro Reggie Wayne already calls Luck the team’s leader – quite the praise from the veteran. Luck...
QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Darrius Heyward-bey, OT Gosder Cherilus, G Donald Thomas, DE/DT Ricky Jean-Francois, NT Aubrayo Franklin, DE/OLB Erik Walden, ILB Kelvin Sheppard, CB Greg Toler, S LaRon Landry, DE/OLB Bjoern Werner (draft), G Hugh Thornton (draft), C Khaled Holmes (draft)
QB Drew Stanton, WR Donnie Avery, WR Austin Collie, OT Winston...
Colts tight end Dwayne Allen got rid of the walking boot on his injured right foot Friday - the final day of practice at Anderson University.
Allen hasn't practiced since complaining of foot pain last Wednesday. Coach Chuck Pagano has said Allen is expected to miss a couple of weeks, but the Colts remain hopeful he will be healthy enough to return for the Sept. 8 season opener...
The Indianapolis Colts' training camp is over now and I'm here to recap everything that has happened over the last 3 weeks.Let's start with the great progressing of Andrew Luck. I was impressed with him last year. I'm extremely impressed with him this year. He looks more comfortable and his decision-making got a lot better. Last year, the one thing I consistently...
The Indianapolis Colts came to training camp to see how much they had improved over last season.
They left Friday still looking for answers.
''I think once we get everybody healthy and we get everybody back, we've got a chance to be really good (defensively), especially in the back end,'' Pagano said. ''Once LaRon (Landry) gets back, the corner position...
The running game is a big question mark for the Indianapolis Colts this season. Everyone is excited about Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and the passing game, but the ground attack elicits questions.
Donald Brown can’t stay healthy, and hasn’t lived up to first round draft pick status. Vick Ballard has been a steal of a fifth round pick.
Indianapolis Colts RB
Ballard led the team...
Indianapolis Colts tight end, Coby Fleener is back at practice and is expected to play this Sunday against the New York Giants, according to Kevin Bowen. Fleener suffered a concussion after the Colt’s preseason opener against the Bills in which he caught two balls for 37 yards.
Chuck Pagano said he expects Coby Fleener to play on Sunday. Fleener will practice this afternoon...
My 2013 fantasy football breakout star coming out of the AFC South is Indianapolis Colts' wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton. Other nominees considered were Texans' rookie wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, and the Titans' Kendall Wright.
Some fantasy football owners could be critical of the pick because you could make the argument that Hilton broke out last season. The speedy...
Ahmad Bradshaw won’t be playing Sunday at MetLife Stadium but just standing on the opposite sideline from the Giants is going to be a jolt.
Bradshaw made that clear yesterday in a conference call with New York-area reporters describing his visit with his new team the Colts for a preseason matchup with his old team this weekend as “strange” and “different.”
Colts tight end Coby Fleener (head) is expected to play Sunday against the Giants.Fantasy Spin:Fleener suffered an extremely mild concussion earlier this week but returned to practice Wednesday.
Editor at Colts Authority and Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
His team picked eleventh
RB Trent Richardson
WR Dez Bryant
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Victor Cruz
RB Ryan Mathews
WR Steve Smith
QB Andrew Luck
WR DeAndre Hopkins
TE Jermichael Finley
QB Ben Roethlisberger
K Garrett Hartley
With a very...
Regression! Regression! I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain. I hated the 2012 Colts. Not because of Andrew Luck (sorely overrated, but we’ll get to that), Chuck Pagano (great story, but a liability in Week 17 and in the playoffs) or their horribly ill-conceived 3-4 defense considering their roster full of Cover-2 players.
No, what bothered me about the Colts...
The Indianapolis Colts went from from a base 4-3 to a 3-4 on their way to improving by nine wins. Going from 2-14 to 11-5 was nothing short of incredible, even with pieces that didn’t quite fit. They called their D a “hybrid” of the 3-4 and 4-3 because they weren’t quite all there yet. And now only players who fit a 3-4 will stay in Indy.
Even Dwight Freeney, as successful...
The Indianapolis Colts play the New York Giants tonight on Sunday Night Football and there are lot of storylines going into the game.The Colts' offense is going to have to put up quite a few points. Andrew Luck is going to have to get the Colts started, but Chandler Harnish is going to have to "bring the cows home". So let's start with Andrew Luck.Andrew Luck is...