Found July 25, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
Will Andrew Luck and the Colts be all smiles in 2013? 1. Will the reconstructed offensive line be able to protect Andrew Luck? Will free-agent Gosder Cherilus be worth the money Indy paid him this offseason? This is arguably the biggest question for the offense in 2013. The restructured offensive line is likely to feature only 1 player who started all 16 games last – that being starting LT Anthony Castonzo. The remaining spots will be in flux. Free-agent signee Gosder Cherilus will man the RT spot, replacing last year’s man Winston Justice. Donald Thomas, brought in from New England, should feature in one of the starting guard spots – most likely LG. The RG position could be taken by either Mike McGlynn or 2013 4th round draft pick Hugh Thornton. And last year’s starting center, Samson Satele, may not be safe either if rookie Khaled Holmes can make some noise in training camp and pre-season. Keeping Luck’s jersey clean will be a major factor in how much – if any -  the 2013 Colts can improve from the 2012 version. Last year, the Colts o-line gave up 41 sacks and 55 QB hits – something that must NEVER be allowed to happen again if Indy wants Luck around for an extended period of time. 2. Who will the main running backs be? With the recent news that free-agent signee Ahmad Bradshaw has been placed on the PUP list, the running back position becomes even more  crucial. We saw some definite flashes last year from Vick Ballard, finishing 2012 with 814 yards on 211 carries (3.9 average), but he was only able to puncture the end zone twice. By comparison, Luck scored 5 times one the ground. Former first round pick Donald Brown has been a disappointment, and Delone Carter can’t seem to earn favor from the coaches after having fumbling issues the past two seasons. Finally, 7th round draftee Kerwynn Williams will see some playing time, but mainly on special teams. Can Vick Ballard show enough to take the No. 1 RB spot? My initial expectation, especially now that Bradshaw is out for a while, is that Ballard and Brown will continue to split first team reps during training camp and pre-season. If Bradshaw can get healthy in time for the last pre-season game or the first week of regular season play, the Colts will cut ties with Brown for good. 3. How will Andrew Luck play in Pep Hamilton’s offense? When the Colts hired Pep as their new OC following Bruce Arians’ departure, the initial reports were that his offense would be a version of the West Coast offense, featuring shorter, more accurate throws and a bigger emphasis on the power run game. That scared away some fans, since Andrew Luck led the league last year in passing attempts of 20+ yards. Even though the Colts are running the West Coast as their foundation as Stampede Blue says here, I wouldn’t expect the Colts to reel Luck in too much after all the success he had last year. Remember, a lot of those incompletions last year can be attributed to a combination of a rookie learning curve, poor pass protection, and dropped passes (*cough*Donnie Avery*cough*). With one full year in the NFL done and (hopefully) better protection, we may still see Indy lighting it up deep down the field. 4. Were the upgrades on defense enough? Rookie OLB Bjoern Werner takes over for Dwight Freeney. LaRon Landry replaces starting safety Tom Zbikowski. Greg Toler will likely replace Jerraud Powers at corner. NT Aubrayo Franklin and DT Ricky Jean Francois should get plenty of time on the defensive line with Antonio Johnson now in Tennessee. That’s a lot of turnover for a unit that ranked at or near the bottom in almost every defensive category last year. I think it’s safe to say that these are all upgrades on the previous players. But, how much of an upgrade? Landry should excel in the defensive backfield as he will be in a system similar to what the Jets ran last year. Toler needs to stay healthy, but would be a definite boost over Cassius Vaughan or Darius Butler. The jury is obviously still out on Werner, but by all reports so far, the coaching staff loves what this guy brings. Franklin and Jean Francois are players at opposite ends of the career spectrum: Franklin is likely nearly done, and Jean Francois is getting his first legitimate chance at regular playing time. The unit will be improved, but don’t expect a stifling, dangerous defense. A lot of these guys wouldn’t be starting on other teams (especially the defensive line), so the Colts still have plenty of work to do. The one X-factor in all of this is last year’s fifth round pick Josh Chapman. He was never able to get on the field last year due to an Achilles’ injury suffered in college (which why the Alabama product lasted until round 5), so we’re not sure what exactly the Colts have in him. 5. How will the Colts respond to a tougher schedule? Peyton Manning guns for his old team October 20th at Lucas Oil Stadium. First things first: The Strength of Schedule is a poor tool to analyze how difficult a path to the playoffs will be for a team. That’s because so many things change from year to year that basing a team’s playoff chances solely based on how their opponents finished last year is an exercise in idiocy. That being said, though, it’s one of the only things we have to base our opinions on. Last year, the Colts’ opponents had an overall W/L record of 93-115 (.445). That included games against just 4 playoff participants (MIN, GB, NE, and HOU). Those games contained all but one other game against an opponent with a record of .500 or better (the other being Chicago). The Colts split those games evenly, going 3-3. The remaining 10 games were all against teams with a record of .500 or worse, going 8-2. This tells us two things. First, the Colts were able to beat the teams they should have beaten. Second, some of their success from  2012 could be attributed to playing weaker teams. 2013 will be a different story for the Colts, though. Yes, their SOS this season sits at 30th (.461), but that comes with 7 games against teams that were in the playoffs a year ago: San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Houston (twice), and Cincinnati. That also comes with teams who added a lot of firepower or should be greatly improved in 2013: Miami, Tennessee (again, twice), and San Diego. That’s a full 10 games out of 16 that could be a great challenge, and may attribute to a slight decline in win-loss ratio for Indy. Follow me on Twitter @IrishColt1
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

A Luck-y encore for the Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck’s game winning throw against the Detroit Lions (Photo credit: Julian H. Gonzalez/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com) With the outstanding, if not a little stunning, quarterback class of 2012, inevitably comes the burning question: will these players experience the “sophomore slump” in their second year? And for the Indianapolis Colts, a little Luck won’t hurt. Andrew Luck, the...

Colts Release Weslye Saunders; Sign Daniel Adongo

The Indianapolis Colts have released recently suspended tight end Weslye Saunders and have signed rugby star Daniel Adongo.It didn't take long for the Colts to take action on Weslye Saunders. Saunders had been suspended for 8 games because of his violation of the substance abuse policy. He was currently the third string tight end and had played the previous season with the Colts...

Russell Wilson And Andrew Luck Won't Keep Up With RG3 In 2013

I may be going out on a limb here, but Robert Griffin III will be the one sophomore quarterback who does not hit the proverbial wall. I see big things for him IF he has learned from his mistakes.I don't hold out much hope for the rest of 2012's rookie class. While we will focus on the top three QBs in this group, it is sufficient to say that none of the others, including...

Colts Agree to Terms with 1st Round Pick Bjoern Werner

The Indianapolis Colts have finally signed first round pick, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner. With only days left until the training camp, the Colts were finally able to lock up their first round pick. This took longer than expected, but the Colts aren't the only team in this situation. Many teams are still faced with having to sign their top draft pick.The deal is a four-year...

Training Camp Positional Battles: Outside Linebacker

The Indianapolis Colts' training camp starts tomorrow and there are going to be plenty of battles to watch. Today's entry is about the outside linebackers.The Indianapolis Colts used a draft pick on an outside linebacker in this year's draft and they signed a veteran as well. Add that to the fact that Robert Mathis is the starter on one side and you have yourself a good...

Training Camp Positional Battles: Offensive Guard

 With training camp only a few days away, I breakdown the battles we'll expect to see at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. Today's entry is about the offensive guards.   There are 2 open offensive guard spots open this training camp. Donald Thomas seems to be getting one as he's probably the most talented, and with his deal, I'd be surprised if he doesn...

Irsay hoping balance leads to more Super Bowl wins

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated.) By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer Jim Irsay watched his Indianapolis Colts roll through regular season after regular season behind Peyton Manning. Then came all those disappointing playoff stumbles. So when Indy's team owner started rebuilding last season, he changed the plan. Instead of relying on a high-flying, high-scoring offense to beat...

5 things you need to know about Adderall in the NFL

Adderall won’t stay out of NFL news. New York Giants safety Will Hill was suspended for four games on July 20. He claimed Adderall was the PED that made him fail his test. Two days previous, Indianapolis Colts tight end Weslye Saunders was suspended for eight games for his second PED violation. Last year he said he took some of his little brother’s Adderall. “A one-time thing...

Indianapolis Colts Off-season Wrap-up

Dwight Freeney leaving for San Diego isn’t the only big change for the Colts in 2013. With the start of the Indianapolis Colts 2013 training camp imminent, I thought now would be a good time to cover the biggest Horseshoe related stories from this off-season. First and foremost, though, I’d like to apologize for my lack of posts the past few months. Life has been pretty crazy...

2013 NFL Scouting: Will Young Colts Take the Next Step in 2013?

Just a year removed from one of the worst seasons in franchise history, no one expected much from the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. As a team that was rebuilding from the ground up, just a few wins would have been considered a success. Instead, one of the league's youngest rosters ended up with an 11-5 record, and was without of doubt one of the year's best stories. ...

Colts ditch Saunders; Add Kenyan Rugby player Adongo

It’s time for the team reactions to the offseason trouble that some players have run into.  LaVon Brazill was nailed with a PED suspension and Joe Lefered ran afoul of the law in D.C.  The most recent case was a PED violation by tight end Weslye Saunders. A message was sent and an example was made today as the team released Saunders.  I wouldn’t be surprised if both Brazill...

Colts agree to contract with top pick

The Indianapolis Colts and top draft pick Bjoern Werner have agreed in principle on a contract. The 24th overall selection in April, Werner was a defensive end at Florida State, but will switch to outside linebacker in Indianapolis. He was the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, then skipped his senior season to enter the draft. Werner finished 13th in the nation last...

Ahmad Bradshaw Placed On Active PUP List with Colts

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was placed on the active PUP list, but expects to be ready for the start of the season. The active PUP list allows you to be activated at any time.Fantasy Spin:Bradshaw, who has rushed for at least 1,000 yards twice in the last three seasons, said he'll be "ready to rock come regular season." Fantasy owners like Bradshaw because he plays...

Bjoern Werner Signs With Indianapolis Colts

Teh Indianapolis Colts and first round pick, 24th overall, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner have agreed to a four-year, $7.89 million dollar contract. The former ACC Defensive Player of the Year, he played for Florida State as a defensive end, and should get the start opposite of Robert Mathis. The post Bjoern Werner Signs With Indianapolis Colts appeared first on FFLockerRoom.

Colts agree in principle to terms with first-round pick Bjoern Werner

The Indianapolis Colts have agreed in principle to terms with first-round draft pick Bjoern Werner. Financial terms were not immediately available but the linebacker out of Florida State is in line for a four-year contract worth approximately $7.9 million under the NFL’s rookie wage scale. Once Werner signs the contract he is allowed to participate in the Colts’ three-day rookie...
Colts News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.