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2014 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

July 22, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2014 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: CHUCK PAGANO, 22-10 AT INDY

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: PEP HAMILTON

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: GREG MANUSKY

OFFENSE PPG 24.4

RUSHING: 108.9

PASSING: 232.8

TOTAL OFFENSE: 341.8

SCORING DEFENSE: 21.0

RUSHING: 125.1

PASSING: 231.9

TOTAL DEFENSE: 357.1

INTERCEPTIONS: 15

SACKS: 42

TO MARGIN: +13

The Colts have qualified for the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. But that isn’t good enough anymore. It’s time for Indianapolis to take the next step now that Coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson have been in control for the past three seasons. The AFC is a mediocre conference and many have picked the Colts to win it all.

CHUCK PAGANO

In Indianapolis, it all starts with QB Andrew Luck. Luck has passed for more yards in his first two NFL seasons than any QB in history. What is amazing about that statistic is he has done it without a consistent running game or a top notch offensive line. Luck has been sacked 73 times!

QB ANDREW LUCK

The OL is a question again now that Center Samson Satele was let go and Khaled Holmes hasn’t lived up to expectations. Holmes will be watched closely in training camp to see if he can finally get on the field in 2014. The Colts drafted Ohio State OT Jack Mewhort and plan on using him at guard. LG Donald Thomas is returning from an injury and RG Hugh Thornton didn’t play well as a rookie. The one consistent is LT Anthony Castonzo. Castonzo will continue to protect Luck’s blind side. At RT will be Gosder Cherilus. Back-ups include LT Xavier Nixon, LG Lance Louis, C Thomas Austin and RT Jack Brreckner.

The running game is another question mark with Trent Richardson attempting to prove he was worthy of a #1 draft pick. Richardson averaged only 2.9 yards per carry and scored only 3 TD’s. The Colts re-signed Ahmad Bradshaw despite missing all but three games with a neck injury. Vick Ballard also returns after suffering a season-ending injury with a knee injury. The team’s leading rusher, Don Brown, was allowed to leave via-free agency (San Diego).

RB TRENT RICHARDSON

Another question mark is the health of veteran WR Reggie Wayne. Wayne was lost to a knee injury after just seven games. Wayne is 35 and is entering the final year of his contract. If Wayne is anywhere close to his pro bowl days, it will be a big plus for Luck. Hakeem Nicks was signed as a free-agent and he feels he has something to prove after falling out of graces in New York. T.Y. Hilton became to go-to-guy after Wayne was hurt last season. Hilton finished with 82 receptions for 1,083 yards and 5 TD’s. TE Dwayne Allen is also returning from a hip injury that cost him most of the season. Coby Fleenor is a solid TE but drops way too many balls.

Now to the Colts defense. Indianapolis gave up only 21 points per game in 2013 but could make consistent stops. The Colts ranked 26th against the run (125.1) so they signed free-agents LB D’Qwell Jackson from Cleveland and DE Arthur Jones from Baltimore to shore things up. Jackson is a top tackler and Jones will provide another pass rusher who can stop the run. DE/OLB Robert Mathis led the league in sacks (19.5) but will be missing for the first four games due to a league mandated suspension. Mathis is 33 but is still one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. OLB Bjoern Werner got hurt early last season after being the Colts #1 draft pick and he never fully recovered to be an impact player. Werner will be given every opportunity in camp to be the starter.

OLB/DE ROBERT MATHIS

Indianapolis felt strong enough about DB Vonte Davis and his ability to be the right cover-man in their 3-4 defense, they re-signed him to a four-year deal worth $39 million. The one knock on Davis is his inconsistency and his tendency to take plays off. Up front for the Colts will be DE Cory Redding and Ricky Jean-Francois starting with Josh Chapman and Montori Hughes as the back-ups.

Joining Jackson at linebacker will be SLB Erik Walden, WLB Jerrell Freeman and Werner. Also competing for a starting job will be Kelvin Sheppard, Josh McNary and Cam Johnson. The Colts drafted Ball State LB Jonathan Newsome (16.5 sacks in 23 games) to be a situational pass-rusher.

Joining Davis in the secondary will be LaRon Landry. Landry is a hard-hitter and is good against the run. The Colts lost Antoine Bethea to free-agency (San Francisco) and that will leave a big hold at FS. Delano Howard will get every opportunity to start at FS. Howell is also coming off a season ending foot injury. Darius Butler, Josh Gordy, Sergio Brown and Corey Lynch will also compete for starting positions.

Many experts feel the Colts will be playoff contenders and they should be in a weak division. Are they ready for a Super Bowl push? There are too many question marks especially in the offensive line and secondary. The running game has to be better and the receivers must be more consistent overall. If the defense can’t make more plays, a Super Bowl run will be hard to accomplish. They have Luck and that is always a plus, but the Colts aren’t good enough to outscore everyone.


2014 COLTS DRAFT RECAP: colts.com

INDIANAPOLIS – In an effort to provide Andrew Luck with electric weapons and beef in the trenches, the Colts drafted three players on offense in 2014.

It began on Friday night with offensive lineman Jack Mewhort and wide receiver Donte Moncrief.

The Colts then closed out their five-man draft class with a seventh-round selection of offensive tackle Ulrick John.

Here’s a capsule look at the Colts offensive picks in 2014:

Offensive Lineman Jack Mewhort (Ohio State)

           
-2013 Stats: 14 games played (14 starts at left tackle).

            -Career Stats: 49 games played (39 starts) in 4 seasons.

            -Mewhort’s Quote to Note: “I’m the type of guy that you can point me in the direction and I’ll figure it out and I’ll go play it. I’m not sure I’ve got a specific position pegged down right now, but I know and I’m confident that I can excel at different ones along the offensive line. So I think it’s to be determined a specific position for me but I know I’m going to go into camp and work hard.”

            -Ryan Grigson’s Thoughts: “Jack is someone that was obviously a highly-recruited guy. He was a center in high school at 6’6”, which is pretty unique, and would redshirt as a center. (Mewhort) had really good film at multiple positions, in both guard spots. Heck, we just watched him play the other day as a sophomore against all those high picks at Florida, really played well at guard. Thought he played well at tackle as well. And at the Senior Bowl was the moment where we thought, ‘Wow, this Mewhort guy, he might really rise after this. So we were really happy. We’ve really legitimately had him earmarked for a long time and we’re really happy we have him. He brings versatility, toughness, strength, played at a high level at a high-level program where they’re used to winning. So I think he fits our culture very well.”

            -Outlook: While the Colts are getting a versatile offensive lineman that has played all over the place, it’s clear they are getting a highly respected person off the field, too. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer calls Mewhort one of the most enjoyable players he’s ever coached and hand picked him to be a captain for the Buckeyes. Nothing was revealed in terms of a specific position for Mewhort but one would think the interior would serve as the most likely option.

Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief (Mississippi)

           
-2013 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts). 59 catches for 938 yards and six touchdown.

            -Career Stats: 38 games played (37 starts) in 3 seasons. 156 receptions for 2,731 yards and 20 touchdowns.

            -Moncrief’s Quote to Note: “When I got that phone call, I was so happy. I had a private workout with the Colts. (Receivers coach Charlie Williams) came down and told me some great things they liked about me. Once I got that (317) call, it was shocking.”

            -Ryan Grigson’s Thoughts: “He was one of the highest-rated guys on our board, and the size, the speed, the production in the SEC, and he’s still an underclassman. You’re talking about a guy that had a 16-yard average in the SEC career. He blocks. He’s a guy that’s done a lot at a high level and he’s still young. He’s still got some things to learn. You can’t teach 6’2 ½”, 220 (pounds) and runs 4.3, and you see it on the film. So we’re excited about him. He’s a worker too and he doesn’t say much. He’s a guy we interviewed him at the combine, great kid, and he’ll come in here and work and learn, and we’re excited to have him because we feel like he’s got tremendous upside.”

            -Outlook: It’s yet another weapon for Andrew Luck and the Colts quarterback will be getting a unique receiver in Moncrief. The size, speed and athleticism of Moncrief lit up the charts at the Combine. At Ole Miss, Moncrief had some of his best games against the nation’s most elite defenses. The potential of a T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief combination for the long-term future is something Luck, and Colts fans, should enjoy.

Offensive Tackle Ulrick John (Georgia State)

           
-2013 Stats: 11 games played (11 starts at left tackle).

            -Career Stats: 36 games played (25 starts) in 4 seasons.

            -John’s Quote to Note: “I came on a visit and then about a week later they had (offensive line coach Joe Gilbert) give me a private workout. We had dinner and got to talk for a long time. Everything went really well and I was really looking forward to (the Colts) drafting me.”

            -Ryan Grigson’s Thoughts: “He’s interesting. He played against Alabama, West Virginia this year and played pretty darn well. To me, he’s a true left tackle prospect. He’s a developmental guy. But he’s also played center and guard, so he kind of goes along with the theme. He’s a guy that has multi-position flexibility. He’s competitive, but he’s very athletic and he’s got room to grow. I’d like to see how he looks a year from now with (Colts strength coach) Roger Marandino and our weight program because we feel like he has some upside. He’s got a really good athletic base. He’s competitive. He was at our top 30 visit. He was kind of an unknown. It’s going to be interesting to see how he develops because the athletic core, character, size and all those things are there, and he knows how to play the game.”

            -Outlook: By listening to Grigson’s comments, it’s pretty clear the Colts are ready to be patient with John. Last year, the Colts were able to develop guys like Daniel Adongo and Josh McNary on their practice squad before those guys reached the active roster late in the season. John seems to be a candidate to follow a similar path. In talking with John, a private workout from Gilbert, along with a visit to Indianapolis, sold the Colts on the prospect of finding a tackle with a potential frame coveted to block the blindsides of NFL quarterbacks.


2014 SCHEDULE:

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2014 SCHEDULE

 

Preseason

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

Thursday

August 7

at New York Jets

7:00 p.m.

Saturday

August 16

NEW YORK GIANTS

7:00 p.m.

Saturday

August 23

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

8:00 p.m.

Thursday

August 28

at Cincinnati Bengals

7:00 p.m.

 

Regular Season

Day

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

Sunday

September 7

at Denver Broncos

8:30 p.m.

Monday

September 15

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

8:30 p.m.

Sunday

September 21

at Jacksonville Jaguars

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

September 28

TENNESSEE TITANS

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

October 5

BALTIMORE RAVENS

1:00 p.m.

Thursday

October 9

at Houston Texans

8:25 p.m.

Sunday

October 19

CINCINNATI BENGALS

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

October 26

at Pittsburgh Steelers

4:25 p.m.

Monday

November 3

at New York Giants

8:30 p.m.

Sunday

November 9

Open Date

 

Sunday

November 16

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

8:30 p.m.

Sunday

November 23

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

November 30

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

December 7

at Cleveland Browns

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

December 14

HOUSTON TEXANS

1:00 p.m.

Sunday

December 21

at Dallas Cowboys

4:25 p.m.

Sunday

December 28

at Tennessee Titans

1:00 p.m.

 

HOME GAMES IN BOLDFACE CAPS

All times local to Indianapolis

Kickoff times subject to change


 

2014 ROSTER:

Active

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
25 Adams, Johnny CB 5-11 177 25 1 Michigan State
42 Adams, Mike S 5-11 200 33 11 Delaware
56 Adongo, Daniel OLB 6-5 270 24 1 Pretoria (South Africa)
83 Allen, Dwayne TE 6-3 265 24 3 Clemson
65 Anderson, Chad G 6-3 321 22 R Northern Michigan
32 Anderson, Colt S 5-10 194 28 5 Montana
33 Ballard, Vick RB 5-10 226 24 3 Mississippi State
44 Bradshaw, Ahmad RB 5-10 217 28 8 Marshall
73 Breckner, Jack T 6-9 328 26 R Gustavus Adolphus
38 Brown, Sergio FS 6-2 218 26 5 Notre Dame
3 Burks, Aaron WR 6-3 205 23 R Boise State
29 Burley, Marcus CB 5-10 189 24 1 Delaware
37 Burton, Brandon CB 6-0 185 24 4 Utah
20 Butler, Darius CB 5-10 188 28 6 Connecticut
74 Castonzo, Anthony T 6-7 311 25 4 Boston College
96 Chapman, Josh NT 6-0 340 25 3 Alabama
78 Cherilus, Gosder T 6-7 316 30 7 Boston College
46 Cox, Qua CB 6-0 185 23 R Jackson State
21 Davis, Vontae CB 5-11 207 26 6 Illinois
84 Doyle, Jack TE 6-6 267 24 2 Western Kentucky
80 Fleener, Coby TE 6-6 251 25 3 Stanford
50 Freeman, Jerrell ILB 6-0 240 28 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor
27 Gordy, Josh CB 5-11 195 27 4 Central Michigan
5 Harnish, Chandler QB 6-2 222 25 1 Northern Illinois
72 Harrison, Jonotthan C 6-4 308 22 R Florida
49 Harvey, Mario FB 6-0 264 26 3 Marshall
8 Hasselbeck, Matt QB 6-4 235 38 16 Boston College
39 Havili, Stanley FB 6-0 243 26 3 USC
36 Herron, Dan RB 5-10 212 25 2 Ohio State
13 Hilton, T.Y. WR 5-9 178 24 3 Florida International
62 Holmes, Khaled C/G 6-3 309 24 2 USC
63 Hoover, Tyler DE 6-7 297 24 R Michigan State
26 Howell, Delano S 5-11 197 24 3 Stanford
94 Hughes, Montori DT 6-4 350 23 2 Tennessee-Martin
54 Jackson, Andrew ILB 6-1 254 22 R Western Kentucky
52 Jackson, D'Qwell ILB 6-0 240 30 9 Maryland
23 Jackson, Kameron CB 5-9 175 20 R California
99 Jean Francois, Ricky DT 6-3 297 27 6 LSU
59 Johnson, Cam OLB 6-3 260 24 2 Virginia
68 John, Ulrick T 6-5 300 22 R Georgia State
97 Jones, Arthur DE 6-3 337 28 5 Syracuse
64 Kerr, Zach NT 6-2 335 23 R Delaware
30 Landry, LaRon S 6-0 226 29 8 LSU
85 Lankford, Ryan WR 5-11 163 22 R Illinois
11 Lenz, Josh WR 6-0 194 23 1 Iowa State
60 Louis, Lance G 6-3 330 29 5 San Diego State
12 Luck, Andrew QB 6-4 240 24 3 Stanford
67 Lutz, FN C 6-3 290 23 R Indiana State
98 Mathis, Robert OLB 6-2 245 33 12 Alabama A&M
1 McAfee, Pat P 6-1 240 27 6 West Virginia
31 McDonald, Dewey S 6-0 220 24 R California, PA
68 McKinney, Brandon NT 6-2 345 30 8 Michigan State
57 McNary, Josh LB 6-0 251 26 1 Army
75 Mewhort, Jack T/G 6-6 308 22 R Ohio State
10 Moncrief, Donte WR 6-2 221 20 R Mississippi
9 Moore, Greg WR 6-4 197 23 R Lane College
48 Morgan, Aaron LB 6-4 250 25 4 Louisiana-Monroe
51 Muamba, Henoc LB 6-0 242 25 R St. Francis Xavier
91 Newsome, Jonathan DE 6-3 251 23 R Ball State
14 Nicks, Hakeem WR 6-1 208 26 6 North Carolina
71 Nixon, Xavier T 6-6 330 23 2 Florida
67 Obukwelu, Nnamdi DE 6-3 303 23 R Harvard
45 Overton, Matt LS 6-1 241 29 3 Western Washington
2 Parkey, Cody K 6-0 193 22 R Auburn
61 Pendleton, Jeris DT 6-2 323 30 2 Ashland
40 Price, Sheldon CB 6-2 198 23 1 UCLA
6 Purifoy, Loucheiz CB 6-1 188 21 R Florida
25 Rainey, Chris RB 5-9 181 26 3 Florida
90 Redding, Cory DE 6-4 318 33 12 Texas
76 Reitz, Joe G 6-7 325 28 4 Western Michigan
34 Richardson, Trent RB 5-9 225 23 3 Alabama
16 Rogers, Da'Rick WR 6-3 215 23 2 Tennessee Tech
47 Saunders, Weslye TE 6-5 261 25 4 South Carolina
53 Sheppard, Kelvin ILB 6-2 252 26 4 LSU
35 Sims, David SS 5-10 207 27 2 Iowa State
58 Studebaker, Andy OLB 6-3 255 28 7 Wheaton
86 Swoope, Erik TE 6-5 246 22 R Miami (FL)
66 Thomas, Donald G 6-4 303 28 7 Connecticut
81 Thomas, Eric WR 6-1 225 22 R Troy
69 Thornton, Hugh G 6-3 336 23 2 Illinois
37 Tipton, Zurlon RB 6-0 231 24 R Central Michigan
28 Toler, Greg CB 6-0 190 29 6 St. Paul's (VA)
4 Vinatieri, Adam K 6-0 209 41 19 South Dakota State
93 Walden, Erik OLB 6-2 250 28 7 Middle Tennessee State
79 Walker, Josh G 6-5 328 23 R Middle Tennessee State
7 Washington, Tony WR 5-11 198 23 R Appalachian State
87 Wayne, Reggie WR 6-0 203 35 14 Miami (Fla.)
92 Werner, Bjoern OLB 6-3 257 23 2 Florida State
17 Whalen, Griff WR 5-11 190 24 3 Stanford
43 White, Cameron FB 6-2 252 24 R Hillsdale College

Reserve/Injured

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
95 Moala, Fili DE 6-4 308 29 6 USC

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