15 Colts Storylines Entering Off-Season Program

Posted Apr 21, 2014

The Colts have arrived at the off-season program, a nine-week voluntary primer that concludes in mid-June. In no particular order, here are 15 storylines around the team.

INDIANAPOLIS – The last time Chuck Pagano spoke to the entire team in January, he urged players to get away, rest up after a long season and return refreshed in April.


Here are 15 storylines (in no particular order) with the team on the front end of its off-season program that spans nine weeks:


1.         More Trent Richardson


Richardson joined the Colts in week three last year and was thrust into the offense immediately, the third one he was learning in a two-year span.  Richardson has been used to the spotlight, and it starts early in 2014 as he hopes to carve his niche in the playing backfield.


READ: Grigson, Pagano Expect Big Things from Trent Richardson


2.         Center of Action


After releasing Samson Satele, will Khaled Holmes or Phil Costa anchor the middle of the offensive line, or is the next player to do so not here?  Time will be the judge.


Quote to note:  Ryan Grigson (on the line):  “We feel pretty good where we are at.  We signed Phil Costa.  He’s a tough, young center.  We drafted Khaled Holmes to be that center of the future.  He’s still a little bit of an unknown.  It’s going to be a good competition.  (The Colts) had great success with (Jeff) Saturday who was a CFA.  I’ve been to three Super Bowls with two teams and on those teams, all of those centers were CFAs.  That’s a position where you can find a quality guy.  You don’t always need to have a high profile player at that spot.”


3.         Presenting Strong Case


Antoine Bethea has left the strong safety position after holding it since 2006.  Sergio Brown, Delano Howell and Corey Lynch are here with a spot open on the unit.  Will a veteran nail down the role, or will the draft provide added competition?


4.         Reggie’s Return         


One of the most welcomed sights this year will be the return of Wayne.  He has been a rehabilitation warrior since his October knee injury and feels he is ahead of progress.  There is no rush as one of the greatest Colts prepares for a return.


5.         Action Jackson


D’Qwell Jackson has reached 100 tackles in six different seasons and was lured to Indianapolis by the franchise’s ability to win.  Joining a talented LB corps, can Jackson provide some salty action?


READ:  D’Qwell Jackson:  “I’m More Than Excited”


6.         Werner’s World


Bjoern Werner missed three games as a rookie with an ankle injury and showed flashes of potential with 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks.  Can last year’s first-round pick show physical maturation that leads to more playing time?


Quote to note:  Pagano (on Werner):  “We saw some really bright spots out of Bjoern.  He’s a smart guy, a tough guy, a high-character guy, loves football.  He’s passionate about it, a gym rat, a grinder.  I’m excited where he’s headed.”


7.         Healthy Bradshaw, big punch


Last year, Ahmad Bradshaw departed the lineup after 48 touches on 102 snaps.  That nearly 50 percent touch rate was impressive, as was his 4.5 rushing average.  Coming off the same type of neck surgery that has allowed other NFL players resume careers, Indianapolis needs Bradshaw to maintain that punch.


READ:  Ahmad Bradshaw to Return to Colts


8.         Adongo More than Special?


This time a year ago, Daniel Adongo had not visited America, let alone tried its most popular sport.  Adongo found time on special teams in two-of-four games after reaching the active roster late in the year.  Can his talents get him on the field now defensively?


READ:  Daniel Adongo, From Rugby to the NFL


9.         Still Down for the Cause?


Last year, 76 veterans were off-season program participants, and 64 of them had attendance rates exceeding 90 percent.  That is a high participation rate and an uncommonly impressive dedication to the cause.  Some teams hand out off-season program certificates to prod players. Edgerrin James once quipped though he didn’t finish college he knew what ‘voluntary’ meant as he skipped workouts in 2000.  Pagano’s instilling the notion of brotherhood and accountability is personified by the dedication to spring work.


10.       Can Dwayne Allen Be a Beast?


Dwayne Allen went from 16 starts in 2012 to one in 2013 and was one of five offensive starters out for the season early.  Can the promising, young talent master his domain?


READ:  Dwayne Allen:  “I’m Almost to 110 Percent”


11.       Edge Setter in Year Two


Erik Walden’s first Colts season was more than met some people’s eyes, yet he thinks he can be better and relieve some sack pressure from Robert Mathis.


READ:  2014 Roster Analysis:  Linebackers


12.       Stick a Nose in it


Will Arthur Jones take over the nose position?  Will Josh ChapmanRicky Jean FrancoisJeris Pendleton?  A committee?  As the club continues to grow in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme, a sturdy presence is needed. 


READ:  Who Mans the Nose Tackle Position in 2014?


13.       Will Andrew Luck Show More Pluck?


Already one of the most successful NFL QBs over the first two years of a career, Andrew Luck is only getting better.  Well beyond a third-year pro, observers will see a great player in his third time around the NFL block.   


READ:  Where Andrew Luck Looks to Improve


READ:  Andrew Luck:  “Master of his Domain”


14.       Which Young WR Makes Push


On a roster with three veteran 1,000-yard receivers, will Griff Whalen, Da’Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill keep trending into the offense?  All are young performers trying to be relevant in a vibrant offense.         


READ:  Rogers, Brazill Must Make Cincinnati Results a Trend


15.       Can Adam Keep the Lead In


The NFL’s oldest player, Adam Vinatieri (41), showed no signs of wearing that mantle in 2013.  One of history’s finest also is one of the top conditioners.  Vinatieri always has said there is plenty of “lead in his pencil.”  Watch him keep kicking Father Time.             


READ:  Adam Vinatieri:  Being Home is More Comfortable than Anywhere Else    

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