Four-Down Friday: How Will The Addition Of Hakeem Nicks Help The Colts Offense?

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Intro: What’s on the minds of those in Colts Nation? How has Bjoern Werner looked this summer? Who will start alongside LaRon Landry at the safety position?

INDIANAPOLIS – You asked them and we answered them.

Here’s “Four-Down Friday” which is a weekly Twitter Q and A piece that will run every Friday.

This week’s installment of questions focuses on the likes of Hakeem Nicks, Coby Fleener, Bjoern Werner and the safety position.

So the creators of the Coby Fleener “Jackhammer” dance form Detroit back in 2012 have chimed in to Four-Down Friday. Great creativity there and I know Coby hopes there’s more reasons to celebrate in 2014.

All the offseason talk about the Colts excelling with two tight ends in 2013 was put to a halt when Dwayne Allen went down in Week One. Fleener was thrust into a No. 1 role and there was no real sign of a consistent No. 2 behind him from a production standpoint. Then Reggie Wayne goes down and there’s Fleener finishing second on the team with 52 catches for 608 yards and four touchdowns. Tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts said Fleener’s growth in 2013 was especially seen from a “trust” factor with the Stanford product challenging and making plays for a depleted offense. In 2014, Fleener wants to be a guy Andrew Luck and the Colts have no problem turning to in the game’s pivotal moments.

“They picked me for a reason and I want to prove that and step up.” Those words from Werner will be put to the test early in 2014. Werner and Erik Walden seem to be the choices to start at outside linebacker come September.

Colts coaches have talked about how much more comfortable Werner is in 2014, and the outside linebacker himself admits he played a bit “scared” last season. Ryan Grigson says Werner’s “demeanor is just one of all business” this offseason. Werner's one of the most active players in the building and his pass rushing will be more than necessary with Denver and Philadelphia to open up the 2014 slate. Physically, Werner looks different but it’s hard to get a great judge on “trench” guys until the pads are put on in Anderson.

When the Colts were looking for offseason additions at the receiver position, they had a specific type of wideout targeted. The sure-handed, precise route runner is here in Reggie Wayne. The “take the top off the defense” burner is also in the fold in T.Y. Hilton. The need was for a bigger target, that excels at snatching the ball out of the air, like a dog with a frisbee.

Hakeem Nicks fits that mold. His size might not jump off the page as an elite “big target” but Nicks plays much bigger than his 6-1, 208-pound frame. Throughout the Colts nine-week offseason program, Nicks showed off his massive hands with snag after snag. The Colts have a trio of 1,000-yard receivers at Andrew Luck’s disposal and all three complements each other to provide No. 12 a variety of targets.

This is a question that I don’t think will have a concrete, use a sharpie to fill out your starting 11, type answer until mid-to-late August. With so much uncertainty at safety, and a few injuries, no position saw so many different faces run with the Colts first unit during minicamp.

Delano Howell is the most talked about name and he has shown, when healthy, that he can play at this level. He got banged up late in OTAs and that opened the door for some other names. The Colts signed 10-year veteran Mike Adams, who has started each of the last two seasons for the Denver Broncos. If healthy, Howell seems to be the favorite but this competition is far from over with training camp less than two weeks away.

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