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Offensive Burning Questions going into the Regular Season

Posted Sep 4, 2013

Intro: With the Colts regular season opener just four days away, here’s a look at some burning questions at the offensive position groups. Check back to Colts.com tomorrow for some questions on the defense/special teams.



INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL regular season opener is now just a day away.

For Colts fans, the wait will finally end Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST when the Oakland Raiders head to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Offensively, it appears that the Colts could have an entirely healthy unit for Sunday’s regular season opener.

Here’s a look at some burning questions at each offensive positional group.

What can we make from Andrew Luck’s preseason numbers?
When Luck was signal calling the Colts offense during the preseason, the unit was very efficient.

Luck’s completion percentage was at 65.9% and in the 13 drives he led, the offense scored 34 points.

He now adds the services of running back Ahmad Bradshaw and tight end Dwayne Allen, two players who did not play all preseason.

The weapons are set for Luck to have a very productive 2013 campaign with multiple options at each skill position group.



What will Ahmad Bradshaw’s presence do for the Colts running backs?
When talking to the media earlier this week, Bradshaw had the look of a guy itching to finally get onto the playing field.

He is trying to prove teams that passed on him wrong, and his first chance at that is expected to come on Sunday.

Bradshaw’s presence in the backfield allows for the Colts to have three backs who have been the bell cow at times during their respective NFL careers.

Vick Ballard has called Bradshaw a “big brother” and can’t wait to share the backfield with the two-time Super Bowl champion.

“I like two-back systems because I’m getting rested and then whenever my other teammate is doing good, I feed off that energy,” Ballard said on Monday.

After the Colts top three wide receivers, will any others see significant reps?:
Following the preseason, it’s pretty clear that the Colts have three top receivers in Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton (pick whatever order you want).

After that though, it’s a little murky.

Griff Whalen appears to be getting the first crack at the No. 4 spot and he did catch nine passes (second most) for 91 yards during the preseason.

How many reps that No. 4 guy will get in September could very well hinge on how much Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are on the field.

When LaVon Brazill returns at the end of the month things will get a little more crowded, but for now it’s Whalen and newcomer David Reed vying for reps.



What should fans expect from a tight end group that hasn’t been complete this preseason?  The unit has been in a state of influx over the past few days with Jack Doyle and Dominique Jones now on the team's active roster and Justice Cunningham on the team's practice squad.

Dwayne Allen is expected to make his return to the lineup on Sunday and the second-year tight end has looked very close to the 2012 version during practice the past two weeks.

Fellow second-year tight end Coby Fleener practiced on Monday after missing the final two weeks of the preseason due to a knee sprain.

The Colts first-team offense put up impressive numbers all preseason long and that was largely without the two tight ends, who figure to factor prominently in Pep Hamilton’s offensive scheme.

How’s the depth along the Colts offensive line?
The Colts reached past the halfway point of the preseason before the starting offensive line had to battle some adversity.

Injuries to Mike McGlynn and Anthony Castonzo are nothing major and Chuck Pagano said that both will practice this week.

Those injuries have allowed for some depth to be created as Jeff Linkenbach and Hugh Thornton have filled in at right guard. Joe Reitz has made the adjustment to moving back to the tackle position, filling in for Castonzo.

Early on in training camp, it was the Colts backup offensive linemen battling injuries.

The roles switched a bit when camp neared the end, but that adds up to some quality depth formed with the original starting five looking to be in tact come Sunday afternoon.

 


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