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Ryan Grigson’s Thoughts on Colts Offense

Posted Mar 24, 2014

Intro: Over the next two days, Colts.com will take a look at Ryan Grigson’s thoughts on each side of the ball. In free agency, Grigson and the Colts personnel department have added several key players that figure to play prominent roles for the Colts in 2014.



INDIANAPOLIS-- “A cauldron of competition.”

Over the two-plus years of the Ryan Grigson era in Indianapolis, the Colts general manager has been trying to create the four-word phrase above.

It’s a phrase that Grigson has used routinely and his actions back that up.

The 2014 free agency period was just another indication of this as Grigson added four NFL veterans, along with re-signing some key parts on recent Colts teams.

Today, Colts.com looks at the offensive position groups where the Colts have seen some bolstering in the past couple weeks.

Running Backs

When the name Ahmad Bradshaw came up in discussion of Colts free agents, Grigson headed to the doctors.

The reports and prognosis of Bradshaw’s season ending neck injury came back good so the Colts have a returning player who fits the type of running nature envisioned by Grigson and Chuck Pagano.

“It doesn’t take a football expert to watch what he’s capable of,” Grigson said of Bradshaw game against San Francisco.

“Everyone loves how Ahmad Bradshaw plays the game. He plays it the way it’s meant to be played. He runs angry and we’ve got some backs that all run angry which is nice to have. We are really excited about him coming back, being healthy and not having that pain in his neck, the foot completely healed and hopefully he feels like a spring chicken come camp.”

 

A healthy Bradshaw will join Trent Richardson and Vick Ballard as the Colts top returning backs.

That trio has the ability to give the Colts the running nature that was seen in each of the final four playoff teams this past season.

If we get (Bradshaw) back playing at that level, we’ve got a pretty darn good stable of backs,” Grigson says. “Then you throw in Vick (Ballard) and what he did as a rookie, we are really optimistic.”

Wide Receivers

Back in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bradshaw led the New York Giants on the ground and Hakeem Nicks did the same through the air.

Now both are in Colts uniforms trying to help their new team get back to the game’s pinnacle.

Grigson said once Nicks received clearance from the doctors, the two-time 1,000-yard receiver became a top priority to add to an already potent Colts receiving group.

“We watched the film over the last two years and this is a very talented guy,” Grigson says of Nicks. “He goes up and gets it. Doesn’t matter where he is on the field, he makes plays on the ball. He’s elusive after the catch.

“He can make big-time plays on the football in competitive situations and in really pressure cooker situations. He’s a guy that I think in the playoffs could be a guy that could help us win football games.”

Offensive Line

The interior of the Colts offensive line has received a bulk of attention this offseason with some uncertainty among those three spots heading into OTAs.

Donald Thomas is returning from a biceps injury and Grigson likes the direction the 2013 free agent signee is showing.

“It was a terrible thing that happened to (Thomas) last year. He was really playing well and he really helped our interior,” Grigson said last week.

“The guy is so strong with his upper body. He just has to really get that lower body with the quad injury as strong as possible so he’s a complete player in our interior.”

The center position is another to watch over the next few months.

Phil Costa, a 16-game starter in 2011, was signed during free agency and brings a veteran presence to complement 2013 fourth-round pick Khaled Holmes.

“Right now, we have some talented guys, some big bodies, some guys with experience. We feel pretty good where we are at,” Grigson said.

“Phil Costa’s a tough, young center that has started games. We drafted Khaled Holmes to be that center of the future. He never got a chance in camp really because of the ankle. He’s still a little bit of an unknown at the professional level. It’s going to be a good competition.”

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