INDIANAPOLIS –A battered Colts offense fought through several significant offensive injuries to finish the season 15th in total offense.
Continuity in the offensive system will be welcomed this offseason with the Colts heading into year two under Pep Hamilton’s offense.
Yesterday, we broke down the quarterback and running back positions. Today, we look at the receivers, tight ends and offensive line.
How will the Colts young receivers mesh with
When Reggie Wayne went down in Week 7 of the regular season, the loss was substantial.
Gone was a team-leading 106 catches and 1,355 receiving yards from 2012.
Consider that the rest of the receivers in 2012 combined for just 125 catches. And then there’s Wayne’s 1,355 yards, which was nearly 500 more than the second leading receiver.
Without the services of Wayne for the final nine games, guys needed to emerge and that’s exactly what happened.
He caught 82 passes for 1,083 yards and was one of the leading catalysts for second half comebacks against Houston and Kansas City.
One would have to think that Wayne and Hilton will be the frontrunners at the receiver position next season.
But, as was learned in 2013, depth will once again be needed.
A trio of young receivers joined Hilton to steer the Colts offense through some rocky waters during the second half of the season.
Transfer that to 2014 and the Colts will have plenty of proven depth behind a pair of 1,000-yard receivers.
STAT TO NOTE: T.Y. Hilton’s 10 100-yard receiving games is the second most for any receiver after their first two NFL seasons since 1970.
Will we see more two tight-end sets out of the Colts offense next year?
During the 2013 OTAs, Chuck Pagano said he expected
Fleener did just that (52 catches for 608 yards in 2013) but that came at the expense of losing
The Colts offense had to adapt without Allen.
Therefore, Pep Hamilton’s emphasis on versatile tight ends was a bit hamstrung in 2013.
Having Allen back in the fold should allow for more two tight-end sets for the Colts and thus a balanced, unpredictable attack.
Hamilton has preached since day one that having versatile pieces on offense is a key and Allen showed exactly that in his rookie season as a productive run blocker and receiver.
STAT TO NOTE: Fleener’s 11.7 yards per reception last season is the highest for a Colts tight end (minimum 10 catches) since the 2006 season.
How will the offensive line differ in 2014?
After a stretch of seven straight weeks of the same starting offensive line, the Colts saw a handful of combinations in the lineup over the final month of the year.
The interior of the line saw constant movement with seven different players all starting at least two games in 2013.
The interior is where the uncertainties lie with injuries, 2013 rookies and players approaching free agency (
-The right guard spot saw a combination of Linkenbach, McGlynn and
-When starting center
With Thomas coming back from injury, rookies (Thornton and
STAT TO NOTE: The Colts averaged 4.3 yards per rush attempt in 2013, which is the highest total the team has achieved since the 2001 season.