INDIANAPOLIS –Answers are finally about to come to the plethora of questions facing the 2017 Indianapolis Colts.
Summer vacation ends on Friday for Chuck Pagano's football team.
What are the 10 biggest questions facing the Colts as they try to end their two-season postseason drought?
1. Will Andrew Luck be ready for Week One?
-It's obviously going to be a few weeks before we get a clearer answer to this question. Luck is back throwing, but that does not guarantee he will be ready for the opener.
2. Who will be the starting safeties?
-Clayton Geathers (neck) is out until mid-October. Rookie Malik Hooker's (hamstring) debut on an NFL field will not happen at the start of Training Camp. Veteran Darius Butler figures to be one safety starter. With Hooker still sidelined, look for second-year safeties Matthias Farley and T.J. Green to compete for the other safety position.
3. Is the offensive line truly fixed?
-Jim Irsay says the offensive line is fixed. We will see how fixed that group is, with a starting five coming together, and full pads being donned starting next week.
4. How will the Colts create a better pass rush?
-For the first time since 2001, the Colts will start a season without Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis on the roster. It's going to have to be a group effort in applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks this year, with newcomer Jabaal Sheard likely spearheading things off the edge.5. Who will start opposite Vontae Davis at cornerback?
-Improved corner play will aid the pass rush cause. At corner though, the Colts are in search for a name opposite Vontae Davis. Veteran Rashaan Melvin and rookie Quincy Wilson are the expected names to compete for the No. 2 cornerback position.
6. What will the inside linebacker positions look like in 2017?
-Of all the position groups on the Colts' roster, inside linebacker is easily the most wide open. One could probably make a case for five different names occupying the two open ILB jobs come Week One.
7. Are Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox ready for bigger roles?
-Probably a bit under the radar, but the tight end position deserves some watching in the next month. The Colts really like Doyle and Swoope. However, those two will have much more coming at them in 2017, compared to prior years.
8. Where will Johnathan Hankins line up with the Colts?
-It's a really crowded defensive line group going into camp. Hankins is a definite starter, yet where exactly he lines up remains a question. The Colts are counting on quite a lot from Hankins, the team's new highest paid defender.9. How many new starters will be there on defense?
-This number could be seven or eight. That means preseason reps are going to be vital for the defense in trying to get everyone up to speed, and on the same page, after the Colts ranked 30th in total D last year.
10. Will the special teams have a drop off with the departure of Pat McAfee?
-Over the past few years, the kicking game for the Colts has been a major strength. The loss of McAfee could be significant though, given his versatility and his ability to be one of the NFL's best specialists.
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