ANDERSON, Ind. – Going into Training Camp, the Colts knew they had a specific position battle on each side of the ball.
Through a handful of days in Anderson, those competitions remain undecided with the team releasing its first depth chart in the coming week.
In today's media scrums, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski shared his thoughts on the open starting battle at right guard and how he wants to use Frank Gore this season. Defensive coordinator Ted Monachino talked about Nate Irving and Sio Moore competing at inside linebacker. Rob Chudzinski on the battle at right guard:
"We are rotating guys in and out."
Bowen's Analysis:* *When the first-team offense runs out there for team drills in camp, it seems to be a different number lining up at right guard each time. The Colts are in full evaluation mode at right guard, with only one full-padded practice in the books.
This week will offer a clearer picture of just how the Colts view the pecking order in between center Ryan Kelly and right tackle Joe Reitz. An unofficial depth chart will be released this week, ahead of the team's first preseason game on Sunday. Returning starter Hugh Thornton (down to 317 pounds, after playing at 340 last year) and Denzelle Good are the frontrunners at right guard.
Ted Monachino on the competition going on at inside linebacker:
"All three of those guys (D'Qwell Jackson, Nate Irving and Sio Moore) are playing at a starter's level."
Bowen's Analysis: We've seen a variety of reps at the inside linebacker spots this camp. Moore has played alongside Jackson initially, but rotation is constant throughout a given practice.
Monachino said on Sunday that the Colts could even use the linebackers situationally. Moore is known for his elite athleticism, where as Irving is more in the run stuffer mold. Unlike at right guard, the inside linebacker competition is between guys with starting experience elsewhere in the NFL.
Rob Chudzinski on a pitch count for Frank Gore:
"Frank Gore is timeless.
"Backs with great vision, like Frank has, in my opinion, age well."
Bowen's Analysis: The Colts are going to be flexible with how they use Frank Gore in 2016. At 32 years old last season, Gore had 260 rushing attempts. His last four years in San Francisco, Gore had attempts of 282, 258, 276 and 255. On Sunday, Chud stressed how the Colts won't necessary focus on numbers (attempts) to keep their backs fresh.
Gore can tote it 250 times again this season, but the Colts wouldn't mind shrinking that number if the postseason is involved/they can find a consistent backup. Such a presence has been missing from past Colts' backfields, but they have a couple of vets in Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman.