INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Ballard wants to be careful this time of year in shelving out too much praise for a player or position group.
"I think teams get a false impression of their teams in OTAs and in shorts," Ballard says. "This game is played in pads. It's a tough, physical game. Until we really get into camp, we won't really know."
But that does not mean Ballard won't acknowledge some things that resonated with him this spring.
Like Chuck Pagano, Ballard is a major fan of what the wide receivers and defensive line showed during the team's nine-week offseason program.
"I'm excited about the receiver position," Ballard said following the team's minicamp.
Donte Moncrief was "outstanding," per Ballard.
T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief are clearly atop the wide receiver depth chart.
After those two, it's anyone's guess to who will emerge from Kamar Aiken, Jacoby Brissett and Chester Rogers.
"That third, fourth and fifth spot, there's going to be some heavy competition for who gets playing time," Ballard says.
Along the defensive line, the Colts feel the body types are starting to look more and more like what a 3-4 front should be.
"The defensive line has done a really good job," Pagano said. "The guys that are returning are doing a great job, and I love the additions that we've made."
Ballard took it a step further, wanting to loop in the linebacker position into a unit that impressed him over the last two months.
"I'm excited about our front seven," Ballard said. "I think we've upgraded. I think we are physical, our bigger. We've got some good athletes at the position. I'm very encouraged by the front seven."
Whereas some positions still have major questions at the top of their respective depth charts, these two groups have them elsewhere.
- How will the wide receiver reps fill out, behind Hilton and Moncrief?
- How many defensive linemen will the Colts be able to keep, as they will inevitably have to cut some quality bodies?
Questions remain, but they are minimal at wide receiver and on the defensive line.
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