INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday afternoon, we heard from coordinators Rob Chudzinski and Ted Monachino to close out the offseason program.
Both have dealt with various hurdles this spring.
For Chudzinski, it’s been life without the most important piece to the team (Andrew Luck).
For Monachino, it’s been trying to incorporate up to 7-9 new starters, while also having a trio of potential starters sidelined this spring due to injuries.
When both guys caught up with the media on Wednesday, they shared some detail into their respective position groups.
Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski:
- Life Without Luck: Chud is going to have no choice once Training Camp rolls around. Even with a scaled back Andrew Luck, the Colts have to do what they can to get No. 12 as game ready as possible. “Obviously, it’s a challenge. There will be things along the way that we’re going to have to adjust and be flexible. There will be a plan to try and get those things done. If anybody can do it it’s Andrew and we know that. He’s a guy that prepares so well and he’s able to take things form the meeting room out to the field so well that he’s the type of guy that can make it happen.” It will be foreign for Luck to go from such a lack of physical activity and into game action, with missing some six or seven months of throwing.
- *O-Line Still Wide Open: *Jim Irsay says the offensive line is fixed. But Chuck Pagano and Rob Chudzinski are holding off until the full pads come on before publically stating a definite five up front. “We’ll go into camp open-minded. There’s nothing set as far as who’s going to be on that side, who’s going to be playing. For the offensive line, especially, that’s one position that until those pads go on and until those guys are out there, having to fight their ass off every day that you find out. Really, it boils down to position availability and dependability and that’s what we’re going to be looking for when the pads come on.” Going into camp, RG-Joe Haeg and RT-Le’Raven Clark are the favorites on the right side.
- *Big Camp For Dorsett: *The third-year receiver has missed time this offseason and that’s not good news for what’s such a critical year. “I had seen some good things out of Phillip (this offseason before getting hurt). I think he was playing faster and his route running was really improving. We’ll get out there at Training Camp and get another opportunity to see if he can make the strides that we need him to make.” The Colts have plenty of wideout depth in 2017 so that will really push Dorsett during Training Camp.
- *Turbin Shining: *One of the bright spots from the offseason program has been Robert Turbin. “I’ve been really pleased with Robert Turbin. He’s had a hell of a spring – much better this spring than this time a year ago. He’s really gravitating toward a leadership position and helping guys out. I can’t say enough good things about Robert.” Chud is going to have some decisions to make in how he wants to divvy up the running back reps for Frank Gore, Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack, all backs that bring something a little different.
Defensive Coordinator Ted Monachino:
- Shadowing Vontae Davis: In a contract year, Davis has plenty of incentive in what will likely be his last major contract at the age of 29. The Colts will experiment with Davis shadowing No. 1 wideouts again in the preseason. “He knows that one way or another, he’s either going to get paid or not a year from now. And the way he’s going to get that done is by playing at a very high level and being a (No. 1 corner), and that’s what our system requires. And he’s all in on doing that. So right now, we’re thrilled with where Vontae is. Early in the preseason, we’re going to have him do some things that are going to be telling. We’re going to have him match up with guys just like we did during the course of the (2016) year. He’s extremely motivated. I’ll leave it at that.”
- Right Body Types Up Front: From a personnel standpoint, the Colts are starting to look like a 3-4 unit in terms of body types in their front seven. “We’ve got some guys that are more the rule than the exception around our league where a year ago we maybe had a few more exceptions. We’re big where we need to be in there. We’re explosive where we need to be in there.” Like Pagano, Monachino is a fan of how rookie outside linebacker Tarell Basham and inside linebacker Jon Bostic have looked this spring.
- *Quincy Wilson Starting To Come Along: *The first-team reps for Wilson haven’t been all his during OTAs and minicamp, but Monachino is seeing some strides in the rookie. “He’s in better shape, and he’s starting to show the talent that we looked at when we drafted him. He’s a great kid, first of all. He wouldn’t say ‘boo’ even if it was something scary, and the guys love him. Our players, all they care about is can the guy line up out there on the widest receiver and stay attached to him in coverage, and this kid can. I think we’re in great shape with Quincy. I love the guy. I think he’s going to be a good player in this league.” Wilson should compete with veteran Rashaan Melvin for the starting job opposite Vontae Davis this year.
- *Where’s T.J. Green Fit?: *Like with Dorsett, there are similar questions regarding T.J. Green. “There are still things that we’ve got to continue to work at with him. But I think that, just like all of them, we’ll find a role for a really talented guy, and this is a really talented guy. I think that we all know that in the deeper parts of the field he’s going be able to use his athleticism a little bit more. The one thing that we also know after watching a year ago on tape and watching it live, he’s not afraid to put his face on people. So we’re going use him in those ways when we can.” Green saw second-team action during minicamp, even though expected starters Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers were sidelined.
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