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Four-Down Friday: How Is Hakeem Nicks Fitting Into The Colts Offense?

Intro: What’s on the minds of those in Colts Nation? Is the offensive line strong enough to protect Andrew Luck and open holes for Trent Richardson? How good is undrafted cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy?





INDIANAPOLIS – You asked them and we answered them.

Here's "Four-Down Friday" which is a weekly Twitter Q and A piece that will run every Friday.

This week's installment of questions focuses on the offensive line, the play of Loucheiz Purifoy, Hakeem Nicks' development and the status of fullback Stanley Havili.

@KBowenColts @Colts this year Luck has some serious weapons but is the O-Line strong enough to protect him and create holes for T-Rich? — Paul (@pauln1984) August 27, 2014

Many believe that's the magical question in regards to how successful this offense can be in 2014. The skill position groups are deep, and in the preseason that depth has been seen from several emerging weapons.

If that interior is shored up, I see no reason why this offense can't become one of the best units in the NFL. We saw the group together for just seven snaps this preseason so the question lingers into the regular season on if that group can take the next step. If that happens, the Colts have a core built in there for years to come, with all the youth across those three spots. The depth will be tested early though with several key injuries at multiple spots.

@KBowenColts @Colts How good is CB Loucheiz Purifoy? — MauuMadiedo (@MauuAlbarran) August 27, 2014

Purifoy has definitely been one of the more impressive undrafted free agents this preseason. Everyone knew about his cover ability but he has really impacted the game on special teams. Whether it's reversing fields as a punt returner or covering kicks, Purifoy has shown the necessary attributes for any corner deep on the depth chart.

Over the next 24 hours, Purifoy will learn his fate on if he makes the Colts 53-man roster. The Colts appear to be set with those top three corner spots and then veteran Josh Gordy right behind those guys. There is an open spot or two behind those guys and Purifoy's name is squarely in the mix. Don't forget about Marcus Burley either. He's been a name that has flashed ever since the spring.

@KBowenColts @Colts how is Nicks fitting in with the Colts offense — Tonio Martin (@toniomartin50) August 27, 2014

Starting with the practices following the preseason opener, I think we saw a different Nicks the rest of the preseason. Maybe it had something to do with the Giants on the schedule, but I was very impressed with what we've seen from Nicks the past two-to-three weeks.

That Giants game (5 catches in 5 targets for 53 yards) was the highlight for Nicks and it should be a clear sign to defensive coordinators that the Colts have three true No. 1 guys at the receiver position. In a two-receiver, two-tight end set we are still seeing Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton work together but there's no doubt Nicks will get plenty of looks in this offense.

@KBowenColts @Colts How is Stanley Havili doing? I know he is on the reserve/PUP list but is there a timetable for his return? Go Colts! — Daniel Prindle (@DTMBBALL1) August 27, 2014

Havili continues to do rehab work and by being placed on PUP, that holds him out for six regular season games. Following that, Havili can practice for up to three weeks before the Colts have to decide on whether to put him on the active roster or place him on injured reserve.

When healthy last year, Havili provided a versatile part for the Colts offense who played very well on special teams (see Denver game). Right now Mario Harvey is the lone "fullback" on the roster and it will be interesting to see if the Colts continue to carry a fullback without Havili.

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