INDIANAPOLIS – Why was Frank Gore grinning from ear-to-ear after playing just four snaps on Saturday night?
Also, what is the Colts major offensive focus heading into Week Three of the preseason, with a trip to see one of the top defensive lines in football (St. Louis)?
Here's a notebook look at the Colts preseason home opener on Saturday:
Frank Gore Makes Colts Debut
He heard the crowd, and, frankly, he was shocked at the decibel level.
A pair of five-yard carries, in four offensive snaps, was the workload for Frank Gore on Saturday.
His Colts debut didn't come without the home faithful at Lucas Oil Stadium letting the 10-year veteran know what they think of his arrival.
"When I got the five yards, I was like, 'Wow, five yards? They go crazy like this,'" a smiling Gore said after his debut.
"It was great."
Colts fans are obviously hoping Gore continues to be one of the most consistent running backs of the past decade.
Being called upon for just two carries on Saturday night wasn't a surprise to Gore.
Coming into the 2015 season, Gore had 11 total carries in the three previous preseasons.
It was brief work for Gore on Saturday, but Andrew Luck got a game look at what he's seen all offseason long from his starting running back.
"He's a great runner obviously," Luck said of Gore after the game.
"He's a great pass protector. I think he can do it all and is a great leader. It's hard to pick one thing that he adds the most, but I'm just happy for him to be here."**
Pass Protection An Area Of Improvement**
Jack Mewhort didn't lay the blame anywhere but himself on Saturday night.
The Colts new right tackle had his growing pains on Saturday with Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee winning a couple of early one-on-one battles to thwart Colts drives.
"It's crippling when you go out there as a tackle and you give up a bad sack like that on the second play of the game," Mewhort said after the game. "Our emphasis has been on starting fast. You can't start fast when there's a guy on top of the quarterback."
Early Bears pressure forced errant throws from Luck.
The starting line looked much better on the Colts third offensive drive, one that ended with a touchdown after nine plays and 89 yards.
With the vaunted Rams defensive line waiting in Week Three of the preseason (where playing time is longer for starters), Chuck Pagano knows the edge protection has to improve.
"Pass pro at times was okay (Saturday) and at times has got to be better, got to get it shored up," Pagano said after the game.**
Rookie Josh Robinson Impresses Again**
There's little doubt as to which Colts young player has stood out the most after two preseason games.
On Saturday night, sixth-round pick Josh Robinson piled up 61 rushing yards on 13 carries against the Bears.
Colts fans who hadn't yet seen the 5-8 Robinson run, saw a guy who is much more than just a power back.
"He runs his but off," Andrew Luck said of the rookie draft pick.
"He has a little wiggle. He's low to the ground, tough to tackle. It's fun watching him play and looking forward to playing with him."
After two preseason games, Robinson is leading the Colts with 105 rushing yards on 23 carries (4.6 yards per carry).
What Chuck Pagano is continually impressed with from Robinson is what the Mississippi State product has done without the ball in his hands.
Robinson's pass blocking and receiving has made him an attractive option, behind the lead duo of Frank Gore and Boom Herron
"He's played really well," Pagano said of Robinson after the game.
"He's hard to bring down and he's pretty elusive. You know he's got a nice jump cut, he can make the first guy miss on his own and then get positive yards and he's good without the ball in his hands. He's a good protector, a good blocker, he does a nice job protecting the ball as well."
Chicago Snap Counts
- With a banged up offensive line, guard Kitt O'Brien and tackle Denzelle Good played the most offensive snaps (37 of 65).
- Starting offensive linemen Jack Mewhort, Todd Herremans and Lance Louis logged the most time of any offensive starter (28 snaps apiece).
- Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Anthony Castonzo and Andre Johnson each played 18 snaps on Saturday night.
- Vick Ballard saw 8 snaps in his first game action in 713 days.
- Frank Gore played 4 snaps in his Colts debut.
- Rookie safety Clayton Geathers played the most defensive snaps (39 of 63).
- Mike Adams played the most snaps of any starting Colts defender (27 snaps).
- Colts defensive starters logged anywhere from 9 to 27 snaps on Saturday night. Vontae Davis played nine snaps in his preseason debut.