Quarterback Burning Questions Heading Into 2016 Training Camp

Intro: We are less than two weeks away from the Colts heading to Anderson for the start of Training Camp. What are the “Burning Questions” at the quarterback position this season?

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INDIANAPOLIS –It's a position that will look vastly different from how we saw it last in 2015.

Andrew Luck is healthy. That's the most important question for the quarterback position going into this season.

The names Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley are gone. Even quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is now in Miami as the Dolphins' offensive coordinator.

In our latest "Burning Questions" series we begin with some newness coming to the quarterback position:

  • What should be the expectations for Andrew Luck in 2016?

First, Luck participated in all of the Colts' open OTA/minicamp sessions this spring.

That was a key step for Luck after he missed nine games last season (the first time Luck had even missed one snap in the NFL due to injury).

In watching Luck throw the ball all spring this year, there's little difference from what fans are used to seeing out of No. 12.

Luck threw the deep ball, the full passing tree gamut and took what amounted to normal first-team work for a quarterback during an offseason program.

A healthy Luck, which was what we saw in May and June, should have him primed for the type of season we saw back in 2014, when he threw for 4,761 yards and tossed 40 touchdowns.

With some serious speed to burn at the receiver position in 2016, the deep ball should be back into the Colts' arsenal.

Listen to Luck and he's clearly motivated after how 2015 went, even when he was healthy and playing.

Look for a strong bounce back season for the newly signed franchise quarterback.

STAT TO NOTE: In 2014, Luck became the first player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards in five consecutive road contests (from 9/7-to-11/3).**

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  • How much will Rob Chudzinski's influence change the way Luck plays this season?

When it comes to the decision making of keeping plays alive, that is still going to fall on Luck's shoulders.

Chud has even admitted that some of Luck's finest plays are the off-script ones.

However, it's ultimately up to Luck to know when the clock has hit zero and then have the instinctual ability to get down, or toss a ball into the stands.

What Chud is hoping to diagram for Luck and the offense is a scheme that accentuates the strength of the skill guys.

That's the speed of the wide receiver group.

The Colts have the assets at the skill position to make Luck's life easier.

One aspect of the offense that could see an added dimension this season is Luck throwing a bit more on the run, off designed rollouts.

STAT TO NOTE: Luck has the NFL record for the most passing yards through a player's first five postseason games (1,703). He's also the first player in league history to have at least 250 passing yards in each of his first five career playoff games.

  • What do we know about new backup quarterback Scott Tolzien?

Since 2014, Pat McAfee and Scott Tolzien have thrown the same number of NFL passes (one).

Tolzien doesn't have extensive recent game action and the Colts would love to keep it that way (outside of mop-up duty).

What the Colts do like about Tolzien is his intelligence, having worked in some pretty qualified quarterback rooms.

The most playing time Tolzien has received in five NFL seasons came in 2013. He was 55-of-90 (61.1 percent) for 717 yards in three starts.

During OTAs, Tolzien showed off plenty of arm strength and looked like a capable insurance policy behind the franchise.

STAT TO NOTE: Tolzien hails from the University of Wisconsin. The last Badgers' backup the Colts had was Jim Sorgi (2004-09).

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