Seven Things To Watch For: Colts/Eagles Edition

Intro: The Colts will finally get to hit someone else this weekend. What should Colts fans be watching for in their preseason opener on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia?


INDIANAPOLIS – After two weeks in Anderson, the Colts will take their act on the road this weekend.

The Colts will get their 2015 preseason slate underway on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

What should fans be looking for when the Colts travel to Philadelphia for their preseason opener?

1. Starters Playing Time

-Based off past Colts preseason openers, fans should expect the starters to log a series or two of playing time on Sunday. If the offense comes out with a seven-play scoring drive, that could be enough work for that unit. Some starters might log a little extra playing time on Sunday, but I wouldn't expect many of them to play more than 12-15 snaps in Week One of the preseason.

2. Offensive Line Play

-One unit that could play a little longer together on Sunday is the Colts starting offensive line. The unit has been intact for the entire Training Camp in Anderson. That's obviously been beneficial but there's nothing like being in live action against defensive fronts you haven't seen for two straight weeks. The Colts starting line is going to get plenty of action in the coming week with the Bears heading to Indianapolis for two scrimmages next Wednesday and Thursday.

3. Rookie Impact

-I can't wait to see the Colts rookies get their first taste of professional football this weekend. Phillip Dorsett aside, all five of the Colts rookie draft picks on defense have been factoring in with the first and second team defense during Training Camp. Sixth-round running back Josh Robinson could also see a chunk of playing time on Sunday. Robinson returned to practice late in Training Camp and showed some of that pop from his "bowling ball" running style.

4. Philly Duo Returns

-After 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, veterans Trent Cole and Todd Herremans will return to their old grounds. Cole (at outside linebacker) and Herremans (at right guard) didn't miss a practice in Anderson, until the final day when Chuck Pagano gave Herremans the day off. They weren't the most heralded of offseason additions for the Colts but Cole and Herremans are going to have major roles this fall.

5. Staying Healthy

-While this seems rather obvious, it comes on the heels of the Colts having a very healthy Training Camp in Anderson. In last year's preseason opener, we saw starting center Khaled Holmes go down. It would be nice if the Colts have a healthy afternoon on Sunday because you know things will be physical when the Bears come to scrimmage Indianapolis next week.

6. Defensive Communication

-Defensive communication has been an area coordinator Greg Manusky wanted to improve on in 2015. It might only be a series or two for the starters on Sunday, but that area will be tested with the high pace nature of the Eagles offense. Can the Colts get everyone on the same page when the Eagles want to snap the ball so early in the play clock?

7. Project Time

-What Sunday offers is a chance for some significant playing time for the guys on the backend of the roster. Starters will see an uptick in their playing time in Weeks Two and Three of the preseason, so Sunday is the time for those fringe roster guys to make an impact. Tight end Erik Swoope and outside linebacker Daniel Adongo will be two guys to watch after their past practice squad experience with the Colts.

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