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What Takeaways Can Be Made From The Colts Preseason Opener?

Intro: After eight months of the offseason, we finally have some game action to talk about. What can be taken away from the Colts preseason opener against the Jets?





INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts have returned to Indianapolis and have the day off from the practice field before heading back to Anderson on Saturday.

In Thursday night's preseason opener, the first half saw action with starters on both sides of the ball.

What can be made from the limited action from the Colts starters?

Here's a look back on some of the post game quotes from Friday night:

Chuck Pagano on what he saw from the offensive line in the preseason opener:

"It'd be hard to say right now. I thought there were some protection issues at times, but I think for the most part, and obviously they came after us quite a bit and put a lot of pressure, and I thought our guys did a good job, but I thought those young guys did a good job.

"Again, we'll look at Jack (Mewhort) and see how Jack played. Jonotthan (Harrison) having to come in, I mean he's never played an NFL snap and before you know it, we hadn't planned to put him in until the second half and he's in there in the first drive, so I think just listening, watching, I think he rose up to the challenge. Again, the snaps, we'll get that fixed."

Bowen's Analysis:* *No matter the diagnosis on Khaled Holmes' left ankle, eyes will be fixated on the interior of the offensive line for the final five days of Training Camp. If Holmes misses any period of time, the Colts will be down to just two true centers on the roster, both of whom were 2014 undrafted free agents.

Just from a bodies standpoint, you would need another center for practice purposes. Your center depth would be tested having already lost Donald Thomas, who was your emergency backup behind Holmes. We've seen Mewhort take some center snaps during camp but do you want to bombard a rookie at a position with massive responsibility? If Holmes is out for a period of time, will Harrison be running with the first unit?

Matt Hasselbeck on the up-tempo style we saw from the Colts on Thursday night:

"We're doing a lot of it right now. The way Pep (Hamilton) roles, we may do none of it next week. Who knows? I get calls all the time from friends, 'What are you guys doing on offense?' And I say, 'Everything.' We go big personnel. We try to just run it down your throat. We spread them out, and go no-huddle. We do it all."

Bowen's Analysis: It didn't take long for the Colts to reveal that up-tempo style, which served the offense very well in the latter stages of 2013. Both the Colts first and second team units employed some no-huddle on Thursday night and it was effective.

Hasselbeck's comments back up what has been said before in that the Colts have the ability to use multiple tempos. Pep Hamilton has never been afraid to use whatever he feels works best and with the current personnel assembled, he should feel comfortable in many styles. That up-tempo offense is certainly the fan favorite. but Chuck Pagano and Hamilton have to think about the defense's best interest too when deciding the pace they want Andrew Luck to run.

Trent Richardson on his Colts preseason debut:

"I felt like we were just getting started and then (the starters) had to sit down right after. I was like, "I want to get back out there." We're trying to get into game situations. Coach (Pagano) was putting us in different situations where we can get a little bit of everything."

Bowen's Analysis: Richardson, along with eight other Colts offensive starters, saw their night end after the initial 12-play scoring drive. Running backs, probably more than any position group, tend to get better after having a steady diet of reps.

We saw some of the same cuts on Thursday night that Richardson has put forth in Anderson. The carries for Richardson, and all the starters, will be ramped over the next two preseason games, both Saturday night contests at Lucas Oil Stadium. We should get extended looks at the run game in Weeks Two and Three of the preseason.

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