What Was Learned From The Colts 2016 Offseason Program?

Intro: The Colts have packed their bags and dispersed all over the country for the next month and a half. What did we learn from the team’s eight-week offseason program?


INDIANAPOLIS – The hustle and bustle has been turned down a few notches at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

After eight weeks of advanced courses on each side of the ball, it's time to decompress for the Colts 90-man roster.

The team will gather back up on July 26 for a stretch they hope has no extended breaks again until early February.

As we look back on the team's 2016 offseason program, here is what we learned over the past two months.

Andrew Luck Is Healthy

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way.

Luck fully participated in the team's offseason program.

We watched Luck make all the throws this spring while engulfing himself in Rob Chudzinski's new system.

You have to think the deep ball will re-enter the Colts offense in 2016, thanks to a healthy Luck and plenty of speed to burn on the outside.

Also, the Colts are hoping to use Luck's athleticism more in getting him outside of the pocket.

Watching Luck operate this offseason, you almost forget the cohesion that he has with fellow 2012 draftee T.Y. Hilton. The synergy between those two is rare.Installation All But Complete

Rob Chudzinski says he threw a lot at his offense the past two months, but is pleased with how the learning process went.

"Player driven" is how Chud has described his system. That should accentuate the speed at receiver.

Tight end production has also been something Chud has had in past stops as an OC.

Defensively, Ted Monachino is all about pressure for his attacking unit.

Monachino, a front seven guy his whole life, wanted to remove the "grey area" out of the Colts defense in trying to compile a unit possessing multiplicity.

In Anderson, the Colts and Monachino will still need to solve the inside linebacker starting spot next to D'Qwell Jackson. The two most likely options there are Nate Irving or Sio Moore.Offensive Line Starting To Be Assembled

Even though full pads haven't been donned yet in 2016, the offensive line is starting to become clearer.

LT-Anthony Castonzo, LG-Jack Mewhort and C-Ryan Kelly will occupy three spots.

At right tackle, returning starter Joe Reitz is the favorite to hold that post.

The right guard conundrum will be unsolved for at least a few practices in Anderson.

Last year's starter there, Hugh Thornton, missed the entire offseason program but should be back for the start of camp. Expect competition from Denzelle Good, who practiced at right guard the final two weeks of the offseason program. When those two were out this spring, Jonotthan Harrison and rookie Joe Haeg took first-team reps.Key Players Expected Back

There are five main injuries to watch when the Colts report to Anderson on July 26.

  • Henry Anderson: This past week, Jim Irsay said Anderson might not be ready for the start of the regular season. The Colts don't want Anderson out there at 80 percent. Anderson tore his ACL last November after being arguably the team's top defender through the first half of 2015.
  • Arthur Jones: The big man missed all of the team's offseason program after an adversity filled rehab from his ankle injury last preseason. Jones is expected back for the start of Training Camp. The returns of Anderson and Jones will greatly impact how the depth looks on the Colts defensive line in 2016.
  • Donte Moncrief: A toe injury sidelined Moncrief for the past two months. The third-year wide receiver is out of a boot and back running. He should be ready to go from Day One in Anderson.
  • D'Joun Smith: Lingering knee issues for Smith have forced the Colts to consult multiple medical people. Smith missed the offseason program, but the Colts feel he will be participating in Anderson. The Colts could use some young depth at cornerback and Smith fits that potential.
  • Hugh Thornton: Entering a contract year, Thornton is the incumbent at right guard. He ended 2015 on injured reserve and thus missed all of the spring. New line coach Joe Philbin should have Thornton from Day One in Anderson.

Rookie Impact?

We know Ryan Kelly is going to start from Day One.

But what about the other draftees?

Right now, that's a difficult question to answer.

T.J. Green is still learning the safety position. Le'Raven Clark is playing behind Joe Reitz. Antonio Morrison is rehabbing a hamstring injury he suffered from the rookie minicamp.

That brings us to fourth-round pick Hassan Ridgeway. With the injury questions for Anderson and Jones, Ridgeway's playing time could be quite significant as a rookie.

Tackle/guard Joe Haeg and outside linebacker Trevor Bates also saw some first-team action in OTAs and minicamp.

Remember, last year at this time David Parry was running with the second and third teams. He ended up starting 16 games as a fifth-round rookie.

2016 Vet Mini-Camp - Practice #2 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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