The Indianapolis Colts have made some great strides over the past few seasons, but there are many questions that need to be answered and training camp should help answer some of them. What are those questions?
1st Question: Can Trent Richardson be a #1 Running Back?
Trent Richardson’s first season with Indianapolis was a big disappointment and was replaced midseason by Donald Brown, who started the season as the 3rd string running back on roster. Richardson will need to prove to the front office, the coaches and most importantly the fans that he is a legitimate #1 running back in the NFL and that he was worth the 1st round pick. He will have the starting job when the season starts and he will need to hold onto all season in order to quiet the fans.
2nd Question: Can Bjoern Werner be a Suitable Replacement for Robert Mathis?
Robert Mathis has been suspended for the first four games of the season and it’s a huge blow. Mathis had 19.5 sacks last season and those giant shoes will need to be filled for the first four games of the season. Werner was a bit of a disappointment last season, and played in a rotational role. Werner will need to come up big in the first 4 weeks because the Colts will be playing against two of the best offenses in the NFL in the Broncos and Eagles and they’ll need to get pressure on their quarterbacks. This is Werner’s make or break moment.
3rd Question: Are the Safeties Ready for a 16 Game Season?
The Colts lost their only consistent safety in Antoine Bethea this offseason, and will now need to rely on Delano Howell and Laron Landry. Landry is a quality player, but if often injured and has only played one full season, and missed 4 games last year. Delano Howell has very little experience in the NFL, and played in only a few games last season. He’ll be the starter for the season opener. Will these guys be ready to go all 16 games?
4th Question: Can the Offensive Line Perform Well this Year?
The offensive line has been a problem for the last few seasons. They haven’t been able to consistently open up holes up the middle and they aren’t able to keep Andrew Luck upright a lot of the time. They lack that consistency. However, they drafted Jack Mewhort early on and expect Donald Thomas to return to action, which should help quite a bit, but can this line finally become a good offensive line or will they hold the offense back (like they did in several games the last few years)?
5th Question: Do the Colts have a Team that can take the Next Step in the Playoffs?
The Colts have made some unbelievable strides in the last few seasons and that’s thanks to a great group of young and veteran players. However, they’ve been stopped early in the playoffs, and needed a miracle to win their first playoff game in the Andrew Luck era last season. Have they done enough to earn that “contender” status that the Broncos and Patriots have earned (in the AFC)? If your answer is yes to this question, then you believe that the Colts are Super Bowl contenders. If the answer is no, then expect more of the same, but it’s clear that the Colts are on the right path.