INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 24, Westfield, Indiana
LAST YEAR: Colts became one of league’s top surprises in coach
Frank Reich’s first season. Andrew Luck proved right shoulder was
healthy and revamped offensive line kept him upright. Defense took
major leap under new coordinator Matt Eberflus. Indy improved
regular-season win total by six, ended three-year playoff drought,
reached divisional round after wild-card win at Houston, and
produced first set of rookie All-Pro teammates (OG Quenton Nelson
and LB Darius Leonard) since 1965.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: DE Justin Houston, WRs Devin Funchess and
Parris Campbell, RB Spencer Ware, CB Rock Ya-Sin, senior offensive
assistant coach Howard Mudd.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: OL Matt Slauson, OL coaches Dave DeGuglielmo and
Bobby Johnson, S Mike Mitchell, LB Najee Goode, DT Al Woods, TE
Ryan Hewitt, WRs Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman.
CAMP NEEDS: GM Chris Ballard wants to see upgrades. He signed
Funchess and drafted Campbell to give Luck more downfield options.
Indy believes second-year WRs Daurice Fountain and Deon Cain
(coming off torn ACL) also fit into mix. Hiring of Chris Strausser
as OL coach and Mudd’s return should help young line’s development.
Houston was brought in to improve pass rush, and second-year
defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay could make bigger
impact this season. Adding Ya-Sin and three LBs in draft may help
back seven take big jump, too.
EXPECTATIONS: Luck missed all of offseason workouts (strained calf)
but is expected to be healthy for start of camp. And with healthy
Luck, Colts know anything is possible. They have one of best young
lines in league, young defense that got better as season went on,
and continuity with every starter back on offense, defense and
special teams. Division title and deep playoff run could be within
reach in 2019.