Training Camp Road Trip – Indianapolis
Colts hoping to go one step further in 2015
Monday at Anderson University the Indianapolis Colts held their eighth practice of training camp in front of nearly 2,000 sun (and eventually rain) drenched fans, many of which pondering the same thing.
Is this defense good enough to get them to a Super Bowl?
Lord knows the offense is stacked to the gills and with the additions of Pro Bowlers wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore, the Colts offense which was ranked 3rd in total offense and 6th in scoring offense, can only become more proficient. The offense has some questions, mainly on the offensive line, but that is not the teams biggest concern at this point.
Indy ended 2014 ranked 14th in scoring defense in 2014 (23.1 ppg), 21st in sacks, but tied for the league lead in 3rd down conversions. Numbers alone never tell whole story, and the Colts probably won a handful of games thanks to the offense, more than the defense causing them to lose games.
But one fact remains, regardless of the players brought in, they where schemed to death last year by prolific offensive units. Indy got shredded by Denver in Week 1 (down 24-7 at half, Peyton Manning threw for 370 yards), gave up 51 points to Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger 522 yards, 6 TDs), and twice surrendered 40+ points to New England (42-20 loss at home in Week 11 and a 45-7 drubbing in the AFC Championship Game).
So where does Indianapolis go from here?
Bringing in Arthur Jones via free agency from Balitmore has been the most noticeable improvement along with added linebacker depth in the form of former Eagle Trent Cole, but the best medicine for the Colts defense in 2015 is going to be if they can stay healthy.
Veteran Robert Mathis (Achilles) has vowed to return to the field by September, and when he does return, it can only provide a boost along with a killer instinct.
Mathis worked for a good 85 minutes on an adjacent field as he tries to get into a spot where he can be cleared and removed off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and appears to be close to meeting his September target date.
NOTES FROM MONDAY’S PRACTICE:
- If you have never seen Andrew Luck in person, just picture a Centaur. Dude is built like a horse, and appears to be more trim than previous seasons.
- Andre Johnson looks healthy. He made a nifty jumping catch during 1-on-1’s, and is a sure fire target in the redzone for Luck. At 6-3, 230-ish, Johnson being healthy makes this offense just that much more impressive.
Three Point Stance twitter follower Johnathan Tennant (@jtennant1990) snagged this video of the Andre Johnson grab at Monday’s practice
— Jonathan Tennant (@jtennant1990) August 10, 2015
- Indy could have a heck of an insurance policy should something happen to kicker Adam Vinatieri. Punter Pat McAfee attempted eight field goals against a live blocking unit, hitting six including a long of 55 yards.
- Scouts from the Ottawa Redblacks and other Canadian Football League teams were on hand looking to upgrade their rosters. NFL teams have to trim their camp rosters to 75 players by September 1st.
- Rookie WR/KR Phillip Dorsett is both faster and quicker in person. TV does not do this kid justice. If he were taller, my money would be on him starting over Donte Moncrief.