The Indianapolis Colts enjoyed a strong 2018 highlighted by the return of quarterback Andrew Luck. They managed to go 10-6 on the year, making the playoffs as a wild card team.
Although last year was fun, the Colts definitely would like to improve upon it. That means there are certain things they need to figure out before the regular season starts.
Here are three areas of focus for the Indianapolis Colts entering their second preseason game of 2019.
3. Passing Game Without Andrew Luck
The Indianapolis Colts have proven something glaringly obvious over the last two years. They go as quarterback Andrew Luck goes. When he was hurt in 2017 they couldn’t buy a win. The team looked absolutely dreadful on offense 95% of the time and it made the already shaky defense look even worse.
Then in 2018, it took some time for the team to get things going but once they did they were one of the better teams in the league. The defense was much improved (especially thanks to Darius Leonard) but you have to give the main credit for the turnaround to Luck.
That leaves them with a big question though. Luck is struggling with injuries at the moment and although he should be ready for the start of the year, it’s a little concerning.
With that in mind, the Colts need to figure out a game plan should Luck miss time in the regular season. Jacoby Brissett is the backup, and a pretty solid one at that. However, there’s a consistency factor with him. He can put up pretty big numbers one week, then completely disappear the next.
Indianapolis needs to find out a way to mask those disappearing games should they need to.
Working on a solution for that in the preseason would make a lot of sense.
2. Get Rock Ya-Sin Comfortable
Rock Ya-Sin is going to be an incredible talent to watch at cornerback. The rookie should make an immediate impact on the defense. That’s great news for an already quickly improving young defense.
However, you can’t just throw a rookie cornerback to the wolves. You need to make sure he’s ready to help – or else he’ll end up hurting the defense a lot more than helping it.
The good thing about Ya-Sin is that he’s already extremely physical and someone that isn’t exactly coming into the NFL raw. He’s already pretty polished for someone with no NFL experience.
That being said, making sure everything goes smoothly for the rookie is the best course of action. That means giving him as much time as possible to get acquainted with NFL game speed.
If the Indianapolis Colts focus on Rock Ya-Sin’s development as much as possible right now, he’ll be that much better at the start of the season – when the games really count.
1. Figuring Out the Wide Receivers
The Indianapolis Colts have one of the more exciting wide receivers in the NFL in T.Y. Hilton. He’s proven to be a higher-tiered wide receiver throughout his career, but has never had much help at the position.
The tight ends seem set now with Eric Ebron breaking out last season and Jack Doyle being a solid threat. However, the wide receivers are more of a question mark.
Indianapolis definitely made some moves to fix that this year but now needs to prove they were the right moves.
It’s hard to knock the drafting of Parris Campbell. He has “star” written all over him and should make an immediate impact. Meanwhile, Devin Funchess is a solid pick up and someone that can take pressure off both Campbell and Hilton.
How will those two mesh with the offense though? That’s something that needs to be worked out in the preseason and something they should begin to focus on in the second game.
Even more so though, what about the names behind them? Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers and Penny Hart are just a few of the players that will be making a move for more time. In fact, Rogers especially could even be fighting with Campbell and Funchess for some time.
The Indianapolis Colts are running out of preseason though. They need to start laying the groundwork for how their receiving corps will look.
The second week of the preseason seems like a perfect time for that.