It is my opinion that the 2010 version of our Indianapolis Colts will be the best version yet. I believe the team as a whole on paper appears to have depth, explosiveness, experience, youthful energy, and special teams prowess for the first time in recent memory.
First things first, when talking about the Indy Colts, Offense is the meal ticket. We have Peyton coming off another MVP season, AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. PM's numbers have been remarkably consistant. Peyton set single season records in 2009 for: Completetions and completetion percentage. He also had the 2nd highest total passing yardage of his career and a 99.9 QB rating. Peyton has at least 3 more monster years ahead of him. Now, look at the running game. Joe Addai and Don Brown make a terrific 1-2 combo. Addai is a great blocker in pass protection, a solid reciever and tough runner. Brown has break away potential everytime he touches the ball, is an above average reciever out of the backfield and is improving as a blocker. Our wideouts and tight ends are loaded. This is the deepest group of recievers I can ever remember coming into a season. Think of the luxury we have, we bicker back and forth about who is our #4 reciever. Throw in Dallas Clark, Tom Santi, Jacob Tamme and rookie Brody Eldridge our TE's are in great shape. The revamped and much dissected Offensive Line is our Biggest Offensive question mark. The line appears on paper to be heavily leaning towards the run. Adam Terry, Andy Alleman, Jacques Mc Clendon the Ugoh move to guard and Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diehm have the makings of a solid run and pass line. Overall, our offense is primed for scoring early and often. If the O Line is able to improve any from last year, look out.
The defense should also be improved. Bob Sanders appears to be healthy, Dwight Freeney has had time to heal his foot injury, Gary Brackett and Antoine Bethea have been resigned, our CB's are a year older and the draft brought us some exciting new players to watch develop. Jerry Hughes screams scheme fit, just look at his YouTube highlights. He looks like a cross between Mathis and Freeney. How many highlights do you see Hughes running down a running back when the play play was on the opposite side of the field. That is DF or RM if I have ever seen them melted together and mixed in a mad scientists lab. Pat Angerer is a physically gifted linebacker. He possesses speed, thump, football IQ and versitility. I can see him towards the middle of the season, taking Wheelers WIL backer spot. Finally, on defense, Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney will be on the same field at the same time this season. Freeney, the best pass rusher in the game and Sanders, one of the most explosive tacklers in the league. The depth at D Line, Linebacker and in the Secondary is impressive. We will be able to go 4-5 deep in the backfield. Powers, Lachey, Hayden, Ray Fischer, Brandon King and Terrail Lambert offer a young but talented group of corners. Sanders, Bethea, Bullitt and Jaime Silva solidify the Saftey spots.
Finally the Special Teams. When was the last time you looked forward to watching us return a kick or punt? Verdin? The infusion of rookie talent should help propell our return game. Ray Fischer, Brandon James and Blair White should all make a play for the 2 returning spots. Any of the 3 should be a marked improvement over the last few years. Training Camp should be very interesting. The 2010 draft class should help invigorate our coverage units as well. Jerry Hughes, Pat Angerer Vuna "the flying death squirrel" are perfect fits for ST's. They all have excellent speed, quickness and are sure tackler's.
I think this season should be special. The offense was nearly unstoppable last season, behind a porous line, that appears to be fixed. The recievers were special, that also appears to be improved over last season. Gonzo missed 16 games due to a knee injury, it appears like AG will be at least #4 WR. Peyton will have more targets this season then ever before. Reggie, Garcon, Collie, Gonzo, Dallas, Addai and Brown all will be targets for 18. The O Line has been addressed in the off season, the competetion should be fierce. It looks like the personnel added via free agency and the draft have a slight tilt towards the running game. Any improvement over last year will be welcomed. The defense returns 10 starters from opening day a year ago, plus the return from injury of Bob Sanders. The D Line appears to be very deep at end and at tackle. Freeney, Mathis, Hughes, Dawson and CFL import John Chick will rotate the pressure. Eric Foster, Dan Muir, Mookie Johnson, draft pick Ricardo Matthews and second year player Fili Moala clog the middle of the field. Linebackers are experienced, fast and young. Brackett, the defensive captain was resigned. Gary has been an over achiever from day one, his leadership is a perfect fit for the young players around him. Clint Sessions, Phillip Wheeler and Pat Angerer are up and coming talents. Secondary, this is potentially our weak link on D. Hayden, Powers and Lachey played well last year. But, the off season saw the loss of Marlin Jackson and Tim Jennings. Jennings was fodder for Colts fans and Marlin couldnt stay healthy enough to play. In their places Indy drafted Fischer. Then signed UDFA's: Brandon King and Thad Turner. That appears to be a negative. CB is always a place where experience counts. Saftey is a strong suit for us. Bethea and Sanders are Pro Bowl caliber starters, Bullitt played great in BS's absence. Jamie Silva is a solid back up and special teams star. The team looks to have a better make up going into this season. I predict, 14 -2, AFC South Division, AFC Title and Super Bowl win for our Colts.