The Indianapolis Colts headed into training camp with a lot of new players on both offense and defense, not to mention a new offensive coordinator and a completely different offensive scheme compared to last season.
Andrew Luck will be expected to put up some big numbers this season considering all of the targets around him. While he certainly had a few last season, he will have even more coming into the season.
I've been able to spend time at training camp on four separate days, and here's what I've been able to see from each of the likely weapons for Luck on the final 53-man roster.
- Coby Fleener looks to be far and away the most exciting weapon on offense. He consistently makes big plays at each practice, and his speed getting down the field really impresses me for a guy listed at 6'6''. He seems to have the best timing with Luck of the group, and that's saying a lot. Assuming he can stay healthy this season, Fleener is going to put up some really nice numbers.
- Reggie Wayne has been, well, Reggie Wayne. He's the ultimate professional when it comes to the position. He makes all of the catches you want from an established veteran, and he finds ways to make the difficult ones look easy. There have been a couple times where Luck and Wayne weren't on the same page, but the fact that they get together and talk about it each time shows a lot about the relationship between the two.
- Other than a couple of drops I've seen, T.Y. Hilton has been electric. He's made some big plays throughout camp, including grabbing three touchdowns at camp on Tuesday night. He looks very comfortable in the offense and enjoys getting the ball deep down the field.
- While a lot of attention has gone to Fleener, Dwayne Allen has had a very nice camp as well. He's certainly not as fast as Fleener, but he can make plays in the passing game. When the ball is in his hands, I'm sure that he will be able to plow through some guys this season.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey has had a strange camp. He struggled to start it off, but really started turning it around this past week before the knee injury. What I can say is that if DHB holds onto the ball and limits the drops, he's going to be very fun to watch in this offense. His size combined with his speed could make him an excellent receiver.
- Justice Cunningham, the Mr. Irrelevant pick, has actually looked good at camp. He's had a few drops, but it's nothing like what I was anticipating after the scouting reports I saw. Still, he runs very awkwardly and is pretty slow, but it's good to see he's making an effort to stay after practice and continue to get better.
- LaVon Brazill has been inconsistent in my time there. He's made some nice plays, but at the same time he's had some concerning drops here and there. I'm not really super impressed with anything he does, but he made a couple of plays in 2012 to make me feel like he can contribute after the suspension.
- Last, but certainly not least, the Griff Whalen hype is legitimate. For those who have seen him at camp this year, you know what I mean. He has the physical traits I love to see in a wide receiver. He isn't the fastest guy out there, but he does a great job on his routes with some quick feet and brings catches in with incredibly soft hands.
- The tight ends have been playing everywhere so far. I've seen Fleener and Allen as traditional tight ends, flankers, in the slot and even on the outside. Both guys seem to enjoy moving around, and they've been able to get open wherever they've lined up.
- The receivers have been everywhere as well. It appears that Wayne will be used in the slot primarily, with DHB and Hilton on the outside. However, all three guys can move around, and this versatility could be quite nice in regards to throwing off defenses throughout the season.
- I've seen a lot of check-downs at camp, and I personally love it. Personally, I imagine Bruce Arians screaming at Luck asking why he didn't avoid three defenders then throw a 50-yard bomb, but that's just me. The shorter routes will be nice with all of the options Luck has this year.
- Finally, perhaps the strangest part of the offense has been Luck sending guys out of the backfield and into the slot or even out wide. This has happened with Vick Ballard, Donald Brown and even Stanley Havili. I'm not exactly sure how having Havili run routes on the outside will work, but it's certainly interesting.