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Once again, John Clayton speaks

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John Clayton of ESPN lists his big questions for AFC teams today. What's his big question for the Colts?

Can the Colts survive their losses on defense?
Tony Dungy works so well with general manager Bill Polian. Polian knows Peyton Manning and the offense can already hold their own, but he still gave them a little infusion by drafting wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and tackle Tony Ugoh. Dungy and Polian also love developing young defenders, and are willing to let them play.

The key to the defense is how it survives the losses of cornerbacks Nick Harper and Jason David. There are plenty of unproven draft choices who will be counted on to emerge, such as Marlin Jackson, Tim Jennings and Daymeion Hughes. Kelvin Hayden also has some playing experience. The other challenge will be at weakside linebacker, where Freddy Keiaho will try to replace Cato June. The Colts can't afford too much of a drop-off on defense.

Once again, I must agree with the unquestioned master of football guruness, Mr. John Clayton. Just like last season, when people questioned whether or not Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai could replace Edgerrin James, this year the big question is can the Colts replace Nick Harper and Jason David at CB.

The obvious answer, to anyone who knows the Colts, is yes. Harper and David were fine players, but so are Jackson and Hayden. Daymeion Hughes looks like a steal in this year's draft, and I assume Tim Jennings offers something. He was second round pick last season.

I think a better question is can the Colts continue to play the kind of defense they showed in last year's playoffs, or will the revert to Jacksonville form?