Tomorrow, the Indianapolis Colts report to training camp. Yes, we're almost there. Of course, while this is obviously very exciting news, the reality is that we have been getting ready for this moment for the past couple of months here at Stampede Blue, and so therefore there's an abundance of preview articles and information out there. Naturally, you might be overwhelmed or miss something, so we've decided to help you out and compile links and stuff to each article in one fancy post, which we're calling our Stampede Blue Training Camp Primer - a fancy title too, I know.
In one of our annual staples during the summer months, I looked at each position on the Colts individually. As such, we looked at every single player on the roster (except wide receiver Aaron Burks, who was signed right as the series was coming to an end. That's not fair.). While the links to every article are below, if you're going to just read one from the series, make it the wrap up article. In that post, I made my official pre-camp predictions for the 53-man roster and gave some final thoughts to wrap up the series. But if you have the time, give the whole series a read... I think they're pretty good...
Training Camp Battles:
One of the most interesting and intriguing parts of camp each year is the number of battles that take place both for roster spots and for starting spots. That's certainly true of the Colts this year, and while we didn't hit every battle that will take place, we looked at several of the major ones that will be happening. Of course, the one obvious and glaring one that trumps the others appears to be safety, as that's the one spot on the roster where we enter camp without a clear idea of who the starter will be. It seems clear that it will likely be either Delano Howell or Mike Adams, but which one? That will be decided in camp. Take a look at our series of articles highlighting some of the camp battles (although, admittedly, there won't be much of a battle at receiver anymore since LaVon Brazill was released - I guess the answers started coming a bit early this year).
2014 Pressure Players:
This was a particularly interesting series of posts despite only being four articles long, as we looked at a few players who really have a lot of pressure on them entering the 2014 season. We looked at running back Trent Richardson, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, center Khaled Holmes, and defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, and the clear underlying theme for all of these guys is that, despite being on the list for different reasons, they all have to step up and play well and they all have a lot of pressure on them to do so. Three of the guys haven't lived up to expectations, and the other (Holmes) has hardly seen the field yet will be starting this year. These are the guys who we will be watching closely, and clearly, the pressure is on.
14 for '14:
This series actually just wrapped up this morning, and in it we counted down the 14 most important players to the Colts success in 2014. The list featured a variety of players - eight defensive players, five offensive players, and one special teams player. To the surprise of no one, this morning quarterback Andrew Luck was ranked the most important player to the Colts success in 2014, but after that it was a bit of a difficult list. There were some important players left off and you might disagree with the order, but the bottom line is that these guys will play a crucial role to the Colts in 2014.
| 14. Pat McAfee | 13. Anthony Castonzo | 12. Greg Toler | 11. Reggie Wayne | 10. Cory Redding | 9. Dwayne Allen | 8. Bjoern Werner | 7. Arthur Jones | 6. LaRon Landry | 5. Jerrell Freeman | 4. Robert Mathis | 3. T.Y. Hilton | 2. Vontae Davis | 1. Andrew Luck |
Free Agent Profiles:
In another annual staple, I looked at each of the free agents the Colts brought in this offseason. If you're looking for something to let you know who the player is and how he should help the Colts, these are articles you need to check out. The "major" free agents are all represented, with linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, defensive lineman Arthur Jones, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, center Phil Costa (ok, no jokes... how could I have known he was going to retire?), and safeties Colt Anderson and Mike Adams. If you're looking for information on the free agent additions, here you go:
Draft Pick Profiles:
Taking off of the free agent profiles, I also did draft pick profiles. Each article closely resembles the free agent profile ones, although, obviously with the Colts draft picks instead of free agents. I give background info on each player and then what they bring to the Colts and their outlook for this year and for the future. Again, if you're looking for information about any of the Colts picks from this year's draft, check these out:
We've done plenty more articles than just these on Stampede Blue this offseason, but these should be a good foundation to get you primed and ready as we enter training camp. Of course, keep it here at Stampede Blue for the latest and as always, follow along on twitter for up to the minute news on @coltsfanwilson and @StampedeBlue.