Pro Football Talk has been doing their preseason power rankings, and the Indianapolis Colts checked in at number eight. Darrin Gantt wrote of the team:
"Playing in a division that is unsettled at best and ridiculous at worst (it occupied three of the bottom eight spots in our Preseason Power Rankings), the Colts should easily own the top spot in the AFC South barring a calamitous injury.
"This year's additions weren't as dramatic as last year's spending, but they added depth to an already good team, the kind of thing you're able to do when your quarterback is both excellent and on a cheap rookie contract."
In Bleacher Report's Ty Schalter's pre-camp power rankings, he has the Colts ranked 13th (and included a nice link to an article from me as well). Schalter wrote about Pep Hamilton's offensive scheme, as well as the defense, saying:
"On the other side of the ball, Pagano cobbled together a top-10 scoring defense despite lacking playmakers. Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Colts going into training camp is whether the departure of safety Antoine Bethea and addition of linebacker D'Qwell Jackson will be a successful defensive "heart transplant.""
In yet another power ranking article, CBS's Pete Prisco, the Colts are ranked 14th. Prisco wrote:
"They are clearly the class of their division, but now they have to show they can do more come playoff time. Andrew Luck hides a lot of team issues."
ESPN's Mike Wells wrote about the top five "newcomers" for the Colts in 2014, and it's a good read and list. Here's what Wells said about number one, center Khaled Holmes, but the rest of the list is worth a read as well:
"1. Center Khaled Holmes. I know, I know, Holmes isn't technically a newcomer because he was on the roster last season. But Holmes played only 12 snaps and now he's the Colts' starting center. The goal is for Holmes to bring stability -- something last season's starter, Samson Satele, couldn't do at the center position. Do that and the issues at both guard spots will have a better chance of falling into place. How Holmes handles the challenge of being the team's starting center is what people are looking forward to seeing the most."
In a great read from Colts.com's Craig Kelley, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano opens up about entering year three as a head coach and year three with the Colts. Here's a quote from the article, quoting Pagano:
"Year three, (we're) heading in the right direction," said Pagano in June, when he said vacation truly was not vacation for team's chasing a title. "Everybody's on the same page. Everybody understands what our environment and our culture is.
"They understand process. They understand what ‘BTM' means. We enlightened (rookies) all on what ‘BTM' stood for. I feel good going into year three. We took a step last year. We need to take another one this year."
The Anderson Herald Bulletin's George Bremer wrote about his five favorite memories in the five years that the Colts have been back in Anderson for training camp, and it's a fun and entertaining list that's worth your time. I particularly found his number four entertaining:
4. An impromptu touchdown pass
During a water break in a 2010 practice, Peyton Manning pulled a young fan from the crowd near the sideline. He huddled briefly with the boy, drawing up a play in the palm of his hand, then sent him out on a pass pattern toward the end zone.
After a couple of attempts ended with overthrows, Manning displayed the quick thinking that has helped him win five NFL MVP awards. With the help of tight end Dallas Clark, he positioned the young man at the goal line about 20 yards away before the throw ever left the quarterback's hand.
When the next pass ended with a completion in the end zone, the crowd erupted and one fan received the memory of a lifetime. Where else but training camp can you see anything like that?
Bleacher Report's Kyle Rodriguez wrote about the five big areas of concern for the Colts entering training camp, and it'll give you an idea of those question marks and concerns that you've probably heard about already, but Rodriguez does a good job explaining it. Here's part of what he wrote in the intro:
"The Colts have plenty of issues across the board, evidenced by their 20th ranking in ESPN's recent "Futures" Power Rankings (subscription required). While the Colts have proved that they have the quarterback to lead the team, the rest of the roster, coaching staff and front office have legitimate questions and concerns. Even Luck has had his inconsistencies in his first two seasons."
In a fun article that shows the nature of the NFL offseason, Sports Illustrated did an article about what is in quarterback Andrew Luck's fridge. Seriously. Sarah Toland wrote about what is in Luck's fridge, which includes chocolate:
Chocolate: Young Luck-wannabes take note: The two-time Pro Bowler eats chocolate every day-but not just anything from the candy aisle will do. "I don't like candy bars," he says. "I eat the big rectangular bars. You know-anything between 85 and 50 percent cocoa." High-cocoa chocolate, a fondness for which Luck credits to his European youth, means less sugar and more inflammation-fighting nutrients than regular candy bars. Still, the quarterback, who has thrown for 46 touchdowns in his two seasons, wonders if his daily intake exceeds the normal parameters for good health. "I think chocolate in moderation is not bad for you, but I eat way too much," he says. "I tell myself I'm going to eat two squares and then I end up eating half a big bar."