@Coltsfanwilson what do u want to see this Thursday when they play the jets?
— Aaron Andrew Hankins (@AAHankins) August 5, 2014
I'm that nerdy sports analyst who doesn't care as much about watching the starting unit in preseason as I do about watching the bubble guys. I want to see what they can do against live competition, with hitting, physicality, and a different team. I'll certainly be watching the starters closely, too, however, and two of the people I'll be watching most closely will be center Khaled Holmes and left guard Jack Mewhort. I'm typically much more interested in paying attention to specific players in the preseason, however, and while I haven't made up my list of guys to really watch for, I'm really excited about seeing Donte Moncrief, Jonathan Newsome, Daniel Adongo, Henoc Muamba, and pretty much most of the undrafted free agents (see a later question about the UDFAs for specific ones I'm watching). I love watching Colts preseason because I get to see some of the depth guys, and yes, I know that makes me weird. But after watching them so much in camp, I want to see just how much translates to game action, and above all, it'll just be nice to watch Colts football again (and no, I don't really care who wins. I'd love it to be the Colts, but you won't find me on here that upset if they lose).
@Coltsfanwilson Love all the coverage u do. I was wondering if you have a fringe player you're personally cheering for to make the team?
— Dann Giszewski (@giszewski) August 5, 2014
Good question. Of the bubble guys, the players I'm probably rooting for the most as a fan are Daniel Adongo, Henoc Muamba, and Erik Swoope. Adongo has the athleticism, size, and speed that just makes him stand out, and I think his development this year has been impressive. He's not to the place where he can consistently produce on defense, but he has shown flashes there in camp and could help in special teams. Plus, it's just a great story. Another great story is that of Henoc Muamba, who the Colts signed from the CFL this year - where Muamba was a star. He's playing inside linebacker for the team and while we haven't seen a whole lot from him in camp, I am excited to really see what he can do. Also, Erik Swoope was a college basketball player but the Colts signed him anyway and turned him into a tight end. Receiving-wise, he's been pretty good, but it's probably most likely that he starts off on the practice squad. As you can tell, the guys I'm rooting for as a fan are those who have a great story.
Both. In my pre-camp 53-man roster projection, I had the Colts keeping just three running backs (Trent Richardson, Vick Ballard, and Ahmad Bradshaw) and one fullback (Stanley Havili). A lot has changed since then. Havili has yet to practice as he's on the PUP list and Ballard is out for the season with a torn Achilles. So if I had to update my predictions as of this moment, I'd have the team keeping four running backs - Richardson and Bradshaw and then Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton (and, on that note, I'd change the fullback to Mario Harvey). The Colts are going to need someone to step up with Ballard now out, and so far Herron and Tipton have been the most impressive. I have long liked Tipton and have been impressed with him in camp, and then Herron obviously has the talent and has been getting significant reps in camp as well. Ultimately, however, we can't tell a whole lot from the running game in camp and will have to wait for the preseason, but as of right now, I think both Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton make it.
@StampedeBlue looking at positional groups, which are the team's strengths and weakness?
— Drew Campbell (@ozew5) August 5, 2014
The deepest position on the Colts is the wide receiver group. The team has T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne as their two starters, and both of them are very good. Then Hakeem Nicks has the talent and hopefully he can reach it, and then Donte Moncrief has been the most impressive rookie in camp and has far exceeded my expectations. Griff Whalen is a reliable receiver, and Da'Rick Rogers brings a lot of talent to the table. Even some of the other guys, like Eric Thomas, Tony Washington, and Ryan Lankford have looked pretty good in camp, and then newly signed receiver Nu'Keese Richardson has a lot of talent too. The receiver position is very deep. As for the position that's the least deep, that's a tougher question. I'd say it's either the offensive line or the cornerback spot. So far in camp, the second team offensive line has been completely awful as a unit - but that said, there are some decent players. I'm fine with Joe Reitz as a backup, and the same with guys like Xavier Nixon and Lance Louis. So there are some guys there, but as a whole, the depth is very questionable, and I think we'll see that on Thursday in the preseason game. The corner spot has some great talent at the top in Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, and Darius Butler, but after that is Josh Gordy, Sheldon Price, Loucheiz Purifoy, Qua Cox, Johnny Adams, and others. There are plenty of decent guys battling for the spot, but it's clear that if Davis, Toler, or Butler goes down, the depth will become even more of a question because it will be in the center of attention.
@Coltsfanwilson likelihood any UDFA make the team or even practice squad?
— Drew Campbell (@ozew5) August 5, 2014
As I mentioned above, Zurlon Tipton stands a good chance now. Loucheiz Purifoy's chances are very interesting and with a good preseason he should likely play himself on the way onto the team, but there's still a long way to go for that - he's certainly got a chance, however (and the same goes for Qua Cox, though Purifoy has been the more impressive in camp by a long ways). Same with Dewey McDonald - he hasn't been as impressive in camp as expected and he's probably clearly on the outside looking in right now, but at the safety position the Colts could use help and so keep an eye out on McDonald. Erik Swoope is most likely to start on the practice squad, but if an injury or something happened to Jack Doyle or Weslye Saunders, then Swoope would likely be next in line. Also, if you consider Henoc Muamba to be an undrafted free agent, he's certainly one with a shot to make the team, and then we can't forget about the offensive linemen either. Look out for Chad Anderson, who's currently listed as the second team right guard, and then center Jonotthan Harrison might stick around with Donald Thomas (likely the backup center option) out for the year and with the questions about Khaled Holmes. Obviously, not all of the players I mentioned will make the roster, but they are the ones with the best chances. Those are really the guys to be keeping an eye on in preseason. And, because several have asked, Zach Kerr really hasn't done much in camp. The Colts have several bodies along the defensive line ahead of him, but there's a spot if he plays his way onto the team in preseason - but based on what I've seen in camp, I don't expect that to happen.
@Coltsfanwilson More red zone TDs this year: Trent Richardson or Dwayne Allen?
— Steamboat_Shaun (@shonkerr) August 5, 2014
Fun question, and I'll probably take the unpopular option by saying Richardson. The Colts are looking to get him more involved in the passing game, and as a runner he should be improved. Either way, the Colts will continue to give him looks and that should result in several opportunities, at least. Allen will certainly get his opportunities, too, but there are a lot of other receiving options too, such as T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, and Coby Fleener, to name a few. Allen is a great threat and weapon and he will help the Colts a lot, but when it comes to scores, he might not get as many in the red zone as Trent Richardson.