The Colts play tonight! In roughly four hours, the Colts will officially kick off their 2014 season with their first preseason game against the New York Jets. While there are a lot of players worth keeping an eye on, since it is of course the first actual game, and while I'll certainly be watching and re-watching the game to make sure I give you all complete coverage of all of those players, here is a list of five Colts that I'll be especially watching tonight in the first preseason game:
Jack Mewhort, left guard
It's always very hard to tell much of anything from linemen in training camp, and that's why there are two on this list - because not only is it hard to tell from camp, but we've not been able to see either of these guys really play in the NFL. For Mewhort, he's a rookie and the team's first draft choice this year (in the second round). He would have been someone to watch anyway, but then with the injury to Donald Thomas, Mewhort is the team's starting left guard. How will he do? Tonight will give us our first real clue.
Khaled Holmes, center
Like Mewhort, it's nearly impossible to tell anything concrete about Holmes from camp, and like Mewhort, we really haven't seen much of Holmes in the NFL. In fact, last year Holmes played just a handful of snaps, yet this year he's the team's starting center and clearly cemented in that spot too. I don't think it's a bad idea to start Holmes, but we should be able to see a glimpse of whether that's true or not tonight.
Donte Moncrief, wide receiver
A rookie who should see significant time tonight is wide receiver Donte Moncrief. While the starters will only play a drive or two, I'd expect Moncrief to play more than that, and he's clearly the best receiver among the non-starters (plus, he'll probably get a few reps with the starters since Reggie Wayne is not playing). I have been very impressed by Moncrief in camp and can't wait to see him in a game.
Jonathan Newsome, outside linebacker
Like Moncrief and Mewhort, Jonathan Newsome was drafted by the Colts this year and so we haven't seen him in game-action yet either. And, much like Moncrief, Newsome will likely get significant playing time tonight. He has impressed me in camp so far with his pass rush skills, and I'm excited to see how well those translate to games and how he will do against the Jets tonight.
Trent Richardson, running back
If you couldn't sense it already, there's a heavy theme on this list of seeing players who we haven't yet seen in the NFL. And that makes sense, since it's the first preseason game. But a player who we have seen in the NFL is Trent Richardson, yet I'm going to be watching him just as closely. He'll likely get only a few carries, but those should be enough to at least give us a glimpse as to whether or not Richardson really has improved over the offseason.
There are a number of other players who I'll be watching closely, but these are five of the ones who I definitely will be keeping my eye on. What about you - who are you excited to watch tonight?