“Out with the old, in with the new” could very well be a motto for this year’s Colts team. After releasing a large majority of veterans this offseason, the Colts were more active in free agency and then went on to acquire one of their most promising draft classes in recent memory. Will the youth bring a new fire to the Colts? How long will it take to, as they say, “Build the Monster”? Only time will tell, but we’ll get an idea soon, for the youth contingent has already gotten to work in Indianapolis: Rookie minicamp has begun.
Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, 8 other drafted rookies, and 15 undrafted free agents will participate in a 3-day orientation of sorts as they familiarize themselves with their new jobs and coaches. The players will also begin work on the field at the Colts’ practice facility - the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
The spotlight will definitely be on the Colts this year. Fans will expect Andrew Luck to make an immediate impact, but they’ll need to remember that even Peyton Manning went 3-13 his rookie season. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen will be under a large amount of pressure to ready Luck to run his fist professional-level offense. To add, General Manager Ryan Grigson will be evaluated based on the performances of 10 unproven – although talented and promising – young men. It doesn’t seem all that fair, does it? But Grigson is up to the task, and the players – both rookies and veterans – are confident.
The Colts also acquired a more experienced running back this week when they claimed Deji Karim off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Karim sat behind Maurice Jones-Drew, who led the league in rushing last season. He wasn’t the most productive back, but he shows promise as a kick-returner, something that the Colts desperately need. Last year, the Colts were the league’s worst team in terms of average yards per kick return – 18.6.
Thankfully, those poor returns were compensated by the stellar punting of Pat McAfee, who turned 25 this week. In 2011, the Colts were in the top tier of teams in terms of total punting yards due to McAfee’s contributions. Happy Birthday to the boy with the golden toe!
That’s all for #HorseBytes, catching you up on the week’s biggest news via #ColtsNation’s top tweets. Until next week, stay true and blue to the Horseshoe!