INDIANAPOLIS – The last time Chuck Pagano spoke to the entire team in January, he urged players to get away, rest up after a long season and return refreshed in April.
Here are 15 storylines (in no particular order) with the team on the front end of its off-season program that spans nine weeks:
Richardson joined the Colts in week three last year and was thrust into the offense immediately, the third one he was learning in a two-year span. Richardson has been used to the spotlight, and it starts early in 2014 as he hopes to carve his niche in the playing backfield.
2. Center of Action
Quote to note: Ryan Grigson (on the line): “We feel pretty good where we are at. We signed Phil Costa. He’s a tough, young center. We drafted Khaled Holmes to be that center of the future. He’s still a little bit of an unknown. It’s going to be a good competition. (The Colts) had great success with (Jeff) Saturday who was a CFA. I’ve been to three Super Bowls with two teams and on those teams, all of those centers were CFAs. That’s a position where you can find a quality guy. You don’t always need to have a high profile player at that spot.”
3. Presenting Strong Case
Antoine Bethea has left the strong safety position after holding it since 2006.
4. Reggie’s Return
One of the most welcomed sights this year will be the return of Wayne. He has been a rehabilitation warrior since his October knee injury and feels he is ahead of progress. There is no rush as one of the greatest Colts prepares for a return.
D’Qwell Jackson has reached 100 tackles in six different seasons and was lured to Indianapolis by the franchise’s ability to win. Joining a talented LB corps, can Jackson provide some salty action?
6. Werner’s World
Quote to note: Pagano (on Werner): “We saw some really bright spots out of Bjoern. He’s a smart guy, a tough guy, a high-character guy, loves football. He’s passionate about it, a gym rat, a grinder. I’m excited where he’s headed.”
7. Healthy Bradshaw, big punch
8. Adongo More than Special?
This time a year ago,
Last year, 76 veterans were off-season program participants, and 64 of them had attendance rates exceeding 90 percent. That is a high participation rate and an uncommonly impressive dedication to the cause. Some teams hand out off-season program certificates to prod players. Edgerrin James once quipped though he didn’t finish college he knew what ‘voluntary’ meant as he skipped workouts in 2000. Pagano’s instilling the notion of brotherhood and accountability is personified by the dedication to spring work.
Dwayne Allen went from 16 starts in 2012 to one in 2013 and was one of five offensive starters out for the season early. Can the promising, young talent master his domain?
11. Edge Setter in Year Two
12. Stick a Nose in it
Already one of the most successful NFL QBs over the first two years of a career, Andrew Luck is only getting better. Well beyond a third-year pro, observers will see a great player in his third time around the NFL block.
On a roster with three veteran 1,000-yard receivers, will
The NFL’s oldest player,