Colts at Eagles Preseason: What to Watch For
By Evan Reller
The Indianapolis Colts will be at the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon for the two teams first preseason game of the 2015 season. The two teams have a number of new pieces to work in this season, but we likely won’t see those players much in this first game.
These two teams have some interesting crossover. Colts GM Ryan Grigson was the former Director of Player Personnel for the Eagles and has picked up a few players from Philly after the were cut.
The Colts currently have two of the Eagles former starters in outside linebacker Trent Cole and guard Todd Herremans. Grigson also managed to snatch former 49ers running back Frank Gore away from signing with the Eagles.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny during the offseason. He’s made a number of bold trades to get the team just the way he wants and managed to upset a bunch of former players. Kelly’s unique spread offense will give the Colts a good stress test for their defense this Sunday, but they won’t see this kind of team again this year.
Here’s what fans should be on the lookout for tomorrow:
- Rookie Receivers. As of right now, Phillip Dorsett fourth on the depth chart and Duron Carter is fifth. I highly doubt that changes, but both should get a fair number of snaps on Sunday. Dorsett is a great option between the 20s while Carter is dangerous in the red zone. Quan Bray is another receiver who has been impressive during camp. I can’t see the Colts taking more than six receiver into the season, so it will be a fight of the last spot.
- Jalil Brown. The journeyman corner is headed into his fifth season and has never truly stuck with a team. That said, he has been extremely impressive in camp and not just against the backup receivers. With Darius Butler and Vontae Davis injured for most of camp, Brown has lined up against T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson and managed to make plays. If there is one area where Chuck Pagano is a true genius, it is clearly with players in the secondary.
- Running Backs. Don’t expect to see much of Frank Gore on Sunday. The bulk of the carries are going to go to players like Zurlon Tipton and rookie Josh Robinson. Robinson had a lot of carries the past two days in camp and should be getting even more on Sunday. Don’t expect to see much from Vick Ballard, if he even plays at all as he’s been on a tight snap count in camp.
- More Rookies. You can really single out every rookie on the roster as players to watch but two defenders standout, Clayton Geathers and D’Joun Smith, for different reasons. Geathers has been impressive since he was drafted and has taken first team reps in various ways. Smith, on the other hand, has been burned a lot. Too many times I noted that Smith was the corner who was beaten for a big gain by a third string WR. It is a tough position to learn to play, but both players will be stressed against the fast paced Philly offense.
- THE Quarterback. Get ready for a healthy dose of Tim Tebow on Sunday. The over-covered QB is currently third on the Eagle’s depth chart, but with Sam Bradford out he’s sure to get a lot of snaps. Tebow hasn’t played since 2012 and has a career completion percentage of 48 percent. That doesn’t mean he turns the ball over a lot though as it is hard to throw interceptions when you are one-hopping passes to receiver. Expect the defense to look good when he’s on the field.
- Injuries. This should go without saying, especially considering where the Colts perpetually rank in games lost to injury every season. Getting out of this game with no new injuries is a win, even if Philly blows them out.