With it now officially being game week, the Colts prepare for their week one opponent in the Bengals. In doing so, coach Reich is keeping some personnel decisions to himself.
Withholding information is something coaches have been doing since the beginning of football. They don’t want to give the opposing team any information that might help them gain an advantage. Frank Reich is doing the same thing going into week one.
Coach Reich told the media that he isn’t going to release his who the starters are at corner, right tackle or linebacker until game time. He said he didn’t want to give the Bengals any sort of prior knowledge going into Sunday’s game.
While that might be true, we can guess who those starters might be. Cornerback seems to be the easiest to project, with Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir almost certainly getting the nod after both had solid preseasons.
Linebacker is a little bit trickier. Darius Leonard and Najee Goode will be starters, but the other outside spot is a little bit of a question mark. It will probably be Skai Moore, who was a starter late in the preseason and who the Colts seem to like.
Right tackle is anyone’s guess. It is the single biggest question mark that the team has. No one played particularly well in that position in preseason, so it’s not like anyone won that spot outright. It looks like they are choosing between Braden Smith, who is a natural guard, J’Marcus Webb, and Joe Haeg.
Haeg seems to be the safest option. He has starting experience before and has shown flashes of decent play. But as Chris Ballard has already demonstrated, he prefers to start younger players to have them gain experience.
Based on that, it could be anyone. I would say Haeg, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Webb out there either. No matter who these starters are in week one, they all better play well or they will be replaced come week two.