What to watch for in the Colts’ preseason

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 09: Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates with Al-Quadin Muhammad #97 after sacking Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 09: Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates with Al-Quadin Muhammad #97 after sacking Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Colts kick off the season on Thursday against the Bills. Here are 5 things that you should be watching out for throughout the entire preseason for the Colts.

Now remember this is only a preseason which means we won’t be seeing the starters much. But we’re going to get a good look at the late-round rookies and the backups and really see how the Colts are going to shape up for this new season. Here’s 5 things I’ll be looking for throughout the preseason.

1: Return of the Deon Cain.

Deon Cain’s movement in and of his routes are something to watch. Cain is one of my favorite players currently on the Colts roster. During the last draft season, Cain was a guy who really caught my attention. I immediately thought Cain was going to be a star.

Everything that was coming from camp were proving my thoughts correct. Unfortunately Cain tore his ACL before we actually saw him in real game action. But Cain is practicing and showing more flashes on the field. Look for Cain to be the star of the preseason.

2: The health of Andrew Luck.

There are a lot of reports coming out about the Colts franchise quarterback, some being good and some being bad. The Colts open up the preseason against the Bills on Thursday. You can bet that Andrew Luck will more than likely not be suiting up for this meaningless game.

What you want to see is the the broadcast team talking about the injury, because they would’ve had time to meet with Luck and the Colts coaching staff to talk about the injury concerning Luck. Keep in mind Luck does say he’ll be ready to go by week 1 and I believe him and so should you.

3: Backup Quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, and Chad Kelly.

It’s safe to say we know what they have in Brissett as a player from a few seasons back when he started all year for the Colts. But it will be interesting to see how much run time he gets because of the Luck injury.

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Now Brissett has an interesting situation this season. He is entering a contract year and there’s no doubt that he can start in this league. Him having a good outing could lead to an increase in his trade value. Walker and Kelly must prove to the Colts that they can put trust in on them if they see an opportunity to trade Brissett later on. Keep in mind Kelly is facing a suspension for the first 2 weeks of the season. that suspension could alter the way the Colts go about a possible Brissett trade.

4: Bobby Okereke vs Anthony Walker

This is going to be an interesting matchup to see who lines up on the starting defense for the Colts. Obviously Walker is a very good player and racked up a ton of tackles next to the Maniac. During camp we’ve seen both Okereke and Walker get run with the starters.

Although Okereke is a rookie, I think it’s safe to say the Colts have a pretty good track record in drafting linebackers. Watch for leadership on the field from these 2 players. Being the inside linebacker calls for great play on the field and the respect from your teammates. Most cases the inside linebacker is the playcaller on defense. It’ll be interesting to see how rookie Okereke handles that type of pressure.

5: The Pass Rush.

We now know that Jabaal Sheard is going to miss an extensive period of time dealing with the injury. The Colts went out and signed Justin Houston, and drafted Gerri Green and Ben Banogu. The Colts have plenty of options to fill the void left by Sheard.

Kemoko Turay is obviously a guy that Colts fans need to watch this preseason. After a sub par rookie season, he’s now in position to run away with a starting position on this Colts defense. Using pass rush by committee is nothing new to the Colts and I expect them to use a committee approach to the pass rush without Sheard.

Make no mistake about a committee approach; It doesn’t mean lack of competition, if anything it means more competition. These players are going to do battle for the starting spot and getting reps to get after the opposing quarterbacks. This pass rush spot is one of the most intriguing on the Colts roster.

Honorable mentions:

  1. The punt and kick returners. Last year we saw Chester Rogers returning, but it looks like the Colts wanted to make a switch this season.
  2. The WR roster spots. We know Funchess, Hilton, and Rogers are more than likely safe. outside of this guys its a real question mark as to who else will make the team. (My prediction is: Funchess, Hilton, Rogers, Pascal, Campbell, Cain.) I think Fountain could possibly wiggle his way onto the roster.
  3. Eric Ebron. This offseason Ebron wanted to work on getting on the field more. the most obvious way to get more reps is being a better blocker at the tight end position. It’ll be interesting to see how well he improved as a blocker this offseason.

Next. Kemoko Turay must step up in Sheard's absence. dark

Keep any eye out for all of these things throughout the preseason. Colts football is just a day away.