3 things that need to happen at Colts OTAs
The Indianapolis Colts start OTAs on May 24, and though it’s just spring practice, there are several promising things that can happen.
After an offseason of trades, free agency signings, and an NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts will finally gather as a full team as they start OTAs.
Some players have already been in the facility for the first part of the offseason program, and rookies have already had their rookie minicamp. However, this is the phase where everyone is usually present and the team will be able to have more competitive offense vs. defense periods.
The Colts OTAs schedule is May 24-26, June 1-3, and June 13-16. All OTAs are voluntary but Indy usually has pretty good attendance. There will be a mandatory minicamp from June 7-9.
While OTAs are light, non-padded work, it still is a first look at a newly put-together team. It’s a time to see how rookies and new veterans are adjusting, as well as seeing how returning players are improving.
Performances in OTAs aren’t the end all be all. Whether a player looks good or bad, there’s much more time before the season starts for a player to move in either direction.
However, fans still get excited and hope to hear about certain things happening in these practices. So let’s look at 3 things we hope to hear are happening at the Colts OTAs.
1. Matt Ryan looks great
The Colts made some big acquisitions this offseason but none may be more important than the trade for Matt Ryan. Ryan is viewed as the quarterback that can help this team win it all.
Throughout his short time in Indianapolis, he has already impressed a lot of people. It would be great if that continues with OTAs. Ryan is still adjusting to a new system, so everything may not be super smooth.
However, it would be a great start if he demonstrates that he’s getting a good feel for things early, building chemistry with the pass catchers, and looks amazing throwing the ball.
2. Rookies look ready to contribute
The Colts were a talented team last season but they had a few holes that needed to be addressed. Indianapolis chose to address some of those holes through the Draft. That means some rookies will have to fast-track their development and become reliable contributors in year one.
It’s asking a lot to ask year one players to come and dominate their first-ever OTAs, but it would be great if they did. However, dominance isn’t necessary. Some of the rookies just need to perform at a level that gives everyone comfort that they’ll be ready to go when the season kicks off.
All eyes will certainly be on Indy’s top-overall pick Alec Pierce. He dominated the rookie minicamp and Indy will need him to be a receiving threat as a rookie. If he can continue to look impressive against veterans, a lot of people will be excited.
3. Everyone stays healthy
Every year around this time, the excitement of NFL teams returning to the field is quickly zapped by an unfortunate injury. It’s one of the harsh realities of football.
Hopefully, the Colts will be able to avoid any major injuries. Even though it’s early in the offseason, some injuries can knock players out for the entire season or they can suffer an injury that forces them to miss the rest of the offseason, which also impacts their readiness.
Staying healthy through OTAs is the most important thing on this list. Performance can improve easily as the season approaches but it’s much tougher to overcome injuries.