2019 Colts Offseason Program Preview
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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s time for the Colts to get back to work.
A little more than three months after their surprising season ended in Kansas City, the Colts will report for their offseason program on Monday morning.
The team’s nine-week program will span three phases with OTAs (11-on-11 work) beginning on May 21.
From June 11-13, the Colts will hold their mandatory minicamp to end the offseason program.
Courtesy of the NFL, this is what each phase of the offseason program entails for teams:
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
What are the Colts biggest questions entering the spring?
Luck’s First Spring Work Since 2016
For the first time since the 2016 spring, Andrew Luck should be a full participant for the Colts in their offseason program.
That’s vital, as Luck tries to build on a very successful 2018 campaign.
Frank Reich is hoping for Luck to take even more control over the offense in the quarterback’s second with the system.
At the NFL’s Annual Meetings a few weeks back, Reich hinted that the Colts are hoping to evolve the run/pass option parts of their offense in 2019.
For Luck to have had the season he did last year without spring work is pretty amazing. Now he gets the chance to have nine weeks working together with virtually the same offense, including some important field work in late May and June, which he hasn’t had the two previous springs.
Welcome Justin Houston
Chris Ballard addressed the pass rush need in about as significant a manner as one can during free agency.
Justin Houston’s arrival to a new 4-3 defense should not be too daunting. The Colts pride themselves on a simple to learn scheme and have made it clear to Houston that he’s coming here to put his hand in the ground and get after the passer.
What the Colts are getting in Houston also extends to his level of motivation.
Houston was one offsides penalty away from going to the Super Bowl last year and you know he will not be complacent with just getting back to that AFC Title game this season.
Safety Tandem Working Together
It’s going to be weird to see Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers not exclusively rehabbing all spring long.
And that’s a great benefit to the Colts as they try to become a more consistent defensive unit.
Hooker and Geathers have hardly had any practice time together in previous offseasons, and even their weekly regular season practice activity has been limited.
This young duo has the talent though to provide some difference making ability for Matt Eberflus.
Devin Funchess Establishing Rapport
On the agenda list for Andrew Luck this spring will be to build a rapport with new wideout Devin Funchess.
Part of the big reason why the Colts feel that Funchess will reach his potential in Indy is because of what they already have in place.
This is an important spring for the wideout group in general, with that bunch needing to provide more consistency. Having Luck throwing them the ball and leading the offense throughout the spring should help in that regard.
Draft Reinforcements Coming
Probably to many, the most exciting part of the next nine weeks will be the Draft.
The Colts have 9 picks in 2019, including 6 in the first 4 rounds.
For the Colts to take another step in the right direction this coming season, this draft class will be counted on to contribute in a decent capacity this season.
Of course, the ability to sustain success is the larger story for the 2019 draft class as the Colts try to stack another one together after the historic group in 2018.
Prove It Offseasons
Every year, teams all over the NFL have players feeling a bit more pressure when looking at their futures.
For the Colts, the likes of Quincy Wilson, Jalen Collins, Le’Raven Clark, Hassan Ridgeway and Nate Hairston are entering pivotal seasons.
A few of these guys could be in jeopardy of not making the team depending how the offseason unfolds for them.
You even have Devin Funchess and Clayton Geathers trying to show they are deserving of a longer-term deal after signing one-year contracts last month.