Indianapolis Colts June Scouting Report
Hey there Colts’ fans! After several months of being among the most active and interesting teams in the NFL offseason, the month of June has been a stark contrast with almost nothing of significance coming out of the Colts’ Corral all month long.
Despite signing or trading for several high-dollar and big name guys, the key to this team’s build has always been the NFL draft so it was important to get those new players in the building as soon as the league will allow it. Of course, the absence of rookie minicamps and in-person meetings does impact the assimilation of the new players into the culture and system, but by all accounts the virtual meetings have been going well and the new guys seem to be bonding. Thankfully, all nine of the new draft picks are now =signed with the inking of 3rd rounder S Julian Blackmon this weekend.
Of course, it would be better to be reporting on actual team practices and such… but those will not start until late next month at the Colts’ complex in Indianapolis instead of at their usual minicamp site. QB Philip Rivers has completed his move to Indianapolis and has met with several of the receivers to throw and practice routes already, especially linking up with the fully healthy WR Parris Campbell who is poised to make a splash after an injury-riddled rookie season. By all accounts Rivers is stepping into a real leadership role in the virtual meetings as well, and is setting himself up to lead in the locker room as well as in the huddle. Several of the rookies were located in southern California, and QB Jacob Eason spent some time going over the playbook and throwing with fellow rookies WR DezPatmon and top pick WR Michael Pittman as well. They are sending films to the quarterback and receivers coaches and getting daily feedback and coaching as if they were live together. It ain’t much…but is something!
With so little news on the roster and practice front, I have spent some time looking at the schedule for 2020 – assuming that it goes ahead as scheduled. They have what looks to be a chance to come out of the gate hot with many winnable games in the first six weeks before the week 7 bye. Obviously the Jaguars, Bengals, Bears and Jets all drafted very high in the first round this past year, so they are clearly in the bottom portion of the NFL’s power ratings, so all four of those look very easily winnable (even with Jacksonville and Chicago being road games. The Vikings are the home opener and that is also a team that experienced some losses and upheaval in their roster, so that looks like a decent chance for a win in week 2 as well. Probably the toughest game in the first stretch might be a trip to face the enigmatic Browns in Cleveland who are long on talent but shy on cohesion. I would say there is a real good chance for the perennially slow-starting Colts to come out the gate at 5-1 heading into the break. They face a sneaky-tough Lions team on the road after the bye and then have a tougher slate of games including five straight and 6 out of 7 against 2019 playoff teams; included in that stretch are two games each against the Titans and Texans who are all vying with the Colts to take the hotly-contested AFC South. By most standard strength-of-schedule analyses, the Colts face one of the easier roads in the entire NFL despite that brutal stretch after the bye week. If the team can start out hot into the bye week and carry some momentum, they have a chance for 10-6 which should be enough to win the division.
Like I said – not much going on here in the Crossroads of America. I suspect that things will start opening up and the stories will start becoming real as we get closer to actually having something resembling real football or at least training camps coming up in July. Hopefully I can have something more exciting coming out next month, but for now….things are looking as rosy for the Colts as they are for any team in the NFL right now.
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