AFC South Preview- Indianapolis Colts

The AFC South goes to the Circle City, Indianapolis, IN, where many changes have surrounded the Indianapolis Colts. Tony Dungy is out as head coach after announcing his retirement and Jim Caldwell is no longer the head coach-in-waiting, and is now the new head coach. The Colts are looking to reclaim their throne as the AFC South champions and make the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years.

Not much has changed on offense for Indianapolis, as Peyton Manning is healthy and will be working with a new offensive coordinator for the first time in his career, along with the man he has been most familiar with departing. Tom Moore and Marvin Harrison, respectively, have left due to retirement and free agency, respectively. The receiving corps is still solid, as Manning has Reggie Wayne as his new #1 target and Anthony Gonzalez starting opposite of him. Don’t forget the reliable hands of tight end Dallas Clark to compliment these two receivers, and Manning will use every tool and receiver that is available. The Colts drafted Donald Brown in the NFL Draft to complement Joseph Addai after Dominic Rhodes departed Indy due to free agency. New offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen has some good things to work with on offense. Let’s see if he can utilize it well and can mesh with Manning, who was unhappy with Moore’s retirement.

On defense, Ron Meeks departed after last season, and the new man in charge of the unit, Larry Coyer, is going to have a bit of a challenge as the Colts defense is undersized, and the schemes he is devising are not really a hit with the players. That lack of size on defense kills them when they play the run, and then it puts more pressure on star defensive endDwight Freeney and his fellow defensive end Robert Mathis to get to the quarterback. The guys up the middle have to find ways to plug holes and stop the run.

The Colts should not have too much changed from last season, except with the coaches, and they are all part of the Dungy coaching tree. Most of the players are returning and Peyton is healthy. The Colts will be back in the playoffs as long as the team is healthy and quite possibly they can dominate their way to the AFC South and maybe even all the way to the Super Bowl. Good things areto come in the Caldwell era and Indianapolis.

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