Show Me My Opponent: Indianapolis Colts


In this weeks update of “Show Me My Opponent” I caught up with Adam Hughes, the editor of Fansided’s Indianapolis Colts blog Naptown’s Finest.
I asked Adam a few questions about what’s going on in Indianapolis and what to expect from the Colts this season.

Is the signing of Kerry Collins a mistake or a good move? And is Painter ready to see some PT?
I really like the Collins signing, as he gives the Colts a legitimate backup for the first time during Peyton Manning’s career.  Collins is great for the short-term, because he can lead the team for several games if need be, but he won’t harbor visions of replacing Manning on a long-term basis.
Although Painter looked much better against the Packers than he ever has before as a Colt, I’m not convinced that he can excel, or even tread water, during a real game situation.  He has a lot of support within the organization, but I don’t see the justification for that.
How’s Peyton progressing back from injury?
Who knows?   This, of course, is the overriding question of the off-season around Indy, at least since the lockout ended.   Manning has told the local press that he won’t play against the Bengals (sorry!), but team brass says he could be activated any time.    That means they don’t want to punt six full weeks of Peyton, as they would if he were kept on the PUP list to start the regular season.
My best guess is that he’ll take that first snap against Houston on September 11, but Manning is probably the only one who knows for sure, and even he may not be certain.
One final editorial note: it’s entirely possible that Manning has reached the “Brett Favre” portion of his career, wherein he finds a way to sit out training camp and the preseason to save beatings on an aging physique.   It’s a cynical thought, but an idea that has some merit, I think.
Many people before the draft were saying the Colts needed an overhaul on OL, how is the OL doing now?
The overhaul is still in progress, and we’ve seen some encouraging signs.  Chief among those is that first-rounder Anthony Castonzo has nabbed the starting LT job after a brief holdout in training camp.   Line coach Pete Metzelaars continues to shuffle the rest, and the latest starting group had Castonzo, Joe Reitz at LG, Jeff Saturday at C, Ryan Diem at RG and Jeff Linkenbach at RT.   This unit played fairly well against the Pack, though Diem continues to slide and is prone to penalties as he looks for an advantage to compensate for eroding skills.   I expect second-round pick to be in the mix fairly early on, and Diem will probably be relegated to backup duty.
What are the expectations for this year with the Colts?
They are the Colts, so we always expect big things.   With Manning out, though, the preseason has been pretty ugly, at least until the Packers game.  Even though there is a lot of hand-wringing right now, I think that, deep down, most Colts fans and those in the organization expect the team to make a serious run at playing in Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5.
With the Texans looking like they built a solid team in houston, are the Colts still the top team in the conference?
I have Texans Fatigue, a condition brought about by yearly predictions of a power shift in the South, thanks to the rising Houston juggernaut.  The Texans look solid on paper, but they always do in August.    Especially with Arian Foster ailing (hamstring), I’ll believe it when I see it.
For the Colts, the key is a healthy and productive Manning.   If he regains his mid-season form quickly, I think the Colts are still the class of the division and should make it back to the playoffs, at least.  I don’t think that they are the top team in the conference, however, at least not at the moment.  Pittsburgh, New England and the Jets will all make the post-season treacherous for the Colts.

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