Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Combine takeaways: Indianapolis Colts
By Paul Kuharsky
A combine rewind on what we heard from the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis ...
Ryan Grigson is way more comfortable: A year on the job and a situation with far fewer difficult questions makes a huge difference for a general manager. Last year at the combine, he was sweating and nervous while unable to offer much on the Peyton Manning situation. This time, with a playoff berth in his first season at the helm, he was far more relaxed and joked about the difference in just one year.
Pat McAfee could be tagged: The Colts punter has indicated he’d be fine with being tagged. The number is about $3 million. But the Colts would clearly like to strike a long-term deal. “He’s a major priority in free agency,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed. We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon." New deal or no new deal, expect McAfee to remain the team's punter and kickoff man going forward.
It’s premature to say what the offense will look like: Chuck Pagano is excited about new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. “I’m sure there will be things we’ll look at and look to implement as far as the West Coast concepts go, a few more check-downs, underneath routes, run after catch,” Pagano said. Andrew Luck's completion percentage will certainly go up and while Hamilton will surely continue to look for strikes downfield, this offense is unlikely to put it the way Bruce Arians did.
Indications are the Colts want a veteran lineman: Given a choice between a rookie cornerback or a rookie offensive lineman in the lineup, Grigson said he’d prefer a rookie corner. The logical conclusion, then, is that a team with a ton of cap room that is pledging not to go crazy in free agency will prioritize at least one veteran O-lineman. One report says they'll target Louis Vasquez if the Chargers allow him to reach free agency.
They could have a traditional fullback: Tight end Dwayne Allen did some fullback-style work last season. Hamilton will emphasize the run more than Arians did. But the Colts don’t yet know if they’ll use a tight end when they have a play that calls for a lead blocker or if they’ll have a more traditional fullback. “We’ll do our evaluations here, study everybody that’s here and then, at the end of the day, if there is a traditional fullback type body out there that fits what we’re doing, fits the system and everything else, then we’ll make a move on him,” Pagano said.