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Three Questions About the Colts as Training Camp Gets Closer

Following a season in which the Colts went 10-6 and made it to the AFC Divisional round, there’s a level of excitement about the team as 2019 approaches.

Now that the calendar has turned to July, the start of training camp is closing in and things are ramping up for the franchise to get ready for 2019.

Today we take a quick look at three questions about this team as they get set to embark on what they hope will be a season playing into early February.

1. Third Down Success

One of the biggest reasons the Colts were so good last season was their success on third downs, the best in the NFL at 48.6 percent.

This team seemed to have a knack for making plays, and with Andrew Luck coming off an excellent comeback season in 2018, he should only play better in 2019, making plays downfield when needed.

The team put an emphasis on converting third downs, and it paid off in 2018.

2. Beat Up the Division

Last season the Colts lost their first divisional game in overtime to the Texans, but were able to rebound the rest of the season, going 4-1 against the AFC South.

The Texans, Jags and Titans make for a competitive division, and the Texans were able to do enough to win the division before the Colts beat them in the playoffs.

This season after a tough opener against a 12-win Chargers team on the road, the Colts will travel to Tennessee to play the Titans in week two – a chance to get off to a quick start with a road win inside the division.

3. A Breakout Season for the Mack Truck

Marlon Mack at 22 years old is set to have a huge season coming off a year in which he rushed for 908 yards in 12 games.

Mack made the jump from 358 yards in his rookie year to about 100 away from 1,000 last year, and this year should break that 1000 yards mark easily.

Look for OC Nick Sirianni to make Mack one of the focal points of the Colts offense along with wide out T.Y. Hilton.

Colts Say ‘No’ to Trade Offers for QB Jacoby Brissett

The trade offers have not been abundant for Jacoby Brissett, but the ones that have been pitched to the Colts have not been enough to part ways with their backup quarterback, Kevin Bowen of 1070 the Fan reports.

Chris Ballard said it would take something that “blew him away” to make such a move and clearly that hasn’t happened.

The full expectation is Brissett will play out the final year of his rookie contract with the Colts.

Next spring though, when Brissett becomes a free agent for the first time in his NFL life, that’s when decisions will have to be made.

Sure, the Colts would love to retain Brissett moving forward. But the competitor inside of Brissett, who was a 2016 third-round pick, also has the itch to be a full-time starter in this league.

Colts DL Tyquan Lewis Gives Back Reading to Patients at Nursing Home

Recently Colts defensive lineman Tyquan LewisTyquan Lewis made an appearance at a nursing home, the American Village center on Indy’s north side, reading to patients with dementia.
Lewis spoke to Fox 59 about giving back, something his mother did as she worked as a social worker.

“I just have a big heart, especially when it comes to elderly people because I was living with my great-grandmother for such a long time,” Lewis said.

“Seeing her in a nursing facility and being around her and her friends, it just always played a huge role in my life because I learned so much through them.”

As Fox 59 reports, Lewis has been an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association and represented the organization on his cleats during the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign.

Colts and Slot CB Kenny Moore Agree to Four-Year Extension

The Colts made some big news on Thursday, as they and cornerback Kenny Moore have agreed to terms on a four-year extension, per sources informed of the deal.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is worth $30 million in ‘new’ money.

Details on the #Colts extension with slot CB Kenny Moore: He was to make $645K this year and would be an RFA next year at $3M or so, depending on the level. On his new deal, he’ll make $30M in new money from 2021-2023, with a max value of more than $36M, source said.

The contract is expected to make Moore the top-paid slot corner in the NFL in terms of new money, Rapoport added. Justin Coleman held that distinction earlier this offseason, signing a four-year, $36 million contract with $16 million guaranteed with the Detroit Lions.

Moore had one year left on his contract, worth $645,000, then would have been a restricted free agent. The Colts preemptively locked him down. Paying a player when they could have had him under control the next two years for cheap speaks to what the team brass thinks of Moore’s play.

An undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Valdosta State, Moore landed with the New England Patriots but couldn’t crack the final 53-man roster and was waived during final roster cuts.

The Colts swooped in and claimed Moore the next day. The addition proved big for an Indianapolis team that had struggled to find consistency and health at the corner position. Moore played 16 games as a rookie, starting five, and compiled 38 tackles, five passes defended and one interception. In 2018, Moore became a regular in the slot, earning 77 tackles, 11 passes defended and three INT in 15 starts.

Colts Tackle Antonio Garcia Suspended Four Games for PED’s

Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star reports.

A former third-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2017, Garcia spent the second half of last season on the Indianapolis practice squad.

Despite his status as a third-rounder, Garcia has struggled in the NFL, and he faced an uphill climb to make the Colts’ 53-man roster. New England waived him last May after he spent most of his rookie season on the non-football injury list, and he was unable to make the Jets out of training camp last fall. Indianapolis signed him to the practice squad in late October.

Colts Add DT Caraun Reid, Place DE Jegs Jegede on IR

The Colts signed defensive tackle Caraun Reid on Monday and placed defensive end Jegs Jegede on injured reserve, Scott Horner of the Indianapolis Star reports.

Reid, 27, is a five-year veteran who was in on 10 tackles for the Dallas Cowboys last season. He joined Dallas after being cut by Indianapolis in training camp.

He started 12 games for the Detroit Lions in 2015, his second season.

Colts Rookie Center Javon Patterson Out for 2019 After Tearing ACL

Colts rookie center Javon Patterson will miss the season after tearing his ACL in practice Tuesday.

Colts coach Frank Reich announced the injury. Patterson was a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was expected to be a backup for Colts starting center Ryan Kelly. Kelly started 12 games for the Colts in 2018.

Patterson played in 48 games during his four-year career at Mississippi.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck also missed OTAs with a strained calf, but could return for minicamp.

Veteran Safety Johnathan Cyprien Working Out for the Colts

The Colts are taking a gander at the veteran safety market, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

The Colts are working out free-agent safety Johnathan Cyprien today, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the decision.

ESPN first reported the news.

The Colts could be sniffing around the safety market as starter Clayton Geathers sits out OTAs after undergoing a knee cleanup procedure this offseason.

New Colts QB Chad Kelly Suspended the First Two Games of the 2019 Season

Colts quarterback Chad Kelly’s comeback tour will take a brief break, Herbie Teope of NFL.com reports.

The NFL announced Friday that Kelly is suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2019 regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

While with the Denver Broncos in 2018, Kelly was arrested in October for suspicion of first-degree trespassing. The Broncos released the quarterback the next day.

Kelly was out of the league until signing with the Colts on May 20 following a successful tryout at the team’s rookie minicamp.

In the meantime, Kelly is eligible to participate in the remaining portion of the Colts’ offseason workout program, training camp and preseason practices and games.