The Indianapolis Colts will play in their first preseason game tonight at 7:00 PM eastern time against the New York Jets. It will be the first time we have watched the Colts play since the dreadful playoff loss against the New England Patriots last January.
With a new season, new hope arrives. The Colts staff have been sporting shirts during training camp that show the Lombardi Trophy on them. Translating to the fact that the Colts have only one goal in mind this season, to win the Super Bowl.
With that, there will be some key players to watch to see if their development during the offseason is where it needs to be. Also, it gives us as chance to look at players like Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen, whom both are coming off of season ending injuries. Unfortunately, Wayne will not be available for tonight’s game, but Chuck Pagano has stated that 87 will get some playing time before the regular season opener.
Since it is the first preseason game, you can expect the starting units on both sides of the ball to only play one maybe two series, before the second and third units enter the game. This will give the coaches plenty of time to evaluate the entire roster, and get ready to trim the roster down.
So who are the players you need to be paying close attention to in tonight’s game?
Trent Richardson– For the short glimpse of what we will see from him, coaches and fans alike want to see how he has progressed during the offseason. Simply put, his vision in the backfield has to improve. The 2.9 yards per carry were atrocious, and for the Colts to be well balanced this year, Richardson has to come through. It needs to start tonight.
Jack Mewhort– The rookie was thrown into a starting spot when veteran Donald Thomas was placed on IR last week. The Colts staff would have loved for him to be a rotating player during his first season, but unfortunate events have thrown him into the mix. He has a mean streak in him, which an offense lineman needs. His footwork will need to improve this season, if he is to become a long-stay in the interior of the Colts line. His versatility along the line has him starting, now it is time to see if the rookie can handle the jimp to the NFL.
Jonathan Newsome.- Quietly the fifth round pick has found himself a spot on the team it appears. And his future is bright. Newsome should see a ton of reps tonight, and the Colts want to see what they have seen throughout camp, a physical player that can get pressure on the quarterback.
Donte Moncrief– Of course another rookie is listed here. The starting kick returner has been impressive all season long, and as the fourth string receiver, will see a decent amount of playing time tonight. Watching him as he tries to show the coaches that he is ready for a rotating spot during his rookie campaign will be fun to watch.
Qua Cox– A man who is battling for a roster spot has been impressive during camp thus far. Cox came into camp as an undrafted free agent, and now find himself as a contender for one of the last roster spots. His contributions on special team will need be where he shows separation to other players, as he is likely to find himself on the rotation for corner.