The Indianapolis Colts‘ third preseason game is probably the best out of all the “glorified scrimmages” prior to the regular season. Not only is the starters’ playtime increased to at least half of the game, but this is usually where coaches’ game-plan is similar to a regular season game. This week, the coaches will plan the game with regards to the starters — like in the regular season — whereas in the first two preseason games, the coaches usually evaluate backups.
Now with the third preseason game to start tomorrow, the Colts’ starters must perform at a high level — especially the players that are trying to keep their starting job. Players like Greg Toler, Pat Angerer and members from the starting offensive line must maintain solid performances to go in to Week 1 as a starter.
However, some players are not going to participate in the third preseason game while others are barely going to make their preseason debut on Saturday.
According to Mike Chappell from Indystar.com, head coach Chuck Pagano has ruled out offensive guard Mike McGlynn, tight end Coby Fleener, tight end Dwayne Allen, and running back Ahmad Bradshaw from playing on Saturday’s game. According to Philip Wilson from indystar.com, offensive guard Jeff Linkenbach will start and replace Mike McGlynn on Saturday, also rookie guard Hugh Thornton will get some playing time with the first-team offense as well. In addition, according to Tom James from Tribune Star, safety LaRon Landry and linebacker Pat Angerer will see some limited playing time with the first-team defense.
Where must the Colts improve?
Every team needs improvement, but the Colts area of improvement needs to be fixed right away. The Colts running game was pretty bad last season but seems to have only grown worse in the preseason.
If you exclude Andrew Luck‘s 14-yard scramble against the Giants, the Colts have an average of about three-yards-per-carry in the preseason. The Colts average, last regular season, was 3.8-yards-per-carry which is an obvious indication that the running game has downgraded.
Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will do everything to improve the horrible run game that has plagued the offense in the preseason. Even though running back Ahmad Bradshaw won’t play on Saturday, look out for either Donald Brown or Vick Ballard to see some action in his place.