A Look at the Indianapolis Colts' Playbook and 2009 Adjustments

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A Look at the Indianapolis Colts' Playbook and 2009 Adjustments
(Photo by Harry How/

Extensive changes to the Indianapolis Colts' coaching staff have captured all the headlines recently, but the most important changes may be the differences in personnel on the field.

The team lost long-time staple Marvin Harrison, who has lined up on the right side of the formation for Peyton Manning's entire pro career.

The team also let running back Dominic Rhodes leave in free agency and drafted a replacement in the first round. How will these changes affect the teams' usage of their favorite formations and go-to plays?

Perhaps the most accurate presage of the 2009 Colts' offense came in week 16 last season, in a match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Marvin Harrison sat out this game due to injury, and Indianapolis frequently used a two wide receiver look with tight end Dallas Clark flexed out in the slot.

If the Colts' aren't able to develop Pierre Garcon or fourth-round draft pick Austin Collie into a reliable third receiver, we could see a lot more of this formation in 2009.

Examining the Indianapolis Colts' playbook is akin to mapping DNA. The Colts have a different offensive package for every game-plan, and Peyton Manning has such an expansive command of audibles that he probably dips into other teams' playbooks from time to time.

Nevertheless, here is a look at some of the Colts' most effective and frequently-utilized plays from 2008, and a glimpse at what adjustments might have to be made in 2009.

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