Rounding Up the Latest Indianapolis Colts Offseason Buzz
With just three weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) in the books, the Indianapolis Colts haven't been one of the more active teams in terms of juicy offseason tidbits.
The team has had no high-profile celebrity relationships or attention-grabbing divas, and the Colts have largely stayed out of the news so far this offseason, an underrated aspect of any quality team. The team has gone about its business with little distraction, a key for a team looking to make the next step toward Super Bowl contention.
Yet we've continually found something to talk about every week, and this week is no different. Ride along as we take you through each of the Colts' biggest news and analysis items this week.
Secondary Building Never Ends
The Colts secondary may never be a finished product in 2014.
Still searching for safety depth, the Colts signed veteran safety Mike Adams on Saturday, June 14, per the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder. Adams, a former Bronco, comes to Indianapolis on the heels of the Colts placing backup safety Corey Lynch on injured reserve.
Adams does have experience starting—he's started 39 of his past 48 games—but he's less than ideal in the starting lineup. He'll compete with Delano Howell, Sergio Brown, Colt Anderson, David Sims and Dewey McDonald for the starting spot opposite LaRon Landry.
Rumors of the Colts secondary changing also came at the end of last week after Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers and Lions CB Chris Houston were cut. Both cornerbacks have had strong careers early on, but have suffered injuries that make their future cloudy. With recently signed deals being a bit exorbitant, Houston and Flowers simply weren't worth their respective contracts.
Colts make a ton of sense for B Flowers. Prob have the $, have been taking risks on former impact vets coming off injuries already.— Collin McCollough (@cmccollo) June 13, 2014
As the Colts corners have struggled, it would be worth exploring at the very least.
Last season, Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told reporters that he was planning on retiring after the 2014 season. Hasselbeck's contract, signed in March of 2013, was a two-year contract that expires after the upcoming season.
The move made sense for Indianapolis and Hasselbeck alike. Hasselbeck turns 39 in September, but was a veteran fit in Indianapolis behind Andrew Luck, giving some stability. It allowed Chandler Harnish, Mr. Irrelevant in 2012, to develop at his own pace. With Hasselbeck retiring, Harnish would have a chance to earn the backup spot, or lose out to a third party.
Now, however, things are a bit tricky.
According to Mike Wells of ESPN.com, Hasselbeck is rethinking his stance, having discussed the matter with former teammates and family. Hasselbeck says he will focus on this year and the answer "will happen."
Even if Hasselbeck does come back to the league next season, it may not be with Indianapolis. Hasselbeck has been one of the league's highest-paid backups over the last two years and will cost $3.75 million against the cap in 2014. That's a lot of money for a player who only plays when something is very, very wrong.
Putting It on and Taking It off
With the new season comes new players, and sometimes, old players with new bodies. Every player gets fit during the offseason, and for some that means adding more weight to bulk up while others slim down to gain more flexibility and quickness.
Kevin Bowen of Colts.com recently went through and listed all of the Colts' significant weight changes this offseason:
LB Daniel Adongo: added 23 pounds
WR LaVon Brazill: added 11
TE Jack Doyle: added 9
LB Jerrell Freeman: added 8
C Khaled Holmes: lost 10
DT Montori Hughes: added 15
DE Arthur Jones: added 22
LB Henoc Muamba: added 12
DT Jeris Pendleton: lost 11
CB Sheldon Price: added 18
WR Da'Rick Rogers: added 7
Pep Hamilton made waves (like, kiddie pool waves) when he announced that the Colts would be a "score-first" team in 2014. This last week, Hamilton was at it again with buzz words, saying the Colts would be a tougher, smarter and stronger offense in 2014, according to Craig Kelley of Colts.com.
Hamilton emphasized the year of experience as a powerful thing heading into the 2014 season, mentioning both an intelligent group of veterans and young guys who "grew exponentially" last season.
The work through OTAs has been exceptional, Hamilton said, and he anticipates a better year in 2014. Last season, the Colts started the season as a top-five unit, but finished 13th in Football Outsider's offensive DVOA and 11th in points per drive.
Hamilton also said that Andrew Luck was ahead of schedule in his offseason workouts and that Trent Richardson should be in more of his comfort zone in 2014.
Moala to IR
The Colts suffered their first major injury to a significant player on Wednesday, June 11, when defensive end Fili Moala tore his ACL, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It will be Moala's third season on the injured reserve list.
Moala arguably had his best season in 2013 with a career-high 26 tackles and numerous quarterback pressures. While not a great pass-rusher, Moala was one of the few rotational guys on the defensive line that could consistently create some pressure.
It may not seem like a big deal now, but Moala's loss could prove to be costly if the Colts can't get interior pass rush from somebody, especially early in the season. The Colts will have a solid rotation of Cory Redding, Ricky Jean Francois and Arthur Jones (outside of the nose tackle), but who steps up behind those three is a bit of a mystery.
The injury likely opens the door for Jeris Pendleton, who played well at the end of last season but was in danger of being cut this year due to the number of bodies the Colts had healthy.