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INDIANAPOLIS – Well, that was an exercise.

I thought it would be a good idea to expand our typical ‘camp storylines’ article by just a few in 2021.

With the Colts having to cut their 90-man roster down to 53 by August 31st, that ‘53’ number is the magical one this time of year.

So, how about 53 questions about the Colts entering training camp:

1. How much will Carson Wentz play in the preseason? Personally, I think he should play a decent amount, as you try to re-build some confidence in Wentz, before a very difficult start to the season comes at you in September.

2. Will Kemoko Turay be healthy enough to show off his burst off the edge? Turay had another ankle surgery this offseason and missed spring work. He’s supposed to be healthy for the start of camp. A healthy Turay can give this pass rush such a needed jolt.

3. Will Michael Pittman be the team’s No. 1 wideout? From a targets standpoint, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Pittman is the team’s top wideout in 2021. The Colts drafted him No. 34 overall for a reason, to be the team’s No. 1 wideout at some point.

4. Is Marlon Mack back to the runner we saw in the 2020 season opener? If this is true, the Colts will have one of the most diverse and potent running back rooms in all the NFL.

5. Will Jacob Eason win the backup job? It is his for the taking, which is not something you typically say for a guy who didn’t dress in a single game as a rookie. If Eason struggles, the Colts will scour the veteran QB market for Carson Wentz’s backup.

6. Will Kylen Granson carve out a consistent rookie role? Rookie tight ends don’t often impact. But the Colts are pretty adamant that Granson can give them something early on, as a matchup option against linebackers and safeties.

7. Does anyone need to step up in the leadership department? Gone from last season are Justin Houston, Philip Rivers, Anthony Castonzo, Anthony Walker, Denico Autry and Jacoby Brissett. We can certainly debate the level of leadership from those guys, but it’ll be interesting to see if new voices emerge this season.

8. Is Jonathan Taylor looking at 20 carries per game, all season long? Hello, fantasy owners. As a 13-game starter last season, Jonathan Taylor averaged about 15 carries per game. It should be no surprise if we see that number climb to 20 this season.

9. Who will be the team’s placekicker? Yes, the Colts will have a kicking competition in 2021 between Rodrigo Blankenship and Eddy Pineiro. Blankenship is the favorite, but Pinerio had a decent one year of kicking for the Bears in 2019.

10. Does Ben Banogu make the team? Probably the most high-profile name on the roster bubble. Banogu exited the spring not in the top 4 defensive ends on the depth chart.

11. Will we see noticeable foundational changes in Carson Wentz’s throwing motion? Getting back to drilling the fundamental basics of playing quarterback was how the Colts viewed the necessary improvements for Wentz after his struggles last season.

12. Will Sam Ehlinger earn a playing role on game days? The Colts seem open to exploring such idea, but Ehlinger is more of a Jacoby Brissett-type runner than a Lamar Jackson-type scooter. This falls into the 3rd QB debate (which the Colts carried all last year) with COVID roster implications still lingering a bit, especially for the Colts.

13. Who will be the team’s 3rd cornerback? This pseudo starter is really important in today’s NFL. T.J. Carrie has the job right now, with Rock Ya-Sin having to go win it.

14. Do we see more dime package looks from Matt Eberflus? This is something the Colts didn’t use much at all last year, but it sounds like they are open to exploring it again.

15. Will the lack of proven pass rushers alter the Colts’ pass rushing plan? Outside of DeForest Buckner, the 9.5 career sacks for Isaac Rochell/Kemoko Turay are the most on the roster. Does that mean more blitzing for the Colts?

16. How will T.Y. Hilton’s game change with Carson Wentz’s arrival? The deep ball ability of Wentz, along with his knack for keeping plays alive, should greatly help Hilton.

17. Over/under 2.5 fights during the joint practices with the Panthers? Hopefully, this is under. The Colts and Panthers will have a pair of joint practices at Grand Park wanting to get some competitive work in, which will aid the evaluation process.

18. Does Jordan Wilkins make the roster? It’s hard to find many notable names that could be on the cut list. Wilkins has done a lot for this team when called upon. But he’s still a 4th string running back in a contract year.

19. Is Bobby Okereke primed for a jump in Year Three? The Colts have not shied away from expressing the Pro Bowl potential they see in Okereke. Is a full-time starting role for him now when we see more of that?

20. Will an undrafted free agent make the 53-man roster? Last year, it was Hot Rod who saved the day in keeping this streak alive. It’s really hard to see a UDFA making it in 2021. Maybe Deon Jackson at running back? Maybe.

21. Will Sam Tevi be the left tackle until Eric Fisher returns? That appears to be the plan entering training camp. Tevi’s only experience at left tackle was last season for the Chargers. Will the Colts try more guys over there in camp and the preseason?

22. Is there a position the Colts will dip into free agency to find another body? Chris Ballard has mentioned cornerback as a position that the Colts have a bit of unknown entering camp. Besides that spot, it would likely take an injury to occur to see the Colts make a significant FA move.

23. Does Eric Fisher open the season on the PUP list? My gut says ‘no.’ But we’ll have to see exactly where Fisher is at in his Achilles rehab, when things get real in camp and the preseason. For now, Fisher is on the PUP list to start camp.

24. Who will replace Anthony Walker? Bobby Okereke will become an every-week starter, to go along with the extended playing time he got, in place of Walker, late last season. In the run game, Zaire Franklin is a name the staff likes. If you are looking for more of a pass-down option, that’s where E.J. Speed can come into play.

25. Is Dayo Odeyingbo a lock to be on the PUP list to start his rookie season? Unless Odeyingbo shows a Julian Blackmon type recovery, it seems like a wise move to have the rookie start the year on the PUP list for at least 6 weeks.

26. Is there a sleeper that makes the 53-man roster? A couple of names that I’m watching here: RB-Deon Jackson, WR-J.J. Nelson, DT-Andrew Brown.

27. Will Kwity Paye lock up a starting job? At defensive end, the other main competitors seem to be Tyquan Lewis and Al-Quadin Muhammad. Unlike many rookie defensive ends, Paye enters the NFL with a skillset that gives him such an opportunity to be a Day 1 starter.

28. Do we see more two running back personnel groupings this season? This could be an offensive wrinkle we see more of in 2021. What does a defense do when they see a No. 28 (Jonathan Taylor) and No. 21 (Nyheim Hines) in a huddle?

29. How prevalent will RPOs be with Carson Wentz now under center? When talking about offensive changes this year, the presence of more RPOs, and that run threat from the quarterback position, is at the top of the list. Wentz is much more Andrew Luck-like in his running ability than a Philip Rivers.

30. Will Mo Alie-Cox prove to be a three-down tight end? In Mo Alie-Cox, the Colts have a tight end with potential the staff has spoken highly on for years. With no longer a veteran alongside Jack Doyle, is this where we see Alie-Cox flourish on a more consistent basis?

31. How many contract extensions will be handed out? Honestly, it’s more of a ‘when’ vs. an ‘if’ for the likes of Darius Leonard and Braden Smith. They are both expected to receive their second contracts before the start of the 2021 season.

32. Will any of the opt-out players from 2020 make a big impact in 2021? That list for the Colts is: LB-Skai Moore, CB-Marvell Tell and S-Rolan Miligan. It’s Tell who has the most name recognition and could challenge for some sub package duties.

33. Will Xavier Rhodes shadow any opposing wideouts in 2021? The Colts will be facing some really good wideouts in 2021. Does that mean Matt Eberflus will want to explore the idea of Xavier Rhodes shadowing some of those guys?

34. Will the Colts avoid that ugly training camp injury? It’s been several years since the Colts have suffered that big-time training camp injury to one of their frontline guys. Will that luck continue?

35. How many draft picks will make the 53-man roster? The Colts made 7 selections in 2021: DE-Kwity Paye, DL-Dayo Odeyingbo, TE-Kylen Granson, S-Shawn Davis, QB-Sam Ehlinger, WR-Mike Strachan, OL-Will Fries. It’s possible only 3 or 4 of these guys make the Week 1 roster.

36. Does the arrival of Carson Wentz mean the Colts will not be as quick rhythm of a passing offense this year? With Philip Rivers, the Colts had a constant theme of being quick rhythm with their passing game. That’s not as likely with Carson Wentz. How will that alter the pass protection and general flow of the offense?

37. Will Darius Leonard be more vocal with Anthony Walker’s absence? Leonard says he needs to take on more vocal accountability with Walker no longer here. Is that part of what the Colts want out of Leonard with his second contract coming?

38. Do we see any additional wrinkles to the offense with Marcus Brady now at offensive coordinator? Yes, the offense isn’t changing, and the play caller is still Frank Reich, but Marcus Brady is the first new offensive coordinator in the Reich/Colts era. Will Brady’s history in the CFL bring some new formations, personnel groupings, plays?

39. Will the chemistry of the secondary be an issue again in 2021? It was Kenny Moore who went out of his way to mention this as an issue from last year’s team. The Colts are returning their top 6 defensive backs so it will have to be an internal look in the mirror approach for this to be corrected.

40. Will Parris Campbell have his first healthy training camp? Injuries in both 2019 and 2020 have limited Campbell in camp, and then into the season. Campbell had a healthy spring in his return from a season-ending knee injury last year.

41. Who will be the team’s 3rd linebacker? Gone is Anthony Walker so when the Colts need a 3rd linebacker in 2021 it will be an unproven body. Internally, the Colts like Zaire Franklin in that role, with the uber athletic E.J. Speed entering an important Year 3.

42. Does Danny Pinter push Mark Glowinski for a starting job? This is unlikely, but it’s an offseason question I’ve fielded. Glowinski played every snap last season (the only offensive player to do that) and his contract isn’t that damaging. Plus, the Colts feel Pinter’s best position is more at center vs. guard.

43. Will Tyquan Lewis secure a second contract in Indianapolis this season? We know several 2018 draft picks heading towards a second contract: Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith and Nyehim Hines. Tyquan Lewis looked like a guy last year heading to a second contract. But he needs another healthy, and productive, year to achieve that.

44. Is Kenny Moore going to garner serious Pro Bowl consideration this year? He better. Moore is starting to gain more and more attention as one of the league’s premier slot corners, as he should. But it’s time for some Pro Bowl chatter for him.

45. Who is the short yardage quarterback in 2021? Jacoby Brissett’s role last season will no longer be used. Carson Wentz should be more than capable of handling such duties. If Frank Reich wants to explore other options, rookie Sam Ehlinger could offer something.

46. Will big wideouts Dezmon Patmon and/or Mike Strachan make the 53-man roster? The Colts likely have open wide receiver roster spots at both the No. 5 and No. 6 wideout spots. Does that mean one (or two) of these big men find their way onto the 53-man roster? Special teams help from them will be needed for that to happen.

47. Will the Colts offense be better situationally this season? This was a major problem last season, especially when placing the Colts into the ‘elite’ team category. The Colts have to be better on third down and in the red zone in order to make a January run.

48. Do we see more man coverage played by the Colts this season? This has never been a big emphasis from Matt Eberflus. But does such a high-profile list of wideouts on the schedule mean the Colts might change the amount of zone/man looks?

49. Will the Colts be more physical during training camp? Not only is training camp longer for the Colts this season, but there’s some chatter that the physicality will be ramped up after a really scaled back spring offseason program.

50. Any COVID-related issues for the 2021 Colts? The ultimate unknown. But it’s still something lingering around, especially for a Colts team that is not as high on the vaccinated list as other teams round the league. We saw several COVID issues last season during the week of a meeting with the Titans, which proved costly to the Colts and winning the AFC South.

51. Will the Colts use a 3rd safety on defense this season? Such a personnel grouping was not really used in 2020. But the Colts appear to be open to it in 2021.

52. How much will Frank Reich play his starters in the preseason? This has never been a big belief of Frank Reich when talking about his frontline players. But does losing 7 straight season openers and knowing the brute of an opening stretch that awaits change his mind?

53. Any surprise roster cuts? This is difficult to gauge before practice gets underway. On paper though, it doesn’t seem like the Colts have many candidates, which usually comes at a crowded position for a player that is signed to a significant contract.

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