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NFL: JUN 14 Indianapolis Colts Minicamp

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The Indianapolis Colts are days away from reporting to training camp in Westfield and there are already countless storylines to look forward to: Anthony Richardson’s development, contract extension discussions with Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr., the unknown status of All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard.  But none may have a bigger impact on 2023’s success or failure than that of the Colts secondary.

We’ve beaten the dead horse that is the Isaiah Rodgers situation but it does put even more pressure on an unproven position group that already was near the top of the biggest concerns for the roster heading into 2023.  It’s not just the cornerbacks but the safeties as well. Can Kenny Moore find his Pro Bowl form in a contract year?  Will Julian Blackmon make strides?  Can Juju Brents or Dallis Flowers lock down the second starting corner position?  What do the Colts have in Nick Cross?  That is quite a bit of questions from one position group.  On paper, it appears the schedule is favorable for the Colts but dig a little deeper and some warning signs are just under the surface especially if the secondary struggles out of the gate or proves to be a glaring weakness.

Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase, DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper, Dionte Johnson, Christian Kirk, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tee Higgins, what do all these guys have in common?  They’re wide receivers that will be lining up across from the Colts secondary in 2023.  You want to talk about tests?  That list will be a big test on almost a week in and week out basis for this Colts team.  Failure to contain these wide receivers could prove to be the death knell of a Colts season, regardless of how well Anthony Richardson and the Colts offense plays.

If guys are catching home run balls or baiting the largely unproven Colts secondary with pass interference penalties then things can go off the rails in a hurry.  We saw what happened when the offensive line fell apart.  If opposing wide receivers and tight ends and running backs are having their way with the Colts secondary then the Colts will find themselves in a lot of high-scoring affairs that I’m not sure they’ll be able to keep up with at this point.

The Colts NEED Kenny Moore to return to form.  They NEED to find a guy on the roster that can fill the void of Isaiah Rodgers. They NEED to find out if Julian Blackmon and Nick Cross are long-term answers.  They NEED Juju Brents to be a home run draft selection.  A couple (or god forbid a majority) of these things go the wrong way and it could be an absolute disaster.

-Marc Dykton

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