INDIANAPOLIS -- There will be plenty of meeting and greeting inside the Indianapolis Colts facility when the team reports for its first day of voluntary offseason workouts Monday.
Gone are the likes of Robert Mathis, D'Qwell Jackson, Mike Adams, Pat McAfee and former general manager Ryan Grigson. Enter new faces Jabaal Sheard, Johnathan Hankins, and John Simon to name just a few.
The 2017 season unofficially starts for the Colts and many other teams when they begin offseason workouts Monday. They'll be together for the next nine weeks with the mandatory minicamp June 13-15 capping things off before they break and return for the start of training camp in late July.
The Colts will experience life without quarterback Andrew Luck for a time. Luck's work with his teammates will be limited because he’s still rehabbing from the right shoulder surgery he underwent earlier this winter. The Colts say Luck will be ready for the start of the regular season.
It’s not surprising that the Colts are being cautious with their $140 million investment. The issue, though, is that nobody can give a timetable on when Luck will return to his normal workload. The wait is on.
Scott Tolzien, who started the one game Luck missed last season, will work with the first team until Luck returns.
Luck will miss out on working with a talented buy young offensive line. The team finally believes it is building a foundation up front.
The Colts are also looking for new locker room leaders after new general manager Chris Ballard started revamping the roster. Mathis, who retired, Jackson and Adams, were all in their 30’s and a step slower, but they also were good mentors to the younger players on the roster.
The Colts have a number of players that have been in the organization for some time now, like T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Anthony Castonzo, but it’s uncertain if they have the personalities to lead.
There’s plenty of time during this offseason period for some of the new players to step up, embrace and assist in the leadership department. Keep an eye on defensive back Darius Butler.
Indianapolis will also be searching for pass rushers and a second cornerback. Ballard has signed seven new defensive players this offseason and there’s a chance they’ll have at least three new starting linebackers on a defense that finished 30th in the NFL last season.
But it is still unclear if they have enough pass rushers and who will play cornerback opposite Vontae Davis?
The Colts lost 21.5 of their 33 sacks off last season’s roster. They released injury-prone cornerback Patrick Robinson this offseason. Look for the Colts to use at least one of their current seven draft picks on a pass rusher and cornerback. The rookies will have plenty of time to try to push for snaps.