SCOUT'S HONOR: Colts' preseason report card

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Look for to have a big year after throwing a lot of interceptions last season. The passing game should be even better after adding veteran . And look for to emerge into a solid pass catcher. continues to provide the with great matchup advantages at tight end. But I think they'll miss — especially in the run game. A lot of eyes will be on how bounces back from knee surgery, but I think he'll be in better shape than most coming off his injury. And they still have Dominic Rhodes, who proved to be a solid runner last season.
Grade: A


Expect a more active defense under head coach Tony Dungy and defensive coordinator Ron Meeks. They've simplified things and added a lot of numbers upfront. The front four will be much more aggressive. should be a natural with his motor. Dwight Freeney is expected to make an immediate impact if they utilize him correctly. Tackle is better suited for this defense, where they have more depth this season. The strength of this defense is at linebacker, but it remains to be seen how they fit into the new scheme. should have a big season on the weak side. They must find ways to use 's strengths. And nobody knows how fits into this scheme. The secondary could show improvement under the Cover 2 coverage, but they need a pass rush. The biggest question is whether they can create enough turnovers with their current group. and aren't known as playmakers, but that could change if the front four generates upfield pressure. Idress Bashir must emerge as a difference-maker at free safety.
Grade: C+

Special Teams

and are one of the league's top kicking tandems, and Dominic Rhodes showed he was a solid kick returner. But how do they replace ? will be given a look on punts, but he bombed with Minnesota as a rookie. The coverage units must play better. The addition of several rookies should help here.
Grade: B


Tony Dungy is the perfect fit for Indianapolis at this stage. He brings the right temperament to nurture their young defense. And Ron Meeks should develop into a fine coordinator on defense. The still have Tom Moore running the offense, where he has done an excellent job utilizing his tools.
Grade: A


The can definitely win the unimpressive AFC South. They will have to battle Tennessee for the division title.
Grade: B

The Outlook

The offense is championship caliber and the defense should be more competent. This could be an interesting team to watch because they should find their way back into the playoffs. They could be a difficult team to beat if they get on a roll and their defense comes together quicker than expected.
Grade: B Brian DeLucia is a respected college and pro personnel consultant around the NFL. Formerly a consultant with and Pro Football, Brian heads into his third season with providing commentary around the NFL and NFL Draft.
Tagged: Colts, Rams, Buccaneers, Walt Harris, Hunter Smith, Mike Vanderjagt, Mike Peterson, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, David Macklin, Ellis Johnson, Peyton Manning

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