Seven Things To Watch For: Bears at Colts
Seven Things To Watch For: Bears at Colts
Joe Robbins | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – Simply, and sadly, the dress rehearsal is no longer what it used to be.
However, the Colts and Bears will still meet on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, in a 7:00 PM kickoff.
Here are 7 things to watch for in Week Three of the preseason.
1. Anything From Jacoby Brissett?
It doesn't sound like it, per Zak Keefer of The Athletic.
Frank Reich remained non-committal twice this week when asked about Jacoby Brissett playing on Saturday night.
The Colts have a dilemma there with Brissett.
Do they feel Brissett needs more game reps, even if the majority of starters around him won’t be out there?
Or do they think Brissett is best-served in bubble wrap right now, until the start of the regular season, just in case Andrew Luck won’t be ready?
Given the current uncertainity regarding Andrew Luck, you can't afford for Brissett to get hurt. Period.
2. Remaining Competitions
It seems like we know the starting 22 for the Colts going into Week One.
If the Colts open up in their nickel package, Anthony Walker looks to have secured his starting spot for a second season at the MIKE. And rookie Rock Ya-Sin was the starter in the nickel group, over Quincy Wilson, in Week Two of the preseason.
Is there any other serious regular season playing time up for grabs this weekend?
Offensively, I don’t see anything.
Maybe some sub package stuff on defense, when looking at a third-down rush group and what the dime package looks like.
3. Young Guys Loving It
The agents of young players around the NFL have to be loving this new approach to preseason football.
Typically, Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason was when the young, unproven, guys saw limited action compared to Weeks 1 and 4.
Now, the young guys are seeing a whole lot of preseason action, no matter the week.
For guys that missed their early preseason opportunity to make an impact, they are now getting even more chances to impress the coaches, much more so than in years past.
4. No More Dress Rehearsal
It’s pretty crazy the drastic change in preseason approach for the Colts this season.
Take a look at some of very dwindling snap count numbers from the Colts this preseason, compared to last year.
Resting your frontline guys for a huge chunk of the preseason seems to be the new trend around the NFL, especially for teams that aren’t worried about the implementation of offensive/defensive systems.
Clearly, the Colts’ 1-9 start in the first two weeks of the season over the last 5 years isn’t factoring into Reich’s thinking of wanting/needing his starters to knock off more rust in the preseason.
Rest is priority No. 1 for the Colts right now.
5. Andrew Luck Sightings Pre-Game
For a second straight Saturday, will the most newsworthy news item inside of Lucas Oil Stadium come pre-game?
No matter what Luck does, or doesn’t do on Saturday before the game, Monday will be a massive watch date for his practice return with the start of the regular season less than two weeks away.
Perhaps Jim Irsay’s annual visit to the local broadcast booth in Week 3 of the preseason might lead to some new information on where Luck is at.
6. Running Back Health
Unless Nyheim Hines plays on Saturday, it’s quite possible the Colts will be down their top 4 running backs on Saturday.
The healthy backs, sans Marlon Mack and Hines, are: Aca'Cedric Ware, Marqis Young and Charcandrick West. It’s possible Ware, Young and West get all the running back work against the Bears.
With backs Jonathan Williams (ribs) and Jordan Wilkins (foot) dealing with injuries, Young and West might have an opportunity to be a surprise 53-man roster addition, but that is probably still a long shot.
7. Chuck Pagano’s Return
Tribute video time inside of Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday?
Chuck Pagano will be on the visiting sideline this Saturday night, serving as the defensive coordinator of the Bears.
Speaking this week to the media, Pagano was extremely gracious in talking about the fond memories he had as the head coach of the Colts, and living in the Indianapolis area.
Pagano was 53-43 in 6 seasons as the Colts head coach, before taking last year off from coaching.