The Colts lost Cato June to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during last spring's free agency period, which means that second-year outside linebacker Freddy Keiaho is expected to take over on the weak side.
Rob Morris, who moved from backup middle linebacker to a starting role on the strong side late last season, appears to be entrenched there as the training camp approaches.
Gary Brackett remains as the solid starter at middle linebacker. One question is who will end up backing him up? Morris could move back in a pinch, which would allow Hagler to work his way into the lineup.
Backup Tyjuan Hagler, who played well on special teams last year after missing most of the 2005 season with a groin injury, moved over from the weak side to the strong side during spring mini-camps and could see more playing time.
Rookie Clint Session will see playing time on the outside while veteran Rocky Boiman is hoping for more playing time than he saw a year ago.
2. Time for Jackson, Hayden and others to step up.
|Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden|
Jackson and Hayden were the Colts' first and second round draft picks in 2005 and both have played key backup roles the last two seasons. Jackson, particularly, has bounced from cornerback to safety to nickel back.
The Colts secondary, with the exception of S Bob Sanders, will be young. CB Tim Jennings missed valuable practice and playing time a year ago as he recovered from ankle surgery.
3. Build defensive line depth.
With the return of Corey Simon not expected and Montae Reagor now suiting up in Philadelphia, the Colts must continue to improve their defensive line depth.
The starters remain the same with DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis along with DTs Raheem Brock and Anthony McFarland. DE Josh Thomas needs to stay away from injuries while DE Ryan LaCasse has to make up for lost time from a year ago, when he spent most of the season on the practice squad.
Defensive tackle Dan Klecko should be more acclimated to the team's defensive line scheme. Defensive tackle Darrell Reid is also to be used frequently in the rotation. Third-round draft pick Quinn Pitcock will also push for playing time.
CAMP CALENDAR: The Colts are scheduled to report to training camp at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., by 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 29. Indianapolis' first practice is set for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 30. The team has scheduled 17 total practices, with 13 being two-a-day workouts and four one-a-day practices. Six of the two-a-day workouts will have special teams only sessions as the second (afternoon) practice of the day, which means that most of the team's offensive and defensive starters will not be taking part.
Indianapolis will not be practicing or scrimmaging with other NFL teams.
Training camp, which is open to the public for a nominal parking fee, is scheduled to wrap up after a 9:30 a.m. practice on Sunday, August 19.