Improve the running game: The Colts want to develop better balance in their offense, starting with the running game. Indianapolis showed some improvement in that area during the 2009 season but the offense continued to stall in short-yardage and goal-line situations, particularly in the postseason. The Colts jettisoned veteran offensive guard Ryan Lilja (who subsequently signed with Kansas City) and are attempting to get bigger and become more physical at the point of attack.
They added NFL veterans Andy Alleman (Kansas City) and Adam Terry (Baltimore) while drafting former University of Tennessee offensive guard Jacques McClendon to help bolster the offensive line. McClendon is a particularly interesting prospect who could end up unseating projected starters Mike Pollak or Kyle Devan before the start of the regular season. Veteran starters Jeff Saturday (center), Ryan Diem (offensive tackle) and Charlie Johnson (offensive tackle) are all back. Former offensive tackle Tony Ugoh has moved to offensive guard, where he will compete with OG/C Jamey Richard.
Running back Joseph Addai appears to be healthy and second-year running back Donald Brown is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued rookie season. Running back Mike Hart is also back but could be pushed by free agent Devin Moore, an Indianapolis native, and undrafted rookie Javarris James. James is the nephew of former Colts running back Edgerrin James.
Find someone to return kickoffs and punts: Former punt returner T.J. Rushing was an unrestricted free agent and was not re-signed in the offseason. Kickoff returner Chad Simpson was released. The Colts added cornerback Ray Fisher through the draft and signed undrafted free agent wide receiver Brandon James. They will get a long look at returning punts and kickoffs during training camp and the preseason. Fisher and James both possess big-play potential, something the Colts haven't had in their return game in several seasons. James has been one of the top return specialists in the SEC the last couple of seasons.
Wide receiver Sam Giguere, a veteran of the team's practice squad, and undrafted rookie running back Javarris James will get auditions.
Develop depth along the defensive line: Veteran defensive end/tackle Raheem Brock was released during the offseason. 2009 second-round draft pick Fili Moala, a defensive tackle, saw relatively limited work as a rookie last year. It's hoped that Moala is ready to make a big jump, production-wise, this year and the Colts added rookies Jerry Hughes and Ricardo Mathews to play defensive end and defensive tackle, respectively.
Hughes could be the third pass-rushing defensive end that Indianapolis has needed for some time, someone with the same skill set of starters Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. He could also be used in a variety of roles in the Colts' defense this year as defensive coordinator Larry Coyer will look for ways to utilize his talents to get to the quarterback.
Mathews, meanwhile, could fill Brock's role as someone who has the quickness and strength to play inside. Former Canadian Football League defensive end John Chick will also be in the mix as are returning veterans Eric Foster (defensive tackle) and Keyunta Dawson (defensive end).
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