After a tumultuous 2022 season that saw the dismissal of head coach Frank Reich as well as a few different quarterbacks under center, the Colts will start anew in 2023 with a new head coach and quarterback/ Though the changes may be tough in the beginning, Indianapolis will be trying to improve its 4-12-1 record and third-place finish in the AFC South last season, with NFL odds tabbing the Colts to win 6.5 games this year.
Training Camp Info
- Coach: Shane Steichen (1st Year)
- Training Camp Reporting Dates: July 25 (Rookies); July 25 (Veterans)
- First Preseason Game: Aug. 12, at Buffalo
- Week 1: Sept. 10, Jacksonville
- Bye: Week 11
Top Training Camp Storyline
The Colts selected quarterback Anthony Richardson fourth overall at the NFL Draft in hopes he’d be their quarterback of the future. All eyes will be on him and how he progresses through training camp.
Indianapolis hasn’t had a steady starting quarterback since the retirement of Andrew Luck ahead of the 2019 season. Richardson impressed ahead of the NFL Draft with a strong arm and the athleticism of a mobile quarterback but has only started 13 games for Florida, and OTA reports varied.
The Colts signed Gardner Minshew prior to drafting Richardson, and with the two splitting first-team reps, who starts in Week 1 could be anyone’s guess, though NFL expert predictions believe it will be Richardson. How he improves through training camp will be a good indicator of that as well as how Indianpolis’ season and future could turn out.
Richardson is understandably one of the biggest players in the Colts’ rookie class to impact their success, and whether he starts Week 1 or Week 5, will be crucial in how Indianapolis does this season. NFL picks give him the third-best odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year with +600 odds.
Richardson is not the only rookie who could make waves for the Colts, as they are bringing in 12, their largest draft class in the franchise’s history. Cornerback Julius Brents, who Indianapolis selected in the second round, is another who could make some early noise.
The Colts needed help in the cornerback room last season and addressed it by drafting Brents, who should compete for a starting spot right away. Brents has versatility, size, and speed, with all three combining to make him effective in both coverage and the run game.
We got a CB😎
Welcome Julius Brents pic.twitter.com/9hZUi7NNBM
— Colts Coverage (@Colts_Coverage) April 29, 2023
Offseason Moves that Turned Heads
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest moves the Colts made in the offseason was the hiring of Steichen. Although Jeff Saturday took over as the interim after the dismissal of Frank Reich, that wasn’t for the long term, as he led Indianapolis to a 1-7 record including blowing a 33-point, second-half lead for a loss.
Instead, the Colts found Steichen, who spent the last two seasons as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, taking them to the Super Bowl in 2022 before falling to Kansas City. Steichen’s offense ranked in the top five in total yards per game, points per game and total rushing yards last season while finishing in the top 10 in passing yards per game last year under his leadership.
Steichen should be a good fit for Indianapolis with the focus on developing Richardson, as he has spent time coaching Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts to varying points of success.
The Weakest Link
The offensive line remains one of the biggest concerns. The Colts gave up 63 sacks, second-most in the league. Running back Jonathan Taylor’s production took a hit as well, as he went from 106.5 rushing yards per game in 2021 to 78.3 yards in 2022.
With a rookie quarterback at the helm, Indianapolis will need to clean up those issues sooner rather than later to give Richardson as much help as possible. The Colts added a couple of tackles in the draft, though their inexperience may require development.
Instead, with Indianapolis not yet looking to boost the line with a veteran in free agency, it will have to hope those on its line already, Braden Smith, Ryan Kelly and Quenton Nelson, will show improvement.
A new beginning is coming for the Colts with Richardson and Steichen headlining the changes in the offseason, and it should be an exciting one considering the past success the head coach has had with young quarterbacks.
Though a quick turnaround is unlikely to happen after the rough season Indianapolis had last year, an improvement upon its four-win season can be hoped for. However, it all starts with Richardson and his progress at training camp, both individually and with the team. If he doesn’t get some help from the line in front of him, he could face some trouble.
The Colts have one of the easier schedules for the 2023 season, and they’ll get a feel for their contention for the AFC South title when they face Jacksonville and Houston in the first two weeks of the season, though the sportsbook still believes them to finish third.
Indianapolis Colts Odds
- To Win AFC South: +550
- To Win AFC: +6000
- To Win Super Bowl: +10000
- To Make Playoffs: Yes: +350 No: -500