If the Colts are going to make Merrill Hoge look like a football oracle, they’re going to need to do a better job against the run than they did in their last preseason game against the Redskins.
The Redskins averaged 5.4 yards per carry and ran up 147 yards on the ground overall in that game. All the edge pass rushers and young offensive talent won’t do you much good if teams can just ram the ball down the throat of the defense time after time, something that coach Chuck Pagano was thinking about when he signed defensive linemen Brandon McKinney and Cory Redding to join him in jumping from the Ravens to the Colts.
Both players were charged with helping to teach Pagano’s 3-4 system to their new teammates, but the learning process hit a snag. McKinney’s already done for the year with a torn ACL and Redding has missed much of the preseason with a knee sprain and an elbow injury, leaving Indy short on the defensive line.
Redding promises it won’t be much longer until he’s back on the field.
“I’m good, man,” Redding said, via Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star. “Fans don’t need to worry. No. 90 will be on the field in Chicago. That’s my mind-set. That’s the game plan. That’s what I’m looking at doing.”
You can’t make as many changes as the Colts have made this season without experiencing some growing pains. If they can get them out of the way early and end the season playing well in all phases of the game, the year will likely go down as a success even if they fall short of shocking the world as Hoge predicts.