☑️ Getting more explosive on offense: Rivers’ acquisition is expected to provide a major jolt to the Colts’ offense, particularly its passing game, which finished 30th in the league in yards per game in 2019.
But the Colts made moves this offseason to address both the pass game and the run game, and together, the team hopes they’ll be making explosive plays all over the field in 2020.
Those moves started with the coaching staff. The team hired Mike Groh, who had previously worked with then-offensive coordinator Frank Reich as the Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receivers coach, to that same position on the Colts’ staff; Kevin Patullo, Indy’s former wide receivers coach, has transitioned into a brand new role, “Pass Game Specialist.” The Colts also promoted Parks Frazier and Jerrod Johnson to offensive quality control positions.
The trio of Sirianni, Groh and Patullo have been working hard this offseason to find more ways to exploit defenses and get those big chunks in the passing game.
What should help in that process are both the return of some injured playmakers, as well as a few newcomers.
Top receiver T.Y. Hilton is feeling back to 100 percent after playing in a career-low 10 games in 2019 as he dealt with a couple nagging injuries (most notably a calf injury that hampered him most of the second half of the season). Parris Campbell, a second-round pick in last year’s draft, is also back to 100 percent after being limited to just seven games his rookie season due to a myriad of injury issues.
New to the Colts are two draft picks at receiver: second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr. out of USC and sixth-round pick Dezmon Patmon out of Washington State. The team also signed free agent tight end Trey Burton, who is expected to help make up for the loss of Eric Ebron, who departed in free agency this offseason.
And while the Colts just missed out on a top-five rushing attack in 2019 — Indy fell 1.5 rushing yards per game short of that mark — the team is expected to be even better in that area this season. Why? Well, first off, look at what’s returning: all five starting offensive linemen, as well as starting running back Marlon Mack (who is coming off his first-career 1,000-yard season), third-down back Nyheim Hines and key backup Jordan Wilkins.
But the team also went out and grabbed college football’s top running back in this year’s draft, moving up three spots in the second round to select Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, to create what Reich and Sirianni have referred to as a “1-1” punch at the position alongside Mack.
So take all those moves together — from the coaching staff to what’s returning as well as what’s new — and the Colts’ offense should be producing a few more fireworks in 2020.