2010 Indianapolis Colts Season Preview

When a team has Peyton Manning as their quarterback, things tend to look more positive than negative. That is once again the case with the 2010 Indianapolis Colts Season Preview, as Manning enters his 13th season at the helm of the organization.

The Colts are the epitome of what has been success in the regular season of the NFL throughout the course of the last decade. In fact, the team set a new NFL mark as the only team in history to have seven consecutive season of at least 12 wins. However, the trademark of the team has been a lack of post-season success, resulting in just one Super Bowl victory.

Last year, the team had another shot, making it to Super Bowl XLIV after winning the AFC Championship game over the New York Jets and earned a return trip to Miami, site of their last Super Bowl win. It was not meant to be however, as the Colts came up short in the game to the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints, who notched their first NFL Championship win in the history of the organization.

Still, the Colts won another AFC Championship under Manning, and there are not many reasons to believe that Indianapolis will not endure success in the 2010 NFL Season.

Manning won his fourth NFL MVP, throwing for 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns on the year, as Indianapolis possessed the 9th-ranked offense in the NFL and 2nd-ranked pass attack. The Colts averaged 26 points per game on offense in 2009, which put ranked them seventh in the NFL.

Defensively however, the Colts were pedestrian, ranking 18th in total team defense. The unit was better against the pass than against the run, ranking 14th and 24th respectively. The pass rush was not as aggressive and did not make quite the headlines as in previous years, ranking right in the middle of the league with 34 on the season.

Looking ahead to the course of the 2010 Indianapolis Colts Season, they are the favorites to win the NFC South division, and the AFC Championship. In fact, in conjunction with the Saints, they are the overall favorites to win Super Bowl XLV. Manning and company are used to this position by now however, with a bulls-eye on their chest. 2010 Indianapolis Colts Coaching Staff & Changes Head coach Jim Caldwell endured quite the rookie season under his first year as the leader of the Colts. After learning from former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, Caldwell was promoted to coach after Dungy retired. Caldwell became just the first coach in the NFL to win the first 14 games of his coaching career starting in week won. The Colts went 14-2 last year, dropping their final two games of the season already having locked up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Caldwell is a branch off of the Dungy tree, learning a lot from his predecessor.

There will be some changes to the coaching staff in the 2010 NFL season for the Colts however, as Offensive Coordinator Howard Mudd retired and offensive coordinator Tom Moore moved to a consultant position. In Moore's place, Clyde Christensen will step in a try and help lead one of the league's most potent offenses. 2010 Indianapolis Colts Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
OL - Adam Terry from Baltimore Ravens
OL - Andy Alleman from Kansas City Chiefs

CB - Marlin Jackson to Philadelphia Eagles
CB - Tim Jennings to Chicago Bears2010 Indianapolis Colts NFL DraftRound 1: Pick 31 - OLB, Jerry Hughes (TCU)
Round 2: Pick 63 - ILB, Patrick Angerer (Iowa)
Round 3: Pick 94 - CB, Kevin Thomas (USC)
Round 4: Pick 129 - OG, Jacques McClendon (Tennessee)
Round 5: Pick 162 - TE, Brody Eldridge (Oklahoma)
Round 7: Pick 238 - DT, Ricardo Mathews (Cincinnati)
Round 7: Pick 240 - OLB, Kavell Coner (Clemson)
Round 7: Pick 246 - CB, Ray Fisher (Indiana)2010 Indianapolis Colts QuarterbacksManning enters his 13th season in the NFL after having one of his best seasons in 2009. He was rewarded with his fourth NFL MVP and made his second-ever appearance in the Super Bowl, despite losing to the Saints. Manning is the unquestioned leader of one of the most successful teams in the NFL and, barring injury, will continue to do that in 2010.

Manning has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in 10 of his seasons in the NFL. He underwent off-season surgery to relieve a pinched nerve in his neck, and has not missed any practice time with the team.

Behind Manning, the Colts released long-time back up Jim Sorgi, and now Curtis Painter, a sixth-round pick in 2009 will assume that role.

2010 Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Peyton Manning
QB - Curtis Painter2010 Indianapolis Colts Running BacksThe running game for the Colts in 2009 was mediocre. However, the Colts organization did not place the blame squarely on the running back position. This is demonstrated by the organization's decision to add more depth and bring in more offensive line talent to help with that. The running back corps is led by Joseph Addai, who tabbed 828 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago. He will be backed up by 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown, who had 78 carries for 281 yards and three touchdowns. The two running backs were very solid at protecting the ball, putting it on the ground and losing a fumble only twice on the season.

Brown appeared in 11 games in his rookie season, but will likely see more playing time in 2010. Neither of the running back will likely be good for 20-plus carries per game, and will be more effective splitting time in the offensive backfield.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Joseph Addai
RB - Donald Brown2010 Indianapolis Colts Wide ReceiversThe receiving corps for the Colts is plentiful, led by veteran Reggie Wayne, who is coming off yet another 1,000-plus season. Wayne hauled in 100 receptions for 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns. Manning spread the ball around however, as Tight end Dallas Clark also had himself a 100-reception season.

When Anthony Gonzalez went out early in 2009 to a season-ending injury, receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie stepped in to fill the void and continue the production. Both did a solid job in that respect, as Garcon came along to become a play-maker and a go-to outlet for Manning. With Gonzalez coming back the Colts face the issue of having too many receivers to throw to. While it is a good problem to have, it is a problem nonetheless as players want the ball.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Reggie Wayne
WR - Anthony Gonzalez
WR - Pierre Garcon
WR - Austin Collie

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Dallas Clark
TE - Gijon Robinson2010 Indianapolis Colts Offensive LineThe Offensive line is the area on the team that has undergone the most change from last year on into this season. With the goal of adding more production to the run-game in 2010, the organization began that by upgrading and adding depth on the line. Left Tackle Charlie Johnson, veteran Center Jeff Saturday and right tackle Ryan Diem will likely start the beginning of the season, with those three the same form 2009. However, Left Guard and right guard have the potential for several players to try and make an impact.

Jaime Thomas, Mike Pollak and Kyle DeVan are three names that could cycle through and play on the offensive line for the 2010 Indianapolis Colts as they may look to increase the run-game. While this has been important to the organization, the unit in 2009 allowed only 11 sacks all season, which was best in the NFL.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Starting Offensive Line
LT - Charlie Johnson
LG - Andy Alleman
C - Jeff Saturday
RG - Mike Pollak
RT - Ryan Diem2010 Indianapolis Colts Defensive LineWhile Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis combine a 1-2 tandem that are among the best pass rushers in the entire NFL. However, they only make up half of the 4-3 base set on the defensive front, and will need the support of more production to avoid double teams throughout the course of the season. The organization has tried to come through with that help by drafting Jerry Hughes in the first round of the 2010 Draft. Hughes was fantastic last season as a play maker at TCU, spearheading a defense that led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated Record.

Additionally, the Colts have two 300-pound interior lineman in Daniel Muir and Antonio Johnson to help plug up the middle and get pressure in opponents offensive back field. The changes to the unit look positive and 34 sacks recorded by the defense a year ago should go up.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Starting Defensive Line
DE - Robert Mathis
DT - Antonio Johnson
DT - Dan Muir
- Dwight Freeney2010 Indianapolis Colts LinebackersGary Brackett and Clint Sessions anchor this solid corps of linebackers for the Colts heading into 2010. Sessions led the defense in tackles a year ago with 103 total tackles. The linebackers are very active in the run and pass game and the Colts will rely on that again in 2010. Brackett was signed to a 5-year deal worth $33 million. Sessions is a great compliment to Brackett, as a tough and relentless hitter as evidence by his number of tackles. Phillip Wheeler will start opposite of the other two on the strong-side.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Starting Linebackers
Sam LB - Phillip Wheeler
Mike LB - Gary Brackett
Will LB - Clint Sessions2010 Indianapolis Colts SecondaryThe Colts have a variety of players in the secondary, and barring health, should have plenty of depth a the positions in 2010. Health is a concern however, specifically with safety Bob Sanders. Sanders was the 2007 Player of the Year, but missed all but two games last season to a knee injury. At the corner back position, Kelvin Hayden and Jarraud Powers will lead the way as the starters of the corps. Both players are good cover corners, but are also very effective against the run.

Projected 2010 Indianapolis Colts Starting Seconday
CB - Kelvin Hayden
CB - Jerraud Powers
FS - Antoine Bethea
SS - Bob Sanders

2010 Indianapolis Colts Preview