2007 Indianapolis Colts Preview

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Champs Look to Bolster Depth
By Adam Barone

Most Super Bowl Champions don't have a glaring weakness to address in the offseason following their hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy, but the Colts needed to address their defense (as usual) if they hoped to make a run at another ring. With their first round pick though, they selected Ohio State WR Anthony Gonzalez to play in the slot and replace Brandon Stokley. Gonzalez should make an easy transition to the NFL with his level of intelligence, his outstanding speed and hands. The Colts drafted OT Tony Ugoh out of Arkansas as a future replacement for Tarik Glenn at left tackle and then took six defensive players in their next seven picks, addressing all three levels and adding depth. Indy's defense was shaky last year, especially against the run, ranking dead last in the NFL in rush defense. If Bob Sanders can stay healthy, the defense will be infinitely more successful, simply because of his run stopping ability as an eighth man up in the box.

There's not much to say about one of the most consistent offenses in NFL history. Though almost no one in their right mind would have expected, let alone bet on the Colts to win the Super Bowl with such a terrible defense last year, Peyton Manning and the offense never let it get to them. Manning threw for 31 TD's with only 9 INT's in 2006 and hasn't lost any weapons. WR's Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were as impressive as usual with 95 and 86 receptions respectively, both topping 1300 yards. New slot man Anthony Gonzalez could turn out to be even better than Brandon Stokley ever was, adding to an already unstoppable force. Tight end Dallas Clark is one of the league's more athletic and draws safeties inside the hash marks, making Harrison's and Wayne's jobs that much easier.

Peyton Manning has now had three running backs line up behind him in his career: first was Marshall Faulk, then Edgerrin James, now Joseph Addai. Addai, after just one season in the pro ranks, is making a strong case that he belongs in the same sentence with Faulk and James. The Colts have a quality offensive line clearing holes for him, and defenses will always be thinking pass when they're looking across at Manning, Harrision and Wayne, but Addai did all he could have been asked to do as a rookie. Totaling 1081 yards on 226 carries, he reached pay dirt seven times on the ground. He also proved his worth as a receiving threat, catching 40 total passes, taking one in to the end zone.

2007 Indianapolis Colts Predictions

Filling all of their needs was imperative for the Colts, given what the Patriots have been doing this offseason to prevent the Colts from advancing to the Super Bowl for a second year in a row. Odds are not in the Colts' favor that they'd be able to make another championship run with such an inability to stop opposing ground games. Adding veteran LB Shelton Quarles, someone with years of experience in Tony Dungy's defensive system, will help some in tightening things up for them on D, but a major improvement is in order if the Colts will be playing in February of '08.

If you enjoyed reading the Indianapolis Colts preview read up on the rest of AFC South clubs like the Texans, Jaguars, and Titans team breakdowns from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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