Indianapolis Colts: Three Takeaways From First Day of Training Camp

Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) communicates with his team during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) communicates with his team during mini camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indianapolis Colts reported to Anderson University yesterday morning, kicking off the start of their 16-day training camp. What were some of the biggest takeaways from day one?

The Indianapolis Colts’ 2016 NFL Training Camp session is officially underway.

This time last year, many new faces were donning the Colts’ practice jerseys — some who would unfortunately not wind up making the final cuts, and others who had been viewed as big offseason acquisitions.

If you watched the Colts last season, you know that 2015 didn’t go anywhere as hoped for the team. Now, with what appears to be a strong draft class and successful offseason for the Colts on paper, and this team could have themselves back on track for the playoffs this coming season.

While camp on Tuesday consisted of meetings, physicals and player conditioning more so than actual practice itself, we observe some of the biggest takeaways and questions as the real work approaches.

Can the offensive line mesh together?

It could be argued that one of the biggest reasons for Luck’s rib and shoulder injuries last season could not only have been for his reluctance to slide, but also due to the offensive line’s inability to consistently give Luck enough time to adequately deliver the ball to his receivers. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo — arguably the Colts’ best linemen — had a down-year in 2015 and wasn’t shy to be critical of himself on his performance, per Kevin Bowen of

"“I wasn’t happy with my performance (in 2015). I’ll be honest. I feel like I need to come out and have a better year than I did last year. And I feel like I’m primed and ready to do that.“I did a lot of stuff differently (this offseason). I focused a lot on my body. I’ve never really supplemented in the past and I kind of worked that into my offseason. My overall health, my joints feel good. My body is just feeling better going into a season than in my (whole) career.”"

Perhaps the biggest question for the unit surrounds who will start on the right side of the line. The left side and center positions appear to be set in stone with Castonzo, Jack Mewhort and rookie Ryan Kelly — but who will be the starters on the right side of the line come week one remains up in the air.

The defensive situation appears to be shaky

One thing is known for sure — the Colts’ defense in 2015 was absolutely horrendous. On average, the team’s defense last season allowed 379.1 yards per-game — good for 26th in the league.

Rookie standout Henry Anderson (knee) has been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he recovers from an ACL tear suffered midway through last season. Safety Clayton Geathers was placed on the non-football injury list and even though he can return at any time, if he does not then that means rookie T.J. Green could see a lot of practice time alongside Mike Adams.

While these situations may be minor, they don’t help a defense that has been completely lackluster more often than not.

Colts lose depth in the running back department

Perhaps the most shocking news on Tuesday came when running back Tyler Varga announced that he was retiring from the game of football after just one season.

Varga sustained a concussion during week three of last season and reportedly suffered concussion-like symptoms for months after the injury — putting him on the injured reserve list and ending what was looking to be a promising rookie campaign.

The news comes as no surprise in today’s NFL, as more and more players are becoming aware of the severity and long-term effects of concussions in football.

Next: Indianapolis Colts: 5 Players to Follow During Training Camp

With Varga’s absence on the roster, it will now be up to Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman and rookie Josh Ferguson to compete for the No. 2 spot behind veteran Frank Gore.

The Indianapolis Colts continue their training camp sessions Wednesday afternoon.

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