2015 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things we know from Colts, Bengals in preseason

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:09

CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton felt good after his only pass was completed and his only drive ended in a touchdown.

The Colts? They just wanted to get off the field without getting hurt.

Cincinnati's 27-10 victory over Indianapolis in the final preseason game Thursday night sent both teams into their final days of roster cutting with a reason to feel good about how they stack up overall.

---

Five things we know about the Colts after the preseason:

1. THE 3-4 WORKS: Coach Chuck Pagano wanted the Colts' defense to start looking more like the Ravens. After two years of tinkering, the Colts finally appear to have it right. The Giants went 0 for 4 in red-zone possessions and settled for four field goals in Week 2, and Cleveland managed only two field goals and didn't even get into the red zone in Week 3.

2. STRONG SECONDARY: Indianapolis has bulked up in the secondary, and it's made a difference. Vontae Davis and Greg Toler played like a solid cornerback combination. With Pro Bowler safeties Antoine Bethea and LaRon Landry behind them, Indianapolis now has two of the league's better tacklers, too.

3. PATIENCE UP FRONT: Indianapolis signed two starting offensive linemen as free agents and drafted two more linemen. After four preseason games, the group is still a work in progress. Part of the problem has been injuries. It takes time for a line to jell, and the Colts will be watching to see if this group improves over time.

4. RUN, RUN, RUN: Indianapolis hired Pep Hamilton to install a power-running game. It had some problems in the preseason, but the Colts showed they're committed to the philosophy. Getting Ahmad Bradshaw back from injury should help. Indianapolis also should be helped by the expected return of tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener for the season opener. When they're at full strength, the Colts' ground game could look much more efficient.

5. GOOD LUCK: Andrew Luck has shown no signs of a sophomore slump. Rather, he heads into the season with more confidence and more at ease than he was a year ago when he produced one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history. The new offense may limit some of Luck's numbers, but at this point, Indy's franchise quarterback appears to be ahead of where he was in 2012.

---

Five things we know about the Bengals:

1. DALTON'S READY: Much of their focus is on developing a diversified passing game around their third-year quarterback. He completed 66 percent of his passes in the preseason, using every available receiver. He wanted to finish the preseason sharp and did so, completing his only pass for 18 yards to Mohamed Sanu while leading a touchdown drive on Thursday night.

2. JOHNSON CAN SCOOT: One of their few significant decisions at the end of camp involves the backup quarterback spot. Josh Johnson and John Skelton opened camp competing for Bruce Gradkowski's spot. Both struggled at the outset. Johnson missed some open, short passes. Skelton, who had never run a West Coast offense, was slower to pick it up. Johnson made the biggest impact with his ability to scramble. He ran twice on Thursday for 38 yards during a touchdown drive. Overall, he ran 12 times for 143 yards.

``It's an advantage that I have that I can bring to the game,'' Johnson said. ``I just wanted to be able to show these coaches and this organization everything I can do on the field.''

3. EIFERT CAUGHT ON FAST: Tight end Tyler Eifert, their first-round pick from Notre Dame, caught just about everything thrown his way during training camp. A wrist injury limited him at the end. But his ability to run routes and use his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame to his advantage made an impression. Look for Dalton to find him often.

4. GIO HAS BIG THINGS AHEAD: Second-round pick Giovani Bernard is technically the second-string running back behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but he's going to be on the field a lot. His ability to catch a short pass and make defenders miss brings a new element to an offense that's been overly dependent upon A.J. Green the last two seasons.

5. ONE PLAY CAN CHANGE A LOT: When Green bruised his left knee during the first day of training camp, practice stopped and everything looked like their worst nightmare had happened. As it turned out, Green was able to return for the third preseason game and looked fine. Although the Bengals have their deepest roster during coach Marvin Lewis' 11 seasons, Green is the one player who can take the offense to a different level.

---

AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group