Colts hope gamble on younger, faster players pays off – Indianapolis Colts News

Colts hope gamble on younger, faster players pays off – Indianapolis Colts News

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard followed his gut.

Watching game tapes only reinforced the notion that his team needed to get younger, faster and tougher.

So Ballard spent the offseason releasing aging team leaders, allowing other established starters to walk away in free agency and changing directions with mostly low-risk, relatively inexpensive gambles. Now everyone inside the organization is eager to see if Ballard’s bets pay off.

“The hardest thing this year was staying disciplined in free agency, because I knew we needed to add, I knew the problems we were having, and the holes we needed to fill,” he said. “Staying disciplined to your process that was the hardest thing this year.”

At the moment, it’s impossible to know exactly where the Colts’ transition stands.

NFL rules prohibit contact during offseason workouts and restrict teams from putting on pads for the first three days of training camp. Indy’s wait ends Tuesday when the team could get its first glimpse at a camp Pagano and Ballard have promised will be more physical.

For now, though, there are more questions than answers.

Defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins and linebacker Jabaal Sheard must show they can be locker room leaders while receiver Kamar Aiken, linebacker John Simon and nose tackle Al Woods will be put in more prominent roles.

As first-round draft pick Malik Hooker and converted right guard Jack Mewhort continue to fight back from injuries, former first-round picks Phillip Dorsett and Barkevious Mingo will have another chance to demonstrate they can finally live up to their pre-draft…

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