The Indianapolis Colts have still yet to officially announce their head coach, however, the Tennessee Titans announced that their next head coach will be former Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel. Vrabel was one of their two finalists, along with New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. After the Jacksonville Jaguars meltdown and the amazing comeback, McDaniels looks all the more ready to take control of the Colts team. McDaniels has molded into the Bill Belichick way of maximizing the strengths of his players while minimizing their weaknesses. Today, I’m going to break down three improvements that we should expect to see next season under his new leadership.
More Three Step Drops
Tom Brady has made his career off of quick passes that wear a defense down over the course of a game. Due to these quick drops, Brady has also avoided taking sacks and hits better than a lot of quarterbacks, since he has been a starter. Andrew Luck will be going into essentially his sixth season after sitting out this past season. The number of hits and sacks he has taken in his career are well known and documented, and McDaniels would be wise to come in and change that. Luck’s athleticism is exceptional, but he shouldn’t always be forced to run and should not hold on to the ball as long. One thing that will be important to helping this aspect is improving the wide receiver personal around Luck. The Patriots, when fully healthy, have three short yardage guys in Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman. The Colts don’t really have any players in that mold but will need to fix that to successfully implement this change to the system.
Utilize All Running Backs
In the fantasy football world, the New England Patriots running backs are generally an untouchable commodity, because you can never be sure who’s going to be featured that week. Mike Gillislee started this past season strong but became a healthy scratch for the last few weeks of the season, including the playoffs. Chuck Pagano was frequently loyal to Frank Gore, even if he was not being productive. McDaniels has made it clear that he has no loyalties when it comes to running backs, so it will not be surprising to see Marlon Mack, or other running backs added to the team, see increased roles. Mack fits the same style of a role as Dion Lewis, as they can both make big plays at any time, which is key to making an offense unpredictable.
The Best Andrew Luck Yet
Andrew Luck was on pace to winning MVPs and being a top-five quarterback for many seasons to come, however, he has struggled with turnovers throughout his career in both interceptions and fumbles. The fumbles will decrease with more three-step drops, but the interceptions come down to McDaniels simplifying his reads and making his life easier. Luck is one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league, so it will be exciting to see how he helps unlock the next level of Luck and unleashes it on the league.
Andrew Luck and the Colts offense are poised to be successful like they were in 2014 when they finished sixth in points and third in yards. McDaniels is one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, as evidenced by the consistently stout team never finishing lower than eighth in points per game with him at the helm. Barring unforeseen circumstances, McDaniels will be the next Colts head coach and the Colts offense will be primed to be amazing.
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