The Indianapolis Colts open training camp practices on Sunday July 29. There has been a lot of change for Indianapolis this offseason and training camp will feature a lot of suspense and newness for fans. The following five position battles will most closely be watched by fans this summer.
Starting running backDonald Brown figures to have the upper hand but this will surely be a battle this training camp. Delone Carter and rookie Vick Ballard are the type of backs new head coach Chuck Pagano seems to prefer. There also must be a reason why Mewelde Moore, a third-down specialist, was signed recently. Indianapolis needs a strong running back this season and there will be heavy competition at running back throughout training camp.
Starting CornerbackThe team is extremely thin at cornerback and this position is the biggest concern for fans everywhere. Jerraud Powers is clearly entrenched as one starter but every other job is likely up for grabs. Kevin Thomas and Chris Rucker are expected to be the favorites for the starting job, but truly anyone could win out. There are twelve cornerbacks currently under contract and the team badly needs at least two or three to emerge as viable options this season.
Defensive EndIndianapolis is making the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 this year and will need a different style of play than usual from their defensive ends. Fili Moala, Drake Nevis and Ricardo Matthews are all making the position change and will need to learn quickly. These three could all be competing to start opposite veteran Cory Redding.
Offensive GuardThe offensive line will be vital to the success of Andrew Luck and the rest of the offense this season. Only Anthony Castonzo and Samson Satele seem to have their starting jobs locked in place. Winston Justice is expected to be the starter at right tackle, which leaves the two guard positions up for grabs. This leaves newcomer Mike McGlynn, second year player Ben Ijalana, and returning starter Joe Reitz to battle it out for the other spots. Hopefully the unit can mesh into a cohesive group that can successfully protect Andrew Luck.
Third Wide ReceiverReggie Wayne and Austin Collie are sure to be the starters at receiver this upcoming season. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians likes to play multiple wide receiver sets and will look for a third and even fourth wide receiver to emerge. Several players could factor into the mix here. Donnie Avery, TY Hilton, Lavon Brazil, and Griff Whalen are all players who could factor into the mix. Hilton was selected in the third round and could be a big playmaker with his speed in Arians' system. I think Donnie Avery and Hilton will likely emerge, but whichever player develops chemistry with Andrew Luck the best may have the upper hand.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He also runs the blog www.coltsfansonline.com that covers the team.