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The new-look Indianapolis Colts travel to Pittsburgh for an 8 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football preseason game. Here are five questions to consider:
Luck completed 10 of 16 for 188 yards and two touchdowns last week against the St. Louis Rams. The Steelers traditionally represent the best of NFL defenses. How much the Steelers will show in a preseason game remains to be seen. But Luck will sure get a few more looks – and in a 3-4 scheme – and pressure from new points. Luck said his ability to recognize pressure must improve. This is a good second step.
Freeman, Moise Fokou and Mario Harvey are the frontrunners for the spot vacated for the time being with Pat Angerer sidelined with a broken foot. Freeman spent substantial time with the first unit during practice this week, and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky says he'll be the starter. It's his job to seize for now.
The Colts threw only twice to starting tight ends Coby Fleener (one catch, one drop) and Dwayne Allen (no passes his way) against the Rams. Fleener made a nice one-handed catch in practice on Friday and Allen has consistently shown his ability to catch balls in traffic (albeit with limited full-contact situations).
Mathis has shown a nice knack for dropping into coverage during camp. Freeney has had less opportunity, but did pick off a pass on Friday, batting a Drew Stanton-thrown ball and catching it. Going up against Ben Roethlisberger should give Mathis and Freeney (and Jerry Hughes) the chance to cover some tight ends in short passing situations.
LaVon Brazill and T.Y. Hilton are still listed 1-2 on the depth chart in both kick returns and punt returns. Both will get their chances this week. The Colts will probably encourage them to try to break some returns, even if kickoffs go deep into the end zone. You can't see the special teams' play without forcing a couple.