INDIANAPOLIS – The major offensive splash of the Colts 2015 free agency came from a pair of weapons, who have a long history together.
Frank Gore and Andre Johnson are the headliners of the Colts haul this offseason with free agency quieting down after two weeks of players on the open market.
Colts.com takes a look back on the 2015 additions on offense:Running Back Frank Gore (49ers)
-2014 Stats: 16 games played (16 starts). 255 rushes for 1,106 yards and four touchdowns.
-Career Stats: 148 career games played (134 starts) in 10 seasons. 2,442 rushing attempts for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns.
-Gore’s Quote to Note: “I feel like before I leave this game, I want to win a championship. This is the best team, the best situation for me to get there.”
-Ryan Grigson’s Thoughts: “I was always taught never overlook production, even if the measurables aren’t there, just don’t overlook rare production and consistency. He’s been the model of that and the fact that he can do it on all three downs at a high-level, that’s worth its weight in gold, especially for this offense.”
-Outlook: Running back was a definite need of the Colts this offseason and they were able to lure the most productive back there was on the open market. Gore’s age will be questioned for the rest of his career, but his numbers indicate he’s a different breed than other ball carries with 10 years of tread. He ended 2014 with back-to-back games of at least 140 rushing yards. The Colts aren’t going to ask Gore to carry a heavy burden in the backfield. Chuck Pagano knows that having a healthy Gore each Sunday is the most important factor in tapering back his practice regime. Another reinforcement to the backfield could happen in the draft, where numerous quality backs are this year.Wide Receiver Andre Johnson (Texans)
-2014 Stats: 15 games played (15 starts). 85 catches for 936 yards and three touchdowns.
-Career Stats: 169 games played (169 starts) in 12 seasons. 1,102 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns.
-Johnson’s Quote to Note: “I wanted to be at a place that had a stable quarterback. I feel like Andrew is arguably the best quarterback in the game playing against him twice a year, getting a chance to watch him a lot. I felt like this was a good place where I could win a championship.”
-Chuck Pagano’s Thoughts: “You still see a guy who is more than capable of stretching the defense. Certainly somebody who our opponent can’t just line up and say, ‘Don’t worry about Andre Johnson.’ They’re still going to have to tend to him. If they choose to double (T.Y. Hilton) and take him out of the game, you have another guy on the other side, along with the rest of the guys on the roster who can still stretch the defense. He’s a big, possession type guy. He makes contested catches in traffic. He’s got a big catch radius.”
-Outlook: A veteran, big bodied, piece was the ideal hope to fill the Colts pass catching void this offseason. That’s what they are getting in Johnson. Just like Gore, the age question for Johnson will be one to answer throughout his time in Indianapolis. The belief by some in Houston was that Johnson has lost a step. What he hasn’t lost though his the frame (6-3 and 220 pounds), which allowed him to put up Hall of Fame numbers with the Texans. The Colts skill group will welcome that frame to an already explosive playmaking core. Despite reaching his 30s, Johnson’s numbers have barley diminished while catching balls from six different quarterbacks the last two seasons. With Andrew Luck looking his direction, and the extra attention inevitably coming towards T.Y. Hilton, Johnson should have his fair share of chances to be an impact guy for one of the league’s best offenses.