Colts Defense: Position Battles to Watch

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Dec 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts defense is introduced before the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing the 2015 Colts Defense

This offseason, the Colts defense finally added the missing pieces to fully complete its conversion from a Tampa 2 defense into the hybrid 3-4 defensive scheme coaches Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky envisioned back in 2012. Manusky told ESPN’s Mike Wells that this Colts defense is the best they have had during their three years in Indianapolis. With all the recent defensive acquisitions from free agency and the NFL Draft, the Colts added much-needed depth to both its secondary and front seven. Most of the secondary’s starters are already penciled in for the season with the exception of safety.

With the departures of Cory Redding and Ricky Jean-Francois – both former members of the Colts defensive line – there were concerns regarding the continuity and stability of the front seven in their absence. During the free agency period Colts GM Ryan Grigson signed DL Kendall Langford, OLB Trent Cole and ILB Nate Irving in free agency. Grigson then followed up by drafting five more defensive players in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Many questions circulated about the Colts defense after the loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Can the Colts find a way to stop the run? Can they find the right players to generate a pass rush?  Will the defense close the gap with the offense? Now we know who is on the roster, and its time to see where the chips fall in the last leg of OTA’s and in training camp.

Much can occur between now and the beginning of the 2015 season. With that in mind, there are some important position battles worth focusing on during this offseason and early preseason. The following positions are of essential importance to the Colts in their quest to bolster the defense and claim the Lombardi Trophy.