Indianapolis Colts 2015 Season Preview
By Evan Reller
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome (91) forces a fumble from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) during the second quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
This is the real question mark heading into 2015. Have the Colts done enough to make this a championship caliber defense?
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Yesterday, I talked about the“gamble” the team was taking with the defensive line.
That probably wasn’t the right word since the situation has basically been dictated to the team due to injuries. Losing Art Jones is a huge blow, but to say they didn’t do anything to improve this unit is false. They signed Langford and used two draft picks on defensive linemen. Then used a roster spot to claim another one off waivers.
That’s a lot of investment in the line. Yes, the Colts are young at the position but there is a lot of talent in those players. The Colts are expecting a quicker line that can adjust more easily to opposing offenses. But with that much youth, there will be times when they are exploited.
We harp on the run defense, but that will be improved if the Colts don’t have to blitz as much as they did in 2014. The return of Mathis, addition of Cole, and development of Jonathan Newsome will allow the Colts to win more one-on-one pass rush battles, instead over attempting to overwhelm those left in to block. More defenders downfield means a better chance to bring down a running back.
With Pagano’s defensive background and that fact that Pep Hamilton and Luck don’t really need to be supervised, this unit will be receiving more attention from the head coach. Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky are coaching for their jobs, and this team’s postseason is going to hinge on how well they develop this side of the ball.