General manager Chris Ballard wants the team to be more physical in training camp this season.
Indianapolis had one of the league’s worst defenses last season ranking 29th overall, and dead last against the run according to Football Outsiders.
The Colts have overhauled most of the defense this offseason after they brought in a new front office under GM Chris Ballard.
Ballard came from a Kansas City Chiefs organization that was known for their physical play, and he wants to bring that mentality with him to Indianapolis.
"“This will be a physical camp for us,’’ Ballard told Colts.com. “We’ve got a young football team and you need to spar. I think we will have a physical camp and I think you need to. It helps get your body ready. I think a lot of the problems we have is that we don’t hit enough. You’re always worried about injuries, but this is football and it’s a physical game.”"
The Colts open training camp tomorrow on Saturday, July 29th, at the Indiana Farm Bureau Center, and their firs padded practice will be on August 1st.
Indianapolis’ injury issues could prevent them from being as physical as they’d like to be. Andrew Luck, Clayton Geathers, and Malik Hooker headline an extensive physically unable to perform (PUP) list to begin training camp.
The Colts will need to keep their remaining players healthy because of their lack of depth at those positions. However, they do need to improve their physicality and sound tackling on the defensive side of the ball. It will be difficult for this coaching staff to find a balance to deal with both of those issues.
"“You’re always scared to death, but at the same time, if you don’t tackle, it’s hard to get good at tackling,’’ Pagano said. “We do, obviously, a lot of what we call ‘thud.’ It’s first contact. It’s wrap up and you try to stay off the ground as much as you can and take care of each other. But we’ll continue to have discussions regarding that and there may be some periods come training camp that we decide we want to go live there. Again, until you do that, you get to the preseason and usually that first or second preseason game is an eye-opener for a lot of the guys, especially the young guys until they adapt to the speed of the game.’’"
The NFL Players’ Union has bargained for less contact in practice. While safety is imperative in today’s NFL, tackling is obviously a huge part of the game and needs to be worked on in practice.
The front office and coaching staff has set a different tone for this year’s training camp, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to follow through on their promise of increased physicality.