The Colts defense has been bad this year, but is it a result of bad players and bad coaching, or is it a result of injuries and a lack of continuity?
The Colts defense has been bad this year. They are towards the bottom in almost every major statistical category including total defense, pass defense, and run defense.
Most people would chalk this up to having bad players or having a bad scheme in place. Chuck Pagano was supposed to be a defensive mind when he was hired back in 2012, so many thought the defense would be much better than it currently is. Add that to the fact that Chris Ballard, the new Colts GM, spent a good part of the off-season upgrading the defense in terms of personnel, and the unit should be playing better.
While this all may be true, consider this; the Colts have had to place several defensive players on injured reserve, including Rashaan Melvin, Malik Hooker, John Simon, and most recently Jon Bostic.
With all of the defensive players Indianapolis
acquired in the off-season, injuries are not a good way to increase continuity. Players typically need at least one full season of playing together to be in sync with one another.
Some of the defensive players that the Colts acquired have played well when they’ve been healthy. Hooker, their first round pick this past season, had 3 INT’s this season before tearing his ACL. Simon has arguably been the Colts’ best linebacker, besides maybe Jabaal Sheard who is another newcomer. Melvin has been the best Colts corner all year.
The jury is still out on how good this defense is when it is fully healthy. Some players have shown flashes, while others have flamed out. It will be interesting to see what the Colts do in the coming months to address the unit.