The Colts will still keep Matt Eberflus as their defensive coordinator for next season, and he will run a 4-3 scheme.
The Colts will be changing defensive schemes next season. This was one of the many things Chris Ballard mentioned in his press conference this morning. This is big news, especially since the Colts have the personnel to run a 3-4 scheme.
Eberflus has experience running a 4-3 scheme. He was on a Cowboys team that ran a Tampa 2 type system. This emphasizes zone concepts as opposed to man to man. The Colts are used to running man to man coverages, opting to keep linebackers in to either blitz or pick up running backs.
The Colts will have some decisions to make in terms of personnel to fit this new scheme. They previously ran a Tampa 2 system with Tony Dungy as head coach, and also with Jim Caldwell. In those systems, the Colts struggled mightily to stop the run game. But with the NFL becoming more pass-happy every year, it’s more important to stop passing concepts.
Ballard’s head coaching hire will more than likely feature someone who has worked on a team with a 4-3 system on defense. That way the head coach and Eberflus can be on the same page when it comes to personnel decisions.
The Colts will need to bolster their linebacking corp in this system, especially the inside linebacker position. They were very bad at that position this past year. They also need to try to re-sign Rashaan Melvin to be a lockdown corner. This new system could give Malik Hooker a chance to thrive, as he could be able to play a center field type free safety position.
No matter what the system is for the Colts going forward, Eberflus has his work cut out for him. He needs to improve the unit, and he needs to do it quickly.