With a new coordinator and a new scheme, the defense should be an improved unit as a whole. But which of the defensive units will benefit the most?
With new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus making the Colts switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3, the defense has a chance to improve. Having a 4-3 as an indoor team makes a lot of sense. It allows the team to fly around faster and track down ball carriers. It also allows the Colts to use their speed in rushing the passer.
Having a 4-3 allows teams to send defensive ends rushing after quarterbacks. That’s what the Colts did back in the era of Dwight Freeney. It also allows linebackers to be more involved in pass coverage. That should help the linebacking corp to improve as well. But the unit who should improve the most next season should be the secondary.
There are many reasons for this, the first being the scheme change. The Colts will be playing more zone schemes in the passing game which minimizes the lack of having a second strong cornerback. It also allows the unit to be able to look for more interception opportunities.
Another reason they should improve is that they should be a healthier unit. They will get Malik Hooker back, who is a ball-hawking safety. And if the Colts decide to re-sign Rashaan Melvin, he will be fully healthy as well. The secondary was ravaged by injuries, having Hooker, Melvin, Matthias Farley, and Clayton Geathers all injured at some point in the year.
Hopefully for the Colts, all of the defensive units improve next year. If the secondary can improve off of last year, then the team should be able to generate more turnovers. More turnovers forced means better field position for the offense, and that should mean a better chance to score more points.