The Colts massively improved their defensive performance in 2018. Part of that was due to some new players, but another part of it was the scheme change.
Matt Eberflus came in last season wanting to change the base defense for 2018. He wanted to move from a 3-4 to a 4-3. It was meant to speed up the Colts and allow them to rush the passer more. It worked wonders for him in his first season as defensive coordinator.
But this was a move that should have been made long ago. If you look around the league, no other team that plays indoors has a 3-4 defense. That’s because they lose speed matchups if they do. It isn’t a good defense to play on turf where everyone gets a speed boost.
With the scheme change, the Colts were able to jump up to being an average defense. Having an average defense when you have Andrew Luck at quarterback is all that you need. But as we talked about yesterday, the defense will only continue to improve.
The 4-3 scheme allowed Darius Leonard to shine in his rookie season and allowed Kenny Moore to rush the quarterback on corner blitzes. It helped everyone be more effective at their position. Chuck Pagano failed to recognize that during his tenure as head coach.
This will be the first full offseason the Colts will have to put personnel into the 4-3 scheme. They can go out and get players who they think will fit it. While they could do that last season, the current players still had to get up to speed on everything.
All in all, it was a good decision to switch up the base defense. Now it will be fun to watch them improve next season.