Colts: TJ Carrie signing represents another quick fix for secondary
By Mike Luciano
The Indianapolis Colts are in the process of reinforcing their formidable secondary, as bringing back Xavier Rhodes and letting Malik Hooker go is a sign that Matt Eberflus is demanding excellence from this group.
Sensing the need for some experience in the secondary, Indianapolis also agreed to a deal with TJ Carrie.
Carrie, who spent his first few seasons in the league bouncing around as a starter, backup, and returner with the Cleveland Browns and then-Oakland Raiders, recorded 32 tackles and two interceptions in Indianapolis last year.
Carrie is one of the more versatile defensive backs in the league, as he has some experience playing the safety position in addition to reps as both a slot corner, sub-package DB, and starting outside cornerback. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
The Colts brought back Carrie this year as a short-term Band-Aid for a cornerback room that does have some studs between Rhodes and Kenny Moore.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Colts will need to make an addition or two in order to give them some extra long-term stability at that position.
How will TJ Carrie help the Indianapolis Colts?
Carrie should be a valuable sub-package defender, as he will be available in dime and, if Rock Ya-Sin fails to take the leap forward that the Colts are hoping for, nickel packages. He’s unspectacular, but he won’t make too many egregious mistakes in the course of a given game.
Ya-Sin has the weight of the world on his shoulders this season, as the former second-round draft choice faces the potential of being replaced if he doesn’t show that he can stick at outside corner this season. With 2022 supposedly one of the best draft classes in recent memory with regard to defensive back talent, this is a make-or-break year for Ya-Sin.
Naturally, Indianapolis isn’t in a position like the Jacksonville Jaguars, who can afford to let their young players figure out mistakes in real time. The Colts should walk to the division title, meaning they will get a chance to exorcise those playoff demons. Leaning on a known veteran quantity in Carrie instead of riding the Ya-Sin roller coaster makes sense come January.
If Hollywood central casting was looking for a veteran backup defensive back, Carrie’s name would be on the audition sheet. However, the Colts need to settle on some long-term solutions in the defensive backfield, and Carrie is not going to help them much in that regard.