Colts signing safety proves draft and free agency were failures
By Mike Luciano
One of the more concerning parts of the Indianapolis Colts getting bulldozed by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 of the 2021 season was how bad the secondary looked, as Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were running free against the combination of Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis at safety.
Metcalf, Lockett, and Russell Wilson feasted against 2-hi looks last year, and Matt Eberflus didn’t adjust his gameplan at all. Naturally, the Colts were absolutely cooked — so bad, in fact, that Chris Ballard had to sign some backup safety help just a few days after the first game of the season.
The Colts added veteran Andrew Sendejo, who spent most of the last decade as a starter in Minnesota next to Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. While he’s a solid backup, this may be too little and too late for Ballard if he wants to completely fix the secondary right now.
The position was largely neglected in the draft and free agency, and that led to the Colts carrying just three safeties (Blackmon, Willis, special teams ace George Odum) on the roster. Signing Sendejo is not going to move the needle much against two promising passing attacks in the Rams and Titans coming up on the schedule.
Andrew Sendejo will join the Colts as a backup.
Sendejo spent last year as a starter with the Browns after rookie Grant Delpit was injured in the preseason. He’ll make some plays every now and again, but both the Vikings and Browns fanbases know him as a very inconsistent player, and that is unlikely to change in Indy.
The Colts added two phonetically identical DBs in the offseason, signing former Steelers safety Sean Davis before using a fifth-round draft pick on Florida’s Shawn Davis. Both players were cut and added to the practice squad (and now Sean Davis is gone after being released following the Sendejo move).
As Colts fans can clearly tell from their results last week, whatever plan they had was ripped to shreds by Seattle. Blackmon looked ill-equipped to handle routes over the middle, and while Willis recorded a sack, he also saw Lockett blow right by him on several extremely impactful possessions.
The Colts needed one more heavy hitter, and they had oodles of cap space and plenty of draft picks to do so. Instead, they might need to soldier on ahead with a patchwork secondary full of issues. Hopefully, the roof doesn’t cave in before rivals in the division pass them by.