The defense for the Indianapolis Colts is loaded and they are already starting to play up to their potential during training camp.
This offseason, the Indianapolis Colts added Yannick Ngakoue and Stephon Gilmore to a defense that already had three Pro Bowlers in DeForest Buckner, Shaquille Leonard, and Kenny Moore. The team also got a new defensive staff led by experienced defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. With all these new promising pieces, expectations are high for the Colts’ defense.
Apparently, Indianapolis has already been meeting those expectations just a couple of weeks into training camp. On Tuesday, the defense dominated a two-point conversion period challenge that resulted in the offense running after practice. On Thursday, it was reported that the Colts were just lights out defensively.
In a training camp roundup, ESPN’s Stephen Holder recounted multiple plays from a “physical, full-squad, two-minute drill,” to detail what was clicking for the defense in Thursday’s practice:
"In two possessions, the starting offense was held to three points against the starting defense. On the first series, the offense went three-and-out after pass deflections by cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Julian Blackmon, and a third-down sack from defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. On the second series, Gilmore flattened rookie Alec Pierce on a pass attempt, and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner collapsed the entire middle of the offensive line to stuff a third-down play."
Colts’ defense is dominating in training camp
In the practice, some of the key plays came from new additions like Gilmore and Ngakoue but also returning players like Julian Blackmon and DeForest Buckner. That pretty much encapsulates the makeup of this defense. Indy has younger guys and established veterans that are all extremely talented and ready to dominate offenses.
The scariest part? The best defensive player on the team hasn’t even taken the field yet. Still rehabbing from an offseason back surgery, Shaquille Leonard has been on the sideline mentally preparing with coaches. Once he’s back on the field at linebacker, the potential of this defense will be limitless.
While the offense should definitely be improved, it’s the defense that may steal all the shine for this team. Additionally, an elite defense is needed with all of the explosive offenses being built around the NFL. Hopefully, once the regular season arrives, the Colts’ defense can continue to dominate no matter who they’re up against. After all, defense does win championships.