When new coaches join a team, there are often some egos bruised either by the players or the coach themselves. This hasn’t changed in Indianapolis when they hired Gus Bradley.
Isaiah Rodgers Sr. is a difference maker on the field — when he actually gets on the field, that is. Since Gus Bradley joined the Indianapolis Colts as their defensive coordinator, Rodgers Sr. has seen exactly zero defensive snaps in 2022.
Chalk it up to a new scheme or just liking players that you’ve coached, but Bradley has elected to continue playing former Raiders cornerback Brandon Facyson instead. The two, along with the defensive backs coach Ron Milus, were together last year in Las Vegas. One could say the three have chemistry together.
But is chemistry with a coaching staff and one single player enough to outweigh the thoughts and chemistry of an entire defensive unit? “He needs to be on the field, that’s as blatant and as simple as it is,” said Colts safety Julian Blackmon, while Rodgers Sr. made his thoughts very clear on Twitter.
There is a reason that many have been upset with the young Colts CB not playing. When he is on the field, there is a much different energy that comes to life. Rodgers finished the season with three interceptions (T-11th in the league).
Despite playing 48% of snaps in 2021, Rodgers was lights out on the field last year. His play and energy boosted the stingy Colts defense that forced the most turnovers in the league in 2021. In 17 games, Rodgers played a total of 525 snaps and allowed for a passer rating of 72.2.
Brandon Facyson isn’t getting the job done for the Colts
So far, the current starting cornerback — Facyson — has allowed a passer rating of 98.5 against Trevor Lawrence and Davis Mills. This week, the Colts host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. A 98.5 passer rating is not going to be a great outcome for the Colts if they continue sticking with the current lineup.
Facyson gave up a passer rating of 156.3 and 60.4 in Weeks 10 and 14 against Mahomes last season. After the perfect passer rating in Week 10, the Raiders only allowed him to play in 18 snaps as the corner in Week 14.
If the Colts get this same Facyson in this game against the Chiefs and Bradley does not send out Rodgers to clean up, the seats will continue getting hotter for not just Frank Reich, but the defensive coordinator as well.
"“At the end of the day, we need to come out and play the correct technique, whatever the coaches need us to do, all right. But at the same time, they have to take coaching from us, too, on what we see. As players, we need to be heard as well.” – Colts safety Julian Blackmon"
Ultimately, playing time and who does and does not see the field is up to Coach Bradley. He has recognized that Rodgers Sr. has done well in practices, but sees him purely as a backup cornerback.
Those are interesting words to say, considering Rodgers Sr. has had zero opportunities on the defense to prove his worth to the newly-hired coordinator. Considering the Colts have been outscored 48-20 through two weeks, you’d think that the wheels would be turning on the defense to see how the team could slow opponents down.
The Texans and Jaguars were supposed to be cakewalk wins, but now the Colts sit at 0-1-1 and have to bring in the Chiefs, who scored 82 points in two games against Bradley’s defense in Las Vegas.