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Colts Defense – Same But Different

I think it qualifies as old news and the Indianapolis Colts’ Achilles heel when I state that the team has this little issue that has dogged them for at least the past couple seasons – their running defense. And certainly, this year is no different as they attempt to correct that problem.

That doesn’t minimize the subtle changes that defensive coordinator Larry Coyer intends to incorporate. But one thing is for certain: the Colts’ defense isn’t exactly going to be last year’s model. Again, the team’s defense is going to be much the same but at the same time, different.

Don’t expect these crazed banshee D-line or linebackers rushing every down. As a matter of fact, the 4-3 and the Cover-2 will pretty much be unaffected. Again, I go back to the need for the Colts to improve their tackling technique, especially on running downs.

Expect the Colts to be more aggressive as opposed to last year. They will obviously need to improve their tackling (the main reason their run defense stunk) and improve their execution on third down. One would think that just because the Colts gave up only 19.3 points per game that there isn’t a need for improvement; on the contrary, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Besides the aforemntioned, I look for stunts ot be used more than in the past and for the LB’s to blitz more. One thing is for certain is that the Colts’ changes to their core defense will certainly be tested against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday.

The Jaguars have problems of their own to deal with, especially on the injury front. There’s no guarantee that offensive tackle Tra Thomas will play, although he did practice with the team recently. But nonetheless, when the smoke clears, I expect the Colts to utilize their LB’s more often in blitz packages much more against the Jaguars this weekend which – if successful – should make things uncomfortable for Jaguars QB David Garrard. And of course, improved tackling will enhance markedly the Colts’ chances for victory on Sunday.

Image: A J Macht, Indianapolis Colts

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