Indianapolis Colts Molding Their Defense To Be Feared

When you move to a new city to coach a new team, you try to instill your knowledge among the players as fast as possible. You bring a different style and attitude to the organization, in hopes that the players will buy into your system and philosophy. One way to achieve that goal is to find players that are an extension of the coach. When situations happen on the field, you feel confident that it will be handled the right way. This player also brings attitude, toughness and a will to win. The Indianapolis Colts have found a player that they can rely on to carry the same values as their head coach. Tom Zbikowski has signed a new contract with the Colts, which makes him the second Baltimore Raven to come to Indianapolis via free agency to join their former defensive coordinator.

As I have mentioned before, the Colts need to change their entire organization. Jim Irsay has done that with the front office moves and changes to the coaching staff. Now Coach Pagano has made the same kind of moves. He wants to bring in a different style of players who have been here before. Pagano coaches tough, smash-mouth style football and he needs players that are the same. With the moves that have been made in free agency this year it is proven that he is changing the landscape of the Colts. Expect to see many more moves that represent the head coach and what he brings to the team.

Tom Zbikowski brings toughness, knowledge and the ability to change the attitude on the defensive side of the ball. The Ravens were successful with their defensive scheme and how they used players, especially their safeties and Pagano was the mind behind the idea. Everyone wants to find the “Ed Reed” of their defense, one that can make plays and can put fear into offenses. Zbikowski is a dual threat because he can also return kicks, as he did for the Ravens in 2011 with a 23.2 yards-per-return. He will be lined up next to Antoine Bathea and the duo should be quite productive. Zbikowski is great at stopping the run, so expect to see him in the box on certain plays.


There were other safeties in free agency who were better options, but considering what the Colts have done this off-season this makes perfect sense. The Colts have signed either low-end free agents with something to prove or guys near the end of their career that can help the younger guys learn.

Coach Pagano was extremely excited to add Zbikowski to the Colts saying, “Tom is a very dedicated and fiery player. His competitiveness drives him to perform at a high level, and his aggressive style of play parallels the attitude we’re looking for from the defensive unit. We’re very excited Tom will be joining the Colts this season.”

As the Colts rebuild their team, they are doing it with quality players who respect and understand what Coach Pagano is trying to do. Colts fans should be very excited about this move and should look forward to seeing what he can do in a Colts uniform.

They hired the right general manager and with his changes the future is looks bright.


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  • daniel

    Why degrade him and say there are better safeties out there? exactly who? Tommy Z is one of the best but has been stuck behind Ed Reed. He can play the run like a linebacker but has the coverage skills of a corner, yes he was originally supposed to be a cornerback for Notre Dame, but because his skin lacks a little melanin they switched him over to safety where had an outstanding career, and then went on to run a 4.4 at the combine. There are corners that don’t have his speed, whether it be change of direction or straight line, he is also very fluid. Nobody believed he was fast in high school and his parents would drive around the country having him race the top sprinters in the nation his age. Tommy Z was the best safety out there with the most upside. Craig Steltz was resigned but was in free agency for a while, he is good (rated 12th out of all the safeties in the leagtue) but not as much upside as Tommy. Steve Gregory is great but he is a little small and better at coverage than the run, he is on the small side for a safety. He is another guy who should be playing corner but has the same problem as Tommy. I guess the last guy allowed to play corner was Jason Sehorn.