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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