The Indianapolis Colts stumbled to a last-placed ranking in Pro Footall Focus run defense grades last season. This outcome was not entirely shocking given their personnel and a rather sudden transition to the 3-4 formation in year one under Coach Chuck Pagano.
While this adjustment in base defense may provide long-term benefits under Pagano, the personnel for a smooth transition was just not there in 2012.
That’s not to say the run-stuffing personnel at Pagano’s use was intrinsically good enough to stay out of the league basement in major relevant categories, but that it was just an epic storm of bad. Starting over at nose tackle is a nice start, but one key free-agent element that could give this unit some physicality in the box is veteran strong safety LaRon Landry.
Landry called the New York Jets home while this unit doled out Indy’s most humiliating rout on the ground in 2012, a 35-9 beatdown that saw Shonn Greene enjoy a career day to the tune of 161 yards and three touchdowns rushing. Just another game where Landry’s intimidating presence and thumping ability up front may have helped in 2012, and could certainly be used in 2013.
I’m not saying Landry deserved his Pro Bowl invite last year as he was mediocre-at-best in coverage even by strong safety standards. However, this signing could very well prove a nice fit.
“He brings ugly,” Coltsoutside linebacker Robert Mathis recently raved about Landry, who has missed OTAs, via the Indianapolis Star. “He brings a streak to us that we haven’t had.”