The Indianapolis Colts struggled a bit on the defensive side of the ball in 2012. They struggled to get a consistent pass rush and gave too much of a cushion in the secondary.
This was a concern for the front office in the offseason, so they went out and basically brought in a whole new defense. Indianapolis signed two new defensive linemen, two linebackers, a cornerback and a safety. They also drafted a linebacker and another safety.
All of these guys they brought in were impact players and turned this defense from somewhat fragile to very physical. The Colts are turning this defense into what the Baltimore Ravens had during head coach Chuck Pagano‘s tenure there as their defensive coordinator.
“I think physical from the standpoint of shutting people down in the run game, said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. “When you talk about physical-ness, I think across the board defensively stopping the run. And that is our focus and our main focus going into the season.”
Safety Antoine Bethea is excited to get on the field and expects a much more physical defense as well. “Everybody always says it starts up front, but we got to have 11 guys out there striking. I just think when opposing offenses see that on film, when they get out there they know, have a sense that we are going to have 11 guys out there running around. Might have guys tip-toeing on the other side of the ball.”
One thing that’s going to be hard to do is getting all the new faces to adapt. The personnel doesn’t think it’s going to be a big factor, and Bethea thinks bringing in veterans is the key to adapting. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a better season for the Colts on the defensive side of the ball. They just need to keep everyone healthy.
Eric Smith is the Colts writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru