Colts Believe Defense Will Be “Really Good” In 2019

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Colts Believe Defense Will Be “Really Good” In 2019

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Colts Believe Defense Will Be “Really Good” In 2019

The Colts are very bullish on their defense heading into the 2019 season. In what ways do they think their defense will be better?

Zach Bolinger | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – It was (easily) the better unit during Training Camp.

 

And it probably should have been with Andrew Luck not practicing in team sessions, a few more injuries arising on the offensive side of the ball and all 11 starters returning defensively.

 

Of course, the dilemma with evaluating units during camp is just how stern of a test was the other side of the ball.

 

If you ask Chris Ballard, he is very bullish on a defense that has made “tremendous strides in depth and talent,” says the general manager.

 

“At some point in the season,” Ballard says to Pat McAfee on the Pat McAfee Show, “I think we are going to look up and say, ‘That unit is really good.’”

 

Clearly, Ballard is a fan of what he has seen from his defense this month.

 

Frank Reich was on the other side of those practices in which the defense was doing a tad more hooting and hollering than the Indy offense.

 

Reich points to two specific areas in which he feels the defense has notably improved.

 

-“I think we are playing very competitive on the back end – just contesting more balls.”

 

-“I think at linebacker, I just feel like we’ve gotten deeper there obviously and the speed at which we are playing at linebacker.”

 

These are two areas that Ballard definitely wanted to focus on going into 2019.

 

Obviously, you had the biggest need in improving the pass rush, so that’s where the Colts hope Justin Houston and the further development of Kemoko Turay comes into play.

 

But Ballard wanted to continue the shift in body types at linebacker, and he wanted to provide Matt Eberflus different personnel in the secondary to be able to play some more man coverage.

 

From what Reich has seen, that’s been accomplished.

 

The last line of defense on that unit remains Malik Hooker.

 

After participating in every single practice of Training Camp, Hooker is healthy entering his third NFL season.

 

When Hooker is asked about what will be different for the Colts defense in 2019, he doesn’t hesitate.

 

“We will be faster,” the rangy safety says.

 

“Last year, everyone knew their job. And things like that. But once you get a whole offseason to really dial into exactly what happens with every scenario of your job and another offseason of training and stuff like that, it plays a great role in what I think is going to be this year, which I think is a faster.”

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