Colts Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into 2019 Training Camp

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Colts Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into 2019 Training Camp

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Colts Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into 2019 Training Camp

Our burning questions series is back on 1070TheFan.com. What are the major questions about the defensive line group of the Indianapolis Colts going into the 2019 Training Camp?

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INDIANAPOLISWe are less than two weeks away from Training Camp starting for the Indianapolis Colts.

 

A second year of camp at Grand Park will have the Colts on the practice field starting July 25, with 16 open sessions to the public up in Westfield, Indiana.

 

So it’s time to pick back up our ‘burning questions’ series on 1070TheFan.com

 

Here are our burning questions at the defensive line position group heading into the 2019 Training Camp:

1. Will Justin Houston be the dominant rusher the Colts are expecting?

 

The Colts have really high hopes for Houston this fall.

 

They believe he can reach a sack total into the teens, a number Houston has not found since the 2014 season.

 

In Indianapolis, the Colts look at Houston as a guy who will excel in much more of a ‘pass rush first’ sort of role, with the hope to keep him fresh throughout a game.

 

Defensive line rotation is a staple of what the Colts want to be about up front, but they really need for that dominant edge rusher to emerge.

 

And that emphasis is even higher in 2019, with some great quarterbacks waiting on the schedule.

 

If Houston can show early on that he still has plenty of pass rushing juice, that’s only going to help the rest of the defense trying to take advantage of extra attention heading towards No. 99.

2. Will the defensive tackle position be able to hold up in 2019?

 

Surprisingly, the Colts were a very solid run defense team last year.

 

Such a dramatic shift in defensive scheme didn’t lead to any immediate issues in trying to stop the run.

 

Going into 2019, the Colts have elected to commit to a ‘thinner’ starting duo at defensive tackle, compared to virtually every other team in the NFL.

 

Margus Hunt and Denico Autry are now full-timers at defensive tackle, after both saw time at defensive end in 2018.

 

The running back gauntlet on the opposing schedule isn’t too daunting in 2019, but you know teams will still try and see if the Colts can hold up in the middle of the defense.

 

3. What are the second-year roles for Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay?

 

With the draft, the Colts sent a pretty clear message to Tyquan Lewis, and even Kemoko Turay.

 

While it now looks like Ben Banogu might have a 2019 home at defensive end, and not linebacker, the Colts initially didn’t draft a true defensive lineman until the 6th round back in April.

 

That was a message to Lewis and Turay that the Colts still have strong belief in them to be key parts of when the defensive line has to turn the page from their ‘older’ starting defensive line.

 

Lewis battled injuries last season, playing multiple spots when healthy. In 2019, Lewis is probably the first defensive tackle off the bench, seeing time at the 3-technique with Denico Autry.

 

Turay flashed early on, but an inability to maintain weight, and meet the practice threshold for Matt Eberflus, led to little playing time down the stretch. How much Turay actually plays in 2019 remains to be seen with more depth at defensive end.

 

 

ICYMI:
-Quarterback Burning Questions
-Running Back Burning Questions
-Wide Receiver Burning Questions
-Tight End Burning Questions
-Offensive Line Burning Questions
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