Matt Eberflus Expecting More Diverse Colts Defense In 2019


Matt Eberflus Expecting More Diverse Colts Defense In 2019

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Matt Eberflus Expecting More Diverse Colts Defense In 2019

On Wednesday, we heard from Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus for the first time this offseason. What did Eberflus have to say about the Colts defense in 2019?

Zach Bolinger | Getty Images


Yes, that’s a good way to describe it.

Matt Eberflus says he was ‘happy’ seeing 7 defenders drafted in the 10 picks of the Colts this April.

Those picks have given the Colts more athleticism, different body types and necessary skillsets to diversify this defense.

And that has allowed Eberflus to experiment a bit this time of year, with around 80 percent of the defense installed heading into the summer.

“We are auditioning new things, trying new things that we talked about when we looked at our cut-ups (from 2018),” Eberflus said on Tuesday. “That’s what you are trying to do this time of year.”

One of the main schematic focuses this offseason for the Colts was to acquire some players who could offer more man looks in coverage.

Rock Ya-Sin was taken with the 34th overall pick and the Colts also believe they have some other current bodies on their roster that offer the option of turning to more man coverage, when needed. That is something which will be a must at times in 2019, thanks to a vastly improved slate of opposing quarterbacks.

“It allows you to open up your package,” Eberflus says of the new personnel allowing for more comfort in turning to man.


“Every defensive scheme has a man coverage concept to it, either split safety man or single-high man…whatever that concept is. It enables us to look at those things and see how they look, look at the skillsets of our players.”


In the front 7, the Colts have keyed on getting more athletic at linebacker and, of course, acquired an alpha edge rusher in Justin Houston.


The defensive line group has slimmed down a bit, but that isn’t bothersome to Eberflus, or Chris Ballard.


He’s content with guys like Margus Hunt and Denico Autry---two sub 300-pounders---being starters at defensive tackle, even though they were asked to play defensive end for stretches last season.


“We really like what we have in there,” the defensive coordinator says. “We like the skillset of what we have at defensive tackle.”


While the attention was not there in investing resources at defensive tackle this offseason, the Colts did make notable changes to virtually every other position defensively.


That offers Eberflus to do things differently post-snap, and even pre-snap, in 2019.


“Disguise is so important,” Eberflus says. “That’s always something you are looking at doing.


“You are trying to get one more tick, one more second, one more half second for the rushers to get home. If we can do that to the quarterback, that’s our goal. We are just trying to gain that 6 more inches to get home on the rush. We are looking to improve that.”


And if that objective can be accomplished, the Coltls will continue to have a happy defensive coordinator.

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