Stephen Holder of The Athletic talks all things Colts

Stephen Holder of The Athletic talks all things Colts

News > The Fan Morning Show > Stephen Holder of The Athletic talks all things Colts

Stephen Holder of The Athletic talks all things Colts

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire | Getty Images


The Athletic's Stephen Holder joins The Fan Morning Show to discuss all things Indianapolis Colts. Greg Rakestraw fills in for Jeff and they break down the team. They talk question marks heading into the season, Colts' defense, the excitement about Parris Campbell, T.Y. Hilton, player contracts, and more.

On the first couple of question marks that come to mind:

"One of the first things that we can take away from this past offseason was that the Colts were not satisfied with their pass rush last year. They went out and gave Justin Houston $23 million over two years. That was an acknowledgement, 'we are not getting it done.' They weren't getting it done. They had an adequate pass rush, not a good pass rush by any measurements. The question now is, they think that it is better and they have obviously added other pieces like Ben Banogu who could have a role, and they are hoping some of these other guys grow up that they drafted last year, the last couple of years. But, we are projecting that right now. We need to see it. If it picks up, the pass rush, if they can generate a consistent pass rush, that has the opportunity to really transform this defense. I think that is what is going to help this team to take the next step. They were very good on defense last year, surprisingly good, shockingly good but really to become that next level team they want to be, especially on defense, they have to have that pass rush. For me, that is one of the bigger questions. Is it as good as we think it is going to be and how much of a difference is that one guy substitution going to make? That question for me still remains unanswered. I feel pretty positive about it but we are still projecting that and it is really critical to them being what they want to be." 

On what he is most excited about seeing:

"I'll tell you right now, I love me some Parris Campbell. I think I am being influenced here. Frank Reich is so giddy about this kid and I am maybe taking my cues from him too much and maybe letting him influence me. There is no question, I think he has some real plans for this guy. What the Colts are saying is, we respect Ohio State and they did a good job, but they are crazy. Why didn't they use this guy more? And it is not that he didn't have numbers, it is that he had a very limited role in the Ohio State offense. The Colts now have thrown him all over the field and they are looking around like, 'wait a minute, I thought he couldn't do these things?' As it turns out, he absolutely can. Now, that doesn't mean on day one he is going to go out there and run the whole route tree and catch nine passes, I'm not saying that. But, they think over time, he is going to be a guy that runs the whole gamut, does everything in the route tree, runs all the routes, plays all the positions, they think he can do all of that. They are already tinkering with him playing in different spots on the field. That is not something I anticipated right away. We thought this guy would be strictly a slot receiver, which he probably will be initially, but I don't know that that is going to be the case in the long term. The other thing about Parris Campbell is that when you meet this kid, I think when you think slot receiver, you are expecting sort of a small-ish guy to walk into the room and then he walks in and he is like 6'1'' and 215 and he has muscles popping out of places that they shouldn't be and you are like, 'oh, this is a big dude.' He is a huge guy, he looks bigger than he is even listed. I was stunned when I met him."

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