The Indianapolis Colts have numerous defensive backs currently out with injuries. The injuries in the secondary puts more pressure on the Colts’ pass rushers.
The Indianapolis Colts ruled out six cornerbacks for their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Five omissions are due to injury while the sixth one is newly-signed Antonio Cromartie. Pagano said Cromartie is healthy and can play, but the Colts’ do not want to risk him.
On top of that, starting safety Clayton Geathers has still not practiced. The Colts also have injuries elsewhere, but the secondary is where they are hurting the most.
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The injured secondary puts more pressure on the Colts’ pass rushers to generate a consistent pass rush. Players like Robert Mathis, Trent Cole and Erik Walden need to be consistent threats, which was a problem in 2015.
These three veterans struggled as pass rushers in 2015. Combined, the three outside linebackers recorded a total of 13 sacks, and Mathis had seven of them. As a team, the Colts only had 35 sacks.
Prior to all the defensive injuries, defensive coordinator Ted Monachino already knew he would have to create a solid pass rush with his play-calling.
"“We have to manufacture some pass rush by bringing them from different areas. We can’t just line up and say our four are better than your five and we will get home. We’ve got to create some looks and some things that confuse protections and break down some of the organization of the offense.”"
So far, Monachino has not called any exotic blitzes. He is holding back his main play-calling strategy until the regular season begins.
Base on his quote, it sounds like Monachino will call a blitz for anyone in the defensive formation. Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson echoed that same mindset.
"“We’re going to play aggressively and if we handle the run, we’ll put ourselves in position to pin our ears back and rush the quarterback. We have guys like Rob, who’s proven he can get after it, and it’s up to the linebackers as well.”"
A more aggressive and dynamic defense is something Colts’ fans have been desperately asking for. It sounds like Monachino wants to deliver it in 2016.
He will have to be at the top of his game if he wants to mask the Colts’ lack of health in the secondary. A great pass rush is usually the cornerstone of an excellent pass defense.
The Indianapolis Colts are still hopeful that all of their injured players will recover before the start of the season. However, that may not be the case for starters like Clayton Geathers, and especially Vontae Davis.
With their secondary banged-up to start the season, the Indianapolis Colts need an aggressive pass rush. It will be interesting to see what Monachino has up his sleeves when the regular season begins.