Posts tagged Under-sized
Since Peyton Manning and Bill Polian converged in Indianapolis in 1998, the Colts draft and player acquisition blueprint changed to an imbalanced focus on providing the franchise quarterback with all of the pieces he would need to carry the team into the new pass-first NFL. During this time, the Colts have maintained one of the league’s most powerful offenses and given defenses and defensive coordinators fits.
The defense changed to a Dungy, Tampa-2 system which focuses on speed, takes advantage of under-sized talent, and keeps defensive cost down by getting the most out of players who have limited options on the open market due to so few teams running a system that would take advantage of players with the skill set Indianapolis targets. The primary focus of this system is to limit big plays by utilizing the speed and swarming defensive style to keep running backs from breaking long runs and playing a loose zone-based coverage designed to keep plays in front of the defense — allowing the defensive backs to hit receivers shortly after they make a reception. More >
Don’t Forget Eric Foster
The Colts have been actively rebuilding the defensive tackle position. Not only did the team lack consistency at the position for many years, it also went through a pretty sizable transition in the kind of player it desired to play the role. It used to be commonplace for the defense to be considered small, fast, and under-sized compared to most NFL teams. While that is still true to a degree, the disparity is much smaller than it used to be.
One requirement that remains for the front four of the Colts defense is that the players must be quick enough, fast enough, and astute enough to gain penetration, pressure the quarterback, and wreak havoc in the opponent’s backfield. To that end, Indianapolis still retains smaller, quicker, players that are capable of achieving this end and one player that has started to establish himself in this role is Eric Foster.
2010 Colts: Is the Defense Better or Worse?
The ultimate goal during the off-season for any NFL franchise is to improve the team. There are many ways to evaluate whether a team improves or takes a step backward, the most common of which is only possible at the end of each season; record and playoff run. For the Colts, improving on the 2009 version of the team by this measure is only possible if Indianapolis brings home its second Lombardi Trophy.
There is another time that it is worthwhile to consider where a team stands compared to its prior season, the off-season. What is fun about this time is that the evaluation is far more subjective but the ultimate importance of it could have greater implications, it gives fans a reason to be excited about the coming season or a reason to temper expectations.