Colts.com (which just recently got a horrible site update, making the front page confused and clunky) just posted the audio for today's press conferences introducing Larry Coyer as the defensive coordinator, Ray Rychleski as the special teams coach, Frank Reich as the QB coach, and Clyde Christensen is the assistant head coach.
Why it took the Colts THIS long to introduce these guys to us, when we've known for almost a month who they were and the jobs they had been offered, I don't know. The Colts work at their own pace.
The audio for Coyer and Rychleski offers a lot of info on the direction their respective areas will go in. They also offer some great insights into the men themselves. When I started listening to Rychleski, I thought it was Bill Polian taking. I mean, it is SCARY how similar Rychleski's voice is to Polian's. In fact, it is almost scary how similar Rychleski is in terms of personality to Polian. With Coyer, he sounds exactly like he looks; like an old school football coach.
Here are some interesting points taken from the press conferences:
- Coyer will not blitz as much with Indy's defense as he did in Denver. He said in Denver they had to blitz because their d-line was not good at rushing the passer.
- Rychleski is a big stats guy. Follows all kinds of special teams stats, and takes a lot of pride in knowing about special teams. Says Rick Gosselin's special teams rankings are very legit. In Gosselin's rankings for 2008, the Colts were dead last.
- Coyer values speed over size. "Speed kills," he said. He also feels that rushing the quarterback is the most important thing a defense can do. All games, at some point, come down to rushing the passer.
- Coyer tells a great story about when Jim Caldwell played for Coyer back in 1976. Coyer is to Caldwell what Tom Moore is to Tony Dungy.
- When asked about the talent on Indy's defense, Coyer responded "Oh baby!"
- Rychleski is very, VERY passionate about football and in particular special teams play. He talked a lot about how good his players in South Carolina were.
- Coyer will not preach "stop the run at all costs." Stopping the run is secondary to pressuring the QB. That said, team has to play "great defense" to win a Super Bowl. Good quote from him:
It all comes down to rushing the Quarterback in the last five minutes to win.
After listening to all these press conferences, it seems pretty clear that fans should not expect significant changes to the defense. Coyer has a strong knowledge of Tampa-2, and knows that pressuring the QB is THE most important thing a defense can do. Stopping the run is important, but over-rated. Pressure the QB, and you typically beat your opponent. Where they may see change is special teams. Rychleski seems to have a clear idea of what his job is: Get this special teams unit better.