What to Expect: Linebackers

The linebackers are very interesting to say the least.  Some think that the unit is a major weakness, others like me think that there are 3 capable starters that will make a big impact on defense.  Two former starters are now backups, which shows how much more talent there is on this team.  Philip Wheeler and Clint Session will be major impact guys on blitzing.  I am excited to see these linebackers blitz.  Session is a big man now, and Wheeler has always been big.  Some QBs are going to wish they stayed home.  Needless to say, I am very excited about the defense.  They are going to be the best Colts defense we have seen in a while.

1. Which linebacker do you expect to have the most tackles?

2. Do you expect Gary Brackett to be re-signed after this season?

3. Which player do you expect to have a bigger impact next season: Clint Session or Philip Wheeler?

4. Which player do you expect to have a bigger impact over his Colts career: Session or Wheeler?

5. Which backup linebacker do you expect to have the biggest impact on defense: Freddy Keiaho, Tyjuan Hagler or Adam Seward?


6. Do you expect Mike Tauliili, Jordan Senn and/or Ramon Humber to make the roster?

7. Do you expect Tyjuan Hagler and/or Freddie Keiaho to ever be regular starters for the Colts again? (barring injuries to Session, Brackett or Wheeler)

8. Do you expect Philip Wheeler to break the third round curse?

9. Which linebacker do you expect to have the most sacks?

10. Which linebacker do you expect to have the most interceptions?

My answers are after the jump as always.

1. Brackett will have the most tackles by a good margin.

2. No.  Sadly, Brackett will not be re-signed and he will play for a different team in 2010.

3. Wheeler will have a huge impact both in run defense and in pass defense.  Session will still be a good run stopper but Wheeler will establish himself as a far better player.

4. Wheeler will have a good career with the Colts and could even get the second contract so many previous Colts linebackers didn't receive.

5. Seward will have the biggest impact on defense because he will fit in better in the new Bears version of the Tampa-2.

6. None of them will even come close.

7. No.  Their time is done barring injury.  They will be very good special teamers though.

8. Yes he will break it and vanquish it once and for all.

9. Wheeler will have between 3 and 5 sacks this year.

10. Brackett will have the most interceptions and could very easily lead the team.

In unrelated news, I went to the morning practice today and got to see the Colts goal line offense and defense in work.  Here are some notes.

~Muir and Foster both could be very good goal line fullbacks.  Foster has the mobility and Muir can actually block.  I have a feeling that both of them are going to be on the final roster and Antonio Johnson will be left off sadly.

~The goal line pass defense is insane.  No QB could find anyone to throw to all day no matter which corners and safeties were in.  We are in for a special treat watching this pass defense.

~The stretch play out of the I-formation worked pretty well.  Muir had some nice moves and blocked well.  Without Muir those plays would have been stuffed though, which is a cause for concern.

~I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that when the team blitzes, they are in the backfield in a second and are ready to kill a quarterback.  The bad news is that the offensive line does not look like it can block the blitz coming from the inside.

Overall, this is a special team and I can't wait.  One week until Colts football finally starts.  We will get to see the rookies play a real game and everything.  I know I am ready.

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