Jim Caldwell at one time did not think highly of the Colts defensive tackles

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It's always interesting when you get a sliver of truth in an article intended to be a fluff piece. Here's Jim Caldwell talking about the Colts defensive tackles in an article by John Oehser for Colts.com:

"There was a time where we just felt, 'Maybe we just weren't as stout in the middle as we should have been,' Caldwell said. "They did give us that punch and they gave us a little more bulk in there, but we didn't lose any of the mobility we've always had in terms of speed, shake and explosiveness."

This statement is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Keyunta Dawson, Raheem Brock, and Eric Foster. All three played significant snaps at defensive tackle in 2008, along with LaJuan Ramsey and Ed Johnson. Of the five players listed here, only Foster is still on the team as a defensive tackle, and he no longer starts as he did in 2008, when the Colts surrendered 1,966 rushing yards and 18 rushing TDs. Last year, both Brock and Dawson were switched to defensive end. Ramsey was cut, as was Ed Johnson (again).

Entering 2009, Caldwell seems much more comfortable with his tackles, in particular Daniel Muir. Muir was signed in 2008, but played sparingly. In 2009, he really developed into a fairly good tackle.

"Dan Muir is a guy who just keeps getting better," Caldwell said. "There was one ball game (last season) where he had as many tackles as an interior linemen we've had in a number of years. Not only that he can rush the passer."

Another key to the defensive tackle rotation in 2010 is Fili Moala, who we've talked about at length of late. Moala has had a productive off-season. It will be interesting to see if he can push Foster for more playing time.

Another possible key to the d-line is Mitch King. I realize some folks around here might be wondering why writers like me and Joe (shake n bake) Baker are so high on King. The reason is we see big potential in him, as does Coach Caldwell:

"He has natural leverage. He’s got strength. He’s tenacious. We’re looking forward to getting him out on the field to see exactly what he can do once we get things really going. But he is learning the system, getting a good sense of things, and we’ll see how he progresses. He looks good at this point."

I also like King because he brings some interior rush speed to the DT spot. The Colts haven't had speed like that since Raheem Brock circa 2006.

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