Going into Free Agency, it was obvious that we would address the defense in some way, which is exactly what we did. Here are the Defensive Free Agency signings we made:
1. Greg Toler- CB
2. LaRon Landry- S
3. Erik Walden- OLB
4. Lawrence Sidbury- OLB
5. Ricky Jean-Francois- DL
6. Aubrayo Franklin- DL
Although many criticize Grigson for the money he spent getting those players, he did address some big needs. The Colts D should be exciting in the years to come. First, let's take a look at our young rising talent, then we'll take a peak at our old, soon-to-be replaced guys.
Young Rising Stars:
Vontae Davis- not "rookie" young, but is very good with years to go. Jarrell Freeman- a former CFL player who had a great season as ILB in 2012. LaRon Landry- also not young-young, but still has room for many more pro-bowl seasons. Kavell Connor- played well last year as an ILB, and is still young enough to be great for years. Antoine Bethea- is already amazing, and still has quite a few years left. Pat Angerer- led the league in tackles in 2011, but has to change to a 3-4 ILB. Didn't have a chance to play much last year. Greg Toler - a new guy who played well for his previous team. Cassius Vaughn- a very good nickle back who played well in 2012.
Old Players Needing To Be Replaced:
Robert Mathis- Just got moved to Rush-OLB, which is a good fit for him, considering his pass-rushing talent. Aubrayo Franklin- just got signed, but is still good enough for as long as we have him.
Well, the good news is that there are really only two guys we will have to replace soon, and the good news is that we have a lot of young guys. Now let's take a look at our defensive layers.
Starting with NT, Jean-Francois will do well, weighing in at 315 lbs. Chapman will be trained in the mean time, and even if he does turn out, RJF will play for at least 2013. At the edges, we'll probably start Cory Redding and Aubrayo Franklin. Both are strong and will do well on rushing downs. Matthews and Sidbury will probably play on passing downs. Our D-Line is not strong, but it is deep. Should do well in 2013.
Starting with the inside, Connor and Freeman will start with Angerer substituting. Mathis has been moved to the outside, which should be good for him. Jerry Hughes will go into the role soon, but he might also see some snaps from the other side. Speaking of the other side, Walden will probably start with Sidbury backing him up.
Starting with Safety, Bethea and Landry are pro-bowlers. Bethea will remain at FS, and Landry will step up in the run. We are definitely fine at Safety. At CB, Davis will start, no doubt. Toler and Vaughn will back him up, but Toler will see more snaps. Vaughn will play a lot of Nickle, but Butler will definitely compete for that spot. Our secondary is very solid.
As you can see, there's much to be excited about as we await the 2013 season. If we just continue to build through the Draft, we will have an excellent Defense in the years to come.
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