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Colts defense gets a radio

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An interesting side note to the 2008 off-season is the implementation of defensive captains getting radios in their helmets to help them communicate better with defensive coordinators during pre-snap reads. This rule is a direct result from the Patriots cheating scandal, and unlike years past it doesn't seem to have the swirl of controversy around it. For the Colts, it means MLB Gary Brackett will have a radio receiver in his helmet, allowing defensive coaches to communicate with him. Like with the QB helmet, the receiver will shut off when the offense comes to the line (I believe). This gives teams who run a no-huddle offensive attack an advantage. Still, before the offense lines up, Brackett will be able to get key personnel info from his coaches so he can better make his defensive reads:

Brackett said he spoke with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on Friday, and Manning told him pre-planning exactly what will and won't be communicated will be critical.

"We spoke about making sure we get the process down before we get to the season, exactly how you want it and who you want it coming from," Brackett said. "What are you guys going to be talking about, if anything? It's a situation where I can't talk to them. They can talk to me. I need to know exactly the information and I don't need to know any more than I need to know and I don't need to know any less.

"I want to know the personnel on the field, what guys they have in. I want to know if Devin Hester is in the game, should I gear the defense to that? Then, I need to know our coverage. I still have to focus, then as a player, I have to play.

"It has to be a win-win situation. I don't want it to be where I'm struggling to get the calls, then it's taking away from my play. It has to be, `This is what you're going to get me and these are the keys you want me to alert the other guys to.' I can call the defense and still be able to line up and process the information, then I need to be productive on the field."

This will provide an interesting wrinkle for teams in 2008. It seems, on the surface, to hamper offensive teams who like to substitute players. However, a team like the Colts rarely substitute multiple players on offense. They line up in basic formations (2 TE, 3 WR, FB, etc.) are rely on precise routes and schemes to be effective on offense. The Colts also do multiple audibles at the line, which are often dummy calls. So, it's an interesting wrinkle, but I'm not sure it will affect the Colts offense too much. We will see.

Update [2008-4-9 15:15:5 by BigBlueShoe]: According to MonkeyBusiness, the defensive radio cuts out 15 seconds before the play clock hits zero.