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2009 Colts Training Camp: Keyunta Dawson moved to defensive end

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Keyunta Dawson, a defensive tackle for the last two years, has moved to defensive end. Image: <a href=""></a>
Keyunta Dawson, a defensive tackle for the last two years, has moved to defensive end. Image:

Last week, we posted an article discussing the competition at the three technique defensive tackle spot, or what is commonly called the "undertackle" position.

In the article, I discussed last year's starter at the position, Keyunta Dawson, and his chances of winning the job heading into this year's training camp:

Dawson is one tough, durable SOB! At 254 pounds, he is a good 10-12 pounds lighter than Dwight Freeney. In fact, he is almost the exact same height and weight as Colts second year linebacker Philip Wheeler. Yet, despite playing at only 254, Dawson plays his position well by using excellent technique. When he has someone next to him who can occupy blockers, Dawson can attack his gap with excellent effectiveness and cause problems for offenses.

Unfortunately, this year I get the sense that Dawson will need a great camp just to make the team. With Moala drafted and Foster possibly switching to UT, Dawson is a bit expendable. But, Dawson is a hard worker who has risen to the challenge before. If he impresses at camp, maybe he sticks around.

With the Colts drafting Fili Moala and (seemingly) converting NT Eric Foster to a over-tackle, Dawson is not the kind of player Colts defensive coordinator Larry Coyer is looking for at DT. However, Dawson is not, by any means, a bad player. So, instead of having Dawson compete for a DT spot he likely will not win, the Colts have shifted Dawson from DT to defensive end. From Mike Chappell [emphasis mine]:

How deep and promising is the mix? Consider Keyunta Dawson, a 254-pounder who started 14 games last season, has been moved to end, and 265-pound Eric Foster, who started 11 games as a rookie, has his work cut out to avoid slipping down the depth chart.

It is possible that one of the reasons longtime defensive end Josh Thomas was not re-signed was because they anticipated Keyunta Dawson could move to DE. At 6'3, 255 pounds, Dawson could fill the role of a solid, run-stuffing DE. If he develops some pass-rushing moves (he's fast and has good quickness), Dawson could find a place at DE on this roster.

With Dawson now at DE, the Colts have him and Raheem Brock to relieve Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on first down.

Also, metal_militia posted a FanPost about this news as well.