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Report: System-Fit Questions Giving Colts "Reason for Pause" when it Comes to Ndamukong Suh

According to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, questions of how Ndamukong Suh would do changing systems are giving the Colts "reason for pause," and for good reason.

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we mentioned the report from Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin that the Colts and Dolphins are expected to make the "strongest pushes" for defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.

But perhaps it won't be as strong as Getlin suggested.  The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder said today that, "I would not place too big a bet on Suh landing in Indianapolis."  And the reason is not so much the money but the scheme fit.

With the Lions, Suh played in a 4-3 defense and was a three-technique defensive tackle.  With the Colts, they run a 3-4 defense that plays a two-gap approach versus the Lions' one-gap approach.  Holder says that this change is so significant that "it's enough to give the Colts reason for pause."  He goes on to say that, "the Colts aren't crazy about making a projection about a player who will be the highest-paid on their roster, and who could blame them?"  In the one-gap system like the one the Lions run, Suh would have to just be accountable for one gap, lining up between two linemen and penetrating the gap in between them.  In the two-gap system like the Colts' run, Suh would have to be accountable for two gaps, lining up head on with a lineman and being responsible for the gaps on either side of him.

You may think that this is insignificant, but as Holder notes, this would be an absolutely massive investment.  We've talked already about how just the money alone is reason enough for the Colts to be hesitant in pursuing Suh, and so when you add in this fact, it makes sense that the Colts might not be jumping at the chance to sign Suh.  They'll certainly do their due diligence and perhaps even pursue the defensive lineman, but it sounds like they will be rightfully apprehensive about giving out such a massive deal to a player who would need to switch systems with the Colts.

It makes sense for the Colts to be hesitant about this, and while many fans won't like it, this is a important point that the Colts need to think through.  We see all of the time where players switch systems, and sometimes it works out while sometimes it doesn't.  Not often, however, is a player paid a quarterback-like contract to switch defensive systems.  Is the investment worth the risk that perhaps Suh wouldn't be as dominant in the Colts 3-4 system?  The money that Suh will get is itself enough reason to make the team pause before pursuing him.  That the contract would be paid to a player switching systems is even more reason to pause.