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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Outside Linebacker Trent Cole

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on August 1 with a 90-man roster, and we'll be taking a look at every single player on the roster (though it obviously will change some) as we approach camp. Today, we look at outside linebacker Trent Cole.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, one of the biggest struggles that the Indianapolis Colts had was with their pass rush.  They managed to sneak by through sending blitzes and thanks to players like Jonathan Newsome and Erik Walden stepping up, but there was no doubt about it: the pass rush was a weakness for the Colts in 2014.  So this offseason they went about trying to fix that, and in addition to the eventual return of Robert Mathis from injury, the Colts also signed a veteran pass rusher in free agency in Trent Cole.

In ten seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cole played in 155 career games (starting 145) and racked up 85.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, an interception (returned for a touchdown), 23 passes defensed, and 436 tackles.  He has made two Pro Bowls in his career and has recorded double-digit sacks in four different seasons.  He recorded 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2014 and eight sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013, but the hope is that the 32-year old pass rusher will be able to help the Colts out at a position of need.

There's little doubt that Cole will help the Colts, so perhaps the better question will be just how much he will improve the pass rush.  He is a veteran player and that might be a concern, but he should still be able to be a solid player defensively.  Especially if Robert Mathis can return healthy from his torn Achilles and if Jonathan Newsome can improve in his second season, Cole should be a nice piece to the pass rush for the Colts but not be counted on to carry the unit (like Mathis did in 2013).  The Colts are the only team in the NFL with two active players who have at least 85.5 sacks (in Cole and Mathis), and while there are questions about his age, for 2015 Trent Cole should help significantly.  As general manager Ryan Grigson said earlier this offseason, you can never have enough pass rushers, and while that is true, hopefully the Colts have enough this year.