The Indianapolis Colts have made a number of free agent moves so far, and they’ve brought in a lot of new faces for fans to get familiar with.
Perhaps the best way to get familiar with new players is to ask those who have covered them, so we’re reaching out to writers from other SB Nation sites about players who the Colts have signed. Today, we’ll hear from Battle Red Blog’s Brett Kollmann about outside linebacker John Simon.
Simon spent the past three seasons with the Texans, where he played in 38 games and recorded ten sacks and a forced fumble. He’s one of the biggest additions and investments the Colts have made so far this offseason, along with Jabaal Sheard, so it’s worthwhile to hear what Brett has to say about Simon.
Our questions are in bold, and then Brett’s answers follow:
1. How was John Simon during his tenure with the Texans?
He was your typical hard-working, but not very talented rotational player that found himself on the field more for his effort and discipline than actual game-breaking ability. He was not a very good pass rusher (due to that lack of athleticism), and as a run stopper he was pretty much just serviceable. Basically, the Texans replaced Brooks Reed with literally another Brooks Reed. He's a great guy though, so I'm happy he got another contract somewhere in the league.
2. Why was he not re-signed?
To be honest, because he was your typical hard-working, but not very talented rotational player that found himself on the field more for his effort and discipline than actual game-breaking ability.
3. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
If you have a stud interior player (like Houston did in J.J. Watt), he does a great job of working off of them and doing whatever he can to amplify their effectiveness. If you need him to two-gap on a tight end and allow that interior rusher to freelance, he can do that. If you need him to stunt aggressively inside and disrupt blocking angles with pure power, he can do that too. He likely will not be the guy to turn that stunt into a sack, but he can do the little things that allow others to do that for him.
The problem is that, of course, there are lots of other players that can fill that same role while also being able to create for themselves. Simon simply cannot do that. He can be a good contributor on special teams and play the role of a "set up man" for the more gifted talents on the team, but do not expect him to step in as a reliable edge rushing presence in a one on one scenario. That just ain't him.
4. Do you think this is a good fit and a good signing for the Colts?
The Colts obviously lack pure talent in the pass rushing department, but they also just lacked discipline period of defense last season. If they want to sign an edge rusher that at the very least will always perform his assignment to the best of his ability and not leave the rest of the front seven out to dry, then he's your guy. Just make sure you have someone on deck for 3rd and long situations that can rotate in with him (cough cough rookie first rounder), or the pass rushing woes will continue.
That’s some really good info on Simon, for those that are willing to listen, and Brett’s conclusion fits right in line with what many Colts fans have already noted: the signing of Simon shouldn’t mean the Colts shy away from a pass rusher in the first round. Pairing Simon (and Sheard) with a rookie pass rusher would really help the front seven.
Thanks again to Brett Kollmann for taking the time to answer our questions, and be sure to check out Battle Red Blog for all things Texans.