There are a few holdovers from the Ryan Grigson era who still have a lot to prove heading into the 2018 season. Consider T.J. Green to be atop that list heading into his third season with the Indianapolis Colts.
Green has certainly had his ups and downs in his short career, and even had to briefly transition to cornerback last season as Chris Ballard looked for more ways to get him — and his athleticism — on the field. Though Green’s stats from his first two seasons may not be much to look at, many look to his speed and ability to be a physical option in the box as his avenue to earning a long-term role with the organization.
Green isn’t interested in hearing about all of that, though. This, his third season in the NFL, is one where he’s really putting everything in perspective. In mid-March, there was a presumption that Green was extended an olive branch from Ballard and possibly Frank Reich in which Green felt he was starting over, and being given a fresh start with the new staff and defensive system.
Clean Slate. Watch this.— T.J. Green (@BossGreen256) March 18, 2018
Earlier today, Green alluded to some of what has him excited about the changes that have taken place.
“I think it lets us play fast (the new defense), read the quarterback and lets me utilize my speed and athletic ability. I think it will be good for us. I mean, it just allows you to break on the ball and use your athletic ability. I mean, the scheme is a lot easier. There are things you have to study and get used to, but just being able to read the quarterback and being able to break when he gets ready to throw the ball – that just allows guys to play fast, be fast.”
This echoes what several Colts’ defenders have said recently, that the scheme allows for more instinctual play, fewer responsibilities and for the defense to play fast. An ‘easier’ scheme may be something that this defense needs in order to become a group of playmakers going forward into the near future.
Green not only has his eyes set on — for a lack of better words — just going out and playing ball, but there’s an additional bit of significance in it for him. It isn’t about just staying on the roster, rather, he’s looking to ascend to become much more than that.
Green still has his work cut out for him right now, but it also appears as though he’s going to be getting a solid shot to earn himself a true role within the Colts’ new defense. He’ll be battling Matthias Farley, who impressed with a nice combo of physicality and coverage ability along with the mental aspect of the position last season.
The primary backup competition to Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers will absolutely be one to watch this summer between Farley and Green, but Green certainly has his priorities straight and that can’t do anything but be good for the Colts defense as it transitions.