Every week, Colts fans and Stampede Blue readers can submit their Colts questions to have a chance of them being answered in our weekly Q&A.
Missed out this week? Don’t worry you can get involved next time by submitting a question when the Q&A post goes up in the comments section, in the Twitter replies or on the Facebook post comments.
Let’s jump straight into this week’s questions:
Travisjoe (StampedeBlue): Chris Ballard, seems like a reasonable guy, he wanted the cover 2 as the base defense because of his time in Chicago, how long before he agrees to remove to remove Eberflus and acknowledge the Cover 2’s time has come and gone.
Answer: Eberflus won’t be getting removed anytime soon. The defense is not playing well at the moment and that is entirely to do with the team not executing properly and not the scheme. The Cover 2 is a proven scheme that works if it is executed properly but unfortunately at times the defense hasn’t done so, hence the bad showings.
Sir Sci (Stampede Blue): Do you think the Colts having yet to sign a safety to fill in for injuries at the position thus far is due to confidence in current backups (Milligan and Odum, I don’t really consider Willis the “backup” right now), belief that the safeties that could be signed off the street aren’t enough of an upgrade to be worth the time, or not wanting to cut somebody to make room on the roster?
Answer: The Colts are yet to sign a safety for of a multitude of reasons: Hooker is not far away from being healthy (after the bye week), the team likes Willis and Odum, Quincy Wilson has flexibility in that he can play some safety also. You also have to take into consideration what the options available on the free agent market are, and their ability to learnt the defensive scheme on the go. The team is yet to make a move at safety because they don’t feel the need to yet, when they do they will make a move.
Clydesdales (Stampede Blue): Do you expect a reduced role for Walker, upon Leonard’s return? With the dumpster fires going on with 6 winless teams to this point, do you think there are any poachable players out there?
Answer: Anthony Walker will return to his role as the starting MIKE linebacker once Darius Leonard returns. He has been playing WILL linebacker, Leonard’s position, in Leonard’s absence, with Bobby Okereke playing MIKE linebacker.
There are always poachable players out there but what we have to think about it whether their trade value matches what Ballard is willing to give up in compensation, if it’s not then don’t expect any movement on that front. If the Colts were to make a move on a player, it’s most likely to be a defensive tackle or wide receiver. But don’t forget: Ballard likes them picks.
BleedingBlueAndWhite (Stampede Blue): I’ve seen complaints about Backup RB. People saying we should have addressed it in FA. What are your thoughts on Wilkins and Hines as the backups?
Answer: Hines is a perfect receiving back who Frank Reich prefers over Mack in the 2 minute drill. Wilkins is a very dependable, although not flashy, back who can relieve Mack when he is tired. Jonathan Williams, the teams current RB4, is exactly what he is advertised as and that’s a backup running back. The Colts may see to upgrade the position in the offseason but there isn’t much need to especially with other more glaring areas of need.
Dann Austin (Stampede Blue): Do you think Ballard is writing this year off to test out the depth of the roster and give his rookies playing time? Given that the departure of Andrew Luck changed the team’s trajectory from a Super Bowl contender to a slightly-above-average team, has this changed his priorities for this year? Is there such a thing as a lost year?
Answer: The Colts have a lot of faith in the current team and in Jacoby Brissett. Ballard is building the team so as to not be dependent on any one person. Yes, the shocking departure of Andrew Luck may have altered the teams perceived trajectory outside of the Colts building, but inside the building, nothing has changed.
Donnie Gibbons (Facebook): Why sign what you think is a couple of top notch corners to healthy contracts but not use ‘bump & run’ coverage...man to man coverage etc? My understanding is that this coverage disrupts the route and the timing of a receiver giving the D line that extra sec or two to get to the QB?? I think a lot of fans are confused as to why we use so much soft zone coverage.
Answer: By signing “top notch corners to healthy contracts” I’m guessing you mean Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore signing contract extensions. Both Desir and Moore had breakout years last year playing in the exact same scheme last year as there are in this year. This year, the Colts have been employing more man to man coverage as to mix defensive looks up. It’s fine mixing up coverages, but when the defense doesn’t execute the coverages then it doesn’t look good at all. Your understanding of bump and run and man coverage is correct when its executed properly, however, when it isn’t big plays can happen. The Colts primary defensive scheme, Cover 2, predicates it self on zone coverage, fast athletes and solid group tackling. At the moment, the team’s defense isn’t executing at times and therefore there is a lot of fan frustration.