Yesterday, the Indianapolis Colts made defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady available to the media. Eberflus and Brady covered a variety of topics about the Colts offense and defense.
Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus:
Eberflus: "With the loss of Anthony Walker, this is an opportunity for Darius (Leonard) to really ramp up his game in terms of leadership. He's been that guy, and we expect him to be that guy." #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 2, 2021
Eberflus spoke about the need of leadership on the defensive side of the ball with the loss of linebacker Anthony Walker. He mentioned the need for Darius Leonard to really ramp up his leadership and to be the guy that takes over for Walker on that side of the game. The Colts lost three veteran leaders on defense in Walker, Houston and Autry so will need to rely on the next group of leaders such as Leonard going forward.
Matt Eberflus says Kwity Paye has quickly picked up the #Colts defense. Already showing the ability to take details from the meeting room to the practice field. Bodes well for the future.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 2, 2021
Eberflus went onto talk about the progress that rookie defensive end Kwity Paye has made so far. He said that Paye has already picked up much of the Colts defense and has impressed in meetings and on the practice field. This bodes well as it will likely allow Paye to play faster and hopefully make a greater impact.
Eberflus: "Bringing Buckner in helped Grover Stewart. He was already moving his game up anyway, but that accelerated him ... those guys really gelled off of each other."— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) June 2, 2021
Eberflus spoke about DeForest Buckner’s affect on Grover Stewart. He mentioned that Buckner’s presence helped Stewart take his game to the next level and said the two have gelled well. Stewart took a big step forward last year and earned his new contract.
Interesting, via Colts DC Matt Eberflus today: Says the third cornerback spot — behind Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore — is open competition to begin training camp. Rock Ya-Sin's had an up-and-down two seasons. Two other names to watch: Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) June 2, 2021
Eberflus discussed the cornerback position and confirmed that Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore are the starters. There will be an open competition for the third cornerback spot between Rock Ya-Sin, Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers. This may turn into one of the most intriguing and important during the team’s training camp. Ya-Sin might have an early edge given that Tell opted out last year and Rodgers is entering only his second season. T.J. Carrie, who was re-signed in the offseason is another name to watch.
#Colts have seen young DL make a jump in Year 3 -- Tyquan Lewis and Grover Stewart -- "that's what Ben (Banogu) has to do," Eberflus says.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 2, 2021
Eberflus mentioned young players on the defensive line, particularly Tyquan Lewis and Grover Stewart who made big jumps last year. He transitioned to Ben Banogu as a contrast and noted he has a lot to prove this season. Banogu is currently on the outside looking in at the defensive end position with Lewis, rookie Paye, and Al-Quadin Muhammad all ahead of him in the rotation. Banogu needs a strong training camp that he can parlay into a productive season to secure his spot in the roster.
Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady:
Brady emphasizes the #Colts aren't building a new offense for Wentz. They're just re-ordering priorities. Most everything that's being installed is something they've run before, it's just being fine-tuned to the new QB and the new personnel.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 2, 2021
Brady clarified that the Colts aren’t building a new offense for Carson Wentz, just re-ordering its priorities.
Marcus Brady on Jacob Eason: "I was very pleased with what I saw with Jacob over the past couple weeks ... Mentally, you can tell he took that next step. Whether it was making checks at the line, recognizing coverages, recognizing pressures."— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) June 2, 2021
Brady is pleased with what he has seen so far from Jacob Eason, noting noticeable improvement with the mental aspects of the position. Eason is making checks at the line and recognizing coverages and pressures. This progress is encouraging as Eason is in line to be the Colts back up quarterback. The Colts hope to see additional development in training camp as Eason enters a competition with rookie Sam Ehlinger at training camp.
The Colts also allowed members of the blogging community to have their own access to Eberflus and Brady. During that segment, I asked both Eberflus and Brady a question.
To Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, “In terms of the defensive line you have added a lot of pieces, how do you see that playing out and keeping everyone happy with all the competition. And also with the 3 technique defensive tackle spot who do you see to stepping in terms of depth behind DeForest.”
Eberflus responded “The depth in terms of who’s going to play where is going to be worked out in training camp. So we are looking at those things right now. I don’t think those things can be solved right away. I actually think sometimes as coaches put these roles on players too early, without looking at them first, so I think you need to let it happen naturally. You need to look at guys over a course of a week or two weeks in training camp into some pre-season and they start to define their own roles through their production. I think sometimes as coaches we put guys in boxes which hurts our vision and we don’t want to do that so we have been conscious not to do that. So we try to keep an open mind about what their roles are and this is at any position. We are looking at the back up 3, the back up 1, the back up end spots and again this will be a process we need to go through.”
To Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, “In terms of the running back room it is quite a busy room, how do you see especially Marlon Mack’s role going forward with him being brought back and also still mixing in getting Jonathan Taylor touches and also Nyheim and Wilkins.”
Brady responded, “Well it’s good to have all those weapons, I mean they all can do great things with the ball in their hands and we do a good job as a staff using them all. Jonathan is going to have a lead role, Marlon’s working his way back from injury and he’s been great for us prior to the injury, Nyheim brings another element and then Jordan as well. We are talking about four very good backs who bring four different things. It’s going to be tough as coaches but at the same time it’s a good problem to have because they are all skilled and are all going to perform well. So we are looking forward to what they bring.”