Today in my final part of the 2012 Colts defense, I will look at the secondary. The Colts secondary in 2011, saw many players amount playing time, and like most of the Colts defense, they struggled all season. Here we look at the probable starters for 2012.
CB1- None other than four-year pro Jerraud Powers. He is a solid starter for the Colts at corner.
CB2- In my opinion the Colts secondary needs a reasonable amount of work. At corner, we not only don’t have a credible starter opposite Powers, we are worryingly thin in terms of depth too. Like most positions defensively the Colts need to get bigger and quite honestly, better. A decent starting corner opposite Powers would do just nicely. The Colts may come calling here with the first pick in the fifth round for a player such as Josh Norman. Norman, although from small school Coastal Carolina, has good size(6’0″, 195lbs) and plays both man and zone coverage well. He does however lack top-level speed(ran a 4.66 at the combine) which may become a problem when against speedy receivers. My ideal pick here would be Alfonzo Dennard(5’10”, 205lbs) out of Nebraska. If the Colts are unable to take Fleener with the 34th pick Dennard could easily still be available if not, take a jump on Jamell Fleming (5’11”, 205lbs, Oklahoma). I like them both, a lot. Either would be a major upgrade on what we currently have. I would be incredibly surprised if the Colts did not attempt to address this position in the draft. Dennard or Fleming as a starter and Norman as a nickel back. Sound good?
FS- As much of a lock as any position on the defense. Antoine Bethea will start at free safety.
SS- New addition Tom Zbikowski will start at strong safety. NFL Network reported Zbikowski interpreted the new ‘build the monster’ motto as ‘beat the crap out of people’ which certainly shows some fire but maybe in light of the recent ‘bounty-gate’ scandal was not the finest choice of words. Nevertheless his aggression excites me and he could also contribute on special teams in the return game which has been a huge Achilles heel for the Colts for what feels like forever.
There we have it. The Colts defense looks set to breathe a new lease of life this season. Coach Pagano along with new defensive coordinator Gene Manusky will be hoping they can provide Indianapolis Colts fans with something to cheer defensively this coming season. The transition towards a 3-4 won’t be all smooth with the current personnel, but with smart player evaluations the Colts should be able to pick up a couple of instant contributors in the draft. Wherever the Colts decide to go they should be satisfying a need. Here’s to hoping we truly can ‘build the monster’.