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Camp is coming: a look at the roster-Defense

COLTS7

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Even in this new era, it seems like the same scenarios, the Offense is loaded and very productive, the O-line is a major questionmark and the Defense, each year, is trying to get to that same level:

DE- The biggest addition of the off season was Jones-who brings talent,production and flexibility to a unit that really needed it. Jones and Redding will be the starters on the outside, with Jean-Francois being the top backup

DT/NT- There are a group of guys who have yet to take the spot and claim as theirs, Chapman seems to be the most likely starter, Hughes has off the charts potential, Pendleton played good last year and McKinney was brought back, with a renewed sense of making it happen and in great shape. Chapman, like Hughes has great upside and can really make a difference in this unit and the defense if he can play at a high level. There is a lot of flexibilty in the D-line group/rotation, as guys will move around , from down to down, depending on the situtation.

OLB- Everybody is aware of the Mathis situation and I don't feel the need to address that , it is not going to be easy to replace your top defender, even moreso vs the teams that we will have to play, during his 4 game suspension. There are guys who will need to step up bigtime, during that stretch and the remainder of the season. There is, as of now , no consistent pass rush threat, other than Mathis. At the top of that list is last years rotation of Walden and Werner, they both need to raise the level of their games, Walden showed flashes and was better vs the run, than as a pass rush threat and Werner also had his moments, but coming into year #2 as the top pick in last years draft, needs to be a difference maker. At least one of those 2 players, preferably both of them will need to step up for this defense to reach the level it wants to achieve. Another guy in the mix is draft pick Newsome, who has the body type and skill set Mathis brought into the league. Cam Johnson is another guy who will add depth. Adongo is up to 270 lbs, which with his off the charts physical tools and that kind of size, could re invent the position, in the near future he needs to become a productive player and not just a feel good story. Studabaker has opened some eyes and has some upside

ILB- There is a ton of talent-potential and depth on this unit. Freemen is a Pro Bowler, waiting to happen. Free agent signee D'Qwell Jackson is a very productive veteran presence, I really like McNary and ex-CFL player-Muamba could be another "find" and Sheppard is in the mix as well, draft pick Andrew Jackson has all the tools and has the look of the prototypical ILB

CB- Davis, needs to take his Pro bowl talent level and show up, for 16 games, he can be 1 of the best in the league, but has yet to take his game to that level, on a consistent basis. Toler, is a good CB, will have great games and games where he will get beat, needs to be on the field for 16 games, in today's passing league, secondary's can be exposed when they are not all full strength. Butler is the best of the rest and will prob play in the nickle package. Draft pick-Purifoy, could be a steal, if he can keep the off field isssues that dropped him down in the draft, a thing of the past. Gordy adds depth and a group of young unknowns will compete for roster spots this summer

S- Prob the biggest questionmark entering camp, Bethea is gone and WILL be missed. Landry made the Pro Bowl in '12 and played like a jouneyman,most of the time last year, NEEDS to show up (no pun intended-he didn;t show up for OTA's) and who will replace Bethea-Howell seems to be the most likely guy, who played well in spot starts last year or free agent signee-veteran Adams. Sergio Brown, one of the leagues top special team players, is in the mix and wants to become a full time player. In the secondary there are always alot of young unknowns fighting for roster spots as backups and usually make the team on the their special team performance.

ST- The kicking team is as good as it gets in the NFL, with Vinatieri and McAfee returing, long snapper Overton coming off a Pro Bowl season. The coverage units were better than previous years, but still has a ways to go to be considered a strength. The return game has also been a weakness for many years, there is a long list of potential contributers for those spots

summary- the offense is set, as stated before-the O-line will deternmine how good it will be. The defense is much more of a question mark as they conitnue to try to get that unit to an elite level, not all of those questions will be answered, it's not realistic to think that everyone that needs to step up-will. If Walden and/or Werner step up , the starters stay healthy and Howell (or somebody) can fill Bethea's shoes and Landry "shows up" that will make the defense much better, if that doesn't happen.......it's a good thing, the offense is loaded ( again)


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Great breakdown Ken. I cant wait to see how much if any Adongo has progressed, definitely will be looking for him during the preseason games. The safety position as you stated should be an interesting competition as well. Maybe a "no name" will rise to the top? Come on football season!

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Great breakdown but I still have hope that its not going to be all on Luck and his talented receivers again.  What happened to Mewhort?  I saw today that he sat out like Landry.

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Thanks guys...Adongo is one of the guys who alot of people will be watching, he can be a monster, if he can take those of the charts physical skills and translate them into plays, I think Richardson is also one that will be watched closely, he has rare physical skills, hard to believe he struggled that bad, for whatever the reasons were

I read that Mewhart was held out for precautionary reasons

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    • Yes, that is a fair point some individuals just like to stir the pot & cause controversy & mayhem simply because their life has not turned out as well as they wish it had. Like it's somebody's else's fault that they don't make enough money or have a pretty girlfriend or any girlfriend for that matter.    Look, I'm not trying to minimize any fatality white, black, male, or female & I know that being a police officer is not an easy job. I get that. I just wanna get to an atmosphere of mutual respect for human decency & dignity. The strange thing is this: The black community knows that not all cops are bad. They just want to return home safely every night & not feel singled out simply because they are driving a fancy car in an affluent neighborhood. Not all black citizens are violent criminals up to no good who couldn't possibly afford the wheels they are driving without doing something illegal. Or just because your vehicle may be run down & not new; it doesn't mean that the driver or their passengers are second class citizens to be harassed for no good reason.    I also get the police side too to some extent. Any routine traffic stop from running a stop sign to a broken tail light can turn dangerous in an instant if the driver feels threatened or uneasy given recent casualties around the country right now. I just wish more cops would be willing to talk to their supervisors about police officers too aggressive & guys who need to find another line of work since they either abuse their authority or they display anger too frequently to specific segments of society. Silence is a form of acceptance & good cops have to be willing to speak out & weed out bad cops. I don't view it as taddle telling...More like making sure that the right personalities respect the shield & protect the community on the street. I've heard the counter argument to this: If a cop doesn't turn a blind eye to bad behavior, then when you're in trouble no backup will show up to save your caboose. I'm not talking about minor infractions here. I'm referring to repeated cases of excessive force against suspects & using your gun & badge as an intimidation tool to make civilians fear you.    Community policing on foot goes a long way to the community viewing cops as a vital cog in the town or city along with attending local parades, picnics, games, & other social events. People need to see you as just a regular guy or girl not out to bust you, but a conduit to a safer & friendly community. Town hall meeting forums are good too as a way to clear the air & get to know the community whereby no one is looking to pigeonhole people into corners but figure out ways in which no segment of society feels unfairly categorized as a criminal from jump street & to not have 2 separate codes of justice purely based on a person's zip code, attire, appearance, or skin color.    It also bothers me how some police departments have access to military grade weaponry beyond basic SWAT units across this country. It's difficult to foster an air of trust among the locals when armed vehicles are being deployed & officers come out in full riot gear to get a handle on protests. I wanna be clear here. I do not want either civilians or cops hurt or killed in any way. But, when you see a cop holding a night stick with full gear on, it's not easy to approach that & feel safe & secure as a local person now is it? 
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I am only pointing out what others have said about America's right to peaceful protest earned tragically through rebellion, wars, death,  & social unrest just to allow some US citizens the right to not stand during the Natl. Anthem. I like you dislike this act of defiance immensely, but that decision to not stand or kneel during the Star Spangled Banner is a choice they are entitled to exercise no matter how much others might firmly be diametrically opposed to this notion outright.    I've said this before & I'll say it again: To me, the flag & honoring it through the Natl. Anthem represents the land of opportunity where immigrants with nothing can come here & make something of themselves despite language barriers, cultural barriers, geographic barriers, & gender barriers. Yes, I know. The flag also means paying tribute to the fallen [military men & women & those who made positive strides forward as leaders of social change in this country as well].    Colin Kaepernick wants to use his quarterback clout as a conduit to convey his frustrations over so many black brothers & sisters dying over minor traffic stops when more police stations across this country need to focus their attention on how to de-escaltate volatile situations more calmly & peacefully with no fatalities at all. And when a police officer oversteps their bounds of authority...There is a heavy price to pay meaning hard time behind bars in a federal prison.   I also know we need to find a way to peel back the onion of racial bias & prejudice among different communities too. We need to start a dialogue between the black, white, & Latino communities where a safe comfort zone is established. 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Trust me.    I have my first college roommate named Al who happens to be an America Indian that converse with somewhat frequently on provocative issues. I just enjoy our conversations because we respect the other person's backgrounds & life experiences & we can ask each other anything because for us it's not about a gotcha moment or look how smart I am stance. We wanna get deep below the surface & kick every rock/road block over. To quote HOF INDY head coach Tony Dungy, "are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"    Thanks again CBE for jotting down your thoughts. I respect you as a writer & thinker a great deal.         
    • Here's my short take on Colin and what is going on: I have no problem with people protesting about something they believe in or serious matters like racism, that is everyone's right to do so. Where I have the problem is dissing the American flag. It doesn't accomplish anything and it really gets many people to dislike you and question why you are doing that. To me it's dissing the Military and the USA when you don't acknowledge the flag. All you are doing is drawing negative attention to yourself when doing so. Had Colin just went on TV or got with some politicians on TV and discussed his issues on different talk shows to get his message out and how we should go about improving the neighborhoods I would be behind him 100%. I just don't get kneeling for a flag that represents your country. Some people say it's just a song but it represents our country, where we live. If someone is that upset with the USA they can always move to a different country if things aren't getting any better for them. This country has a lot of issues but it is still gives most people a lot of leeway to say and do what they want. Colin Kaepernick isn't African American either, His mother is white, he is mixed.
    • I hope you're hanging in there brother as well as can be expected given such heart wrenching circumstances. Miss you man. I'm here if you need me. God bless, my friend. 

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