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Malik Hooker primed for a big year!

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In all the talk, it seems Hooker has gotten lost in the conversation, especially considering how well he played last year coming off his injury. This year he will be fully healthy, and I look for a great year. The folks at The Draft Network have a really good article with some amazing stats about Hooker and last year. I know Pro Football Focus gave him excellent marks for last year, but the stats the draft networks talks about shows the respect QB's are giving him, and what a shutdown safety he is. If he stays healthy, I see a big year. Read the article, its short, but loaded with a few shut down numbers.

 

 

https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/2019--the-year-of-malik-hooker

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"Despite missing 12 games in two seasons, Hooker has still been able to improve drastically all around."

When healthy we will see what a great ball player he is. But being healthy is the key factor to the type of season that he will have. Missing 12 games in 2 seasons wont' allow for much hype if you can't stay on the field.

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Totally agree.   I think this is the year Hooker emerges as one of the elite safeties in the league.  

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We play a lot of heavy passing teams this year. Hooked could have a huge year.

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56 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

We play a lot of heavy passing teams this year. Hooked could have a huge year.

Along with the speedy defenders we drafted and the Houston 

addition on the line should be a huge year for the whole defense.

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This comes from an article on Colts.com (Hooker was ranked 55th best NFL Player by Pro Football Wire): "

"In just his second NFL season, Hooker became the recipient of the ultimate gesture of respect given a defensive back — an extreme lack of targets in relation to his snap totals. He was on the field for 977 snaps and saw just nine targets all season. He gave up four catches for 51 yards, 25 yards after the catch, one touchdown, two interceptions, two pass breakups and an opponent passer rating of 60.2.

Part of this has to do with Hooker’s role in the Colts’ defense. He’s the last line in the deep third either as a single-high or split safety, so he’s seeing a lot of completions underneath his position. Then, it’s his job to go get the receiver, which he does with outstanding diagnostic skill and speed. But when you do throw deep in Hooker’s area, your chances of success are not good. He’ll either take over the route up the boundary or jump your receiver’s route over the middle. Championship defenses need deep-third safeties who can shut things down play after play, and the Colts are in very good shape with Hooker in that role.”

Hooker has been in the league for two seasons, and he's been an excellent player in a different way each of those seasons. As a rookie, he was the ballhawk that he was drafted to be, intercepting a pass in three straight games before ultimately suffering a season-ending ACL tear. In 2018, quarterbacks didn't want any part of him, avoiding him downfield like the plague. Heading into 2019, this is his first offseason since being in the NFL that he has been healthy and isn't rehabbing from surgery. The sky certainly appears to be the limit for one of the league's more exciting safeties."

 

10 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

We play a lot of heavy passing teams this year. Hooked could have a huge year.

 

It will be interesting to see how teams attack Hooker, especially given that it seems like we've improved our CB play with some of our offseason additions/retainments.  

 

Hooker could have a monster year without putting up monster numbers (he was throw at 9 times all of last season, that is ridiculous).  Part of me thinks teams see he's so good in coverage and avoid him just because he's so good... part of me thinks teams saw we had other glaring weaknesses in pass coverage last year and just simply attacked those areas instead of dealing with Hooker.  With improved play from the rest of the secondary (and pass rush), teams may be forced to test Hooker more, leading to more INTs... or they may continue to avoid him... either way, if he doesn't have a lot of INTs but they only test him 9 times and he picks off 2 of those balls, he will have had a very nice year.

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18 minutes ago, dodsworth said:

Along with the speedy defenders we drafted and the Houston 

addition on the line should be a huge year for the whole defense.

We were already borderline top 10 to end last season too. Sure our schedule is tougher and we're facing more elite QB play but I think this defense will rise to the occasion once again. 

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20 minutes ago, ManningGM said:

We were already borderline top 10 to end last season too. Sure our schedule is tougher and we're facing more elite QB play but I think this defense will rise to the occasion once again. 

Our defense should be even better than last year :rock:with the new additions on that side of the ball. Rock, Houston, Okoreke and Banogu

should be enough talent infusion to raise our defense up a couple 

notches.

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With the SoS being stronger, and much more talented opposing QBs, our guys could either have a huge year, or get "exposed". Regardless, I absolutely think some of our DBs will collect some fantanstic stats, but I also expect some pains vs the better QBs.

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Here's to hoping our added depth and talent at pass rush will pay dividends making things easier on our DBs. Hooker could end up leading the league in interceptions if he stays healthy and our pass rush improves. 

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34 minutes ago, BProland85 said:

Here's to hoping our added depth and talent at pass rush will pay dividends making things easier on our DBs. Hooker could end up leading the league in interceptions if he stays healthy and our pass rush improves. 

 

I think if we stay healthy, our D should be much improved.... my main concern is: (1) Sheard looks like he's going to the PUP, he has been a critical run defender for us and can get to the passer some, (2) Houston hasn't played a full season in 2-3 years, (3) Hooker and Geathers both have had their injury issues, (4) still no telling if our young guys can hold up through the 16 game season (and hopefully into the post-season), (5) I could go on, but we've got several other guys (on both sides of the ball who have had their share of injury issues/nagging injuries.... pretty much every team has that though, so I guess no need to worry too much).

 

We have enough depth on D that we should be able to rotate guys quite often and keep them fresh.....

 

Another point to consider, is our O looks (at least on paper) like the most-balanced offense of the Luck Era.  Having the O we had in the Peyton era tremendously helped Freeney/Mathis and co, as our O was (except against the Pats) generally able to move the ball well enough that we could force the other O to be 1-Dimensional.  If we can score early and often with this O and also kill clock time (which, if healthy I see no reason why we can't with this OL and some of the weapons around Luck), it will be very beneficial to our D both: (1) keeping them fresh, and (2) allowing them to focus mainly on causing havoc for the other QB.

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