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CREATING TURNOVERS A PRIORITY FOR COLTS DEFENSE IN 2013

Posted Jun 4, 2013

Another year of continuity and some major offseason additions have the Colts secondary hungry for an increase in turnovers this season.



INDIANAPOLIS—At the halfway point of the 2012 regular season, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had a message for interim head coach Bruce Arians.

 

The Colts held a 5-3 record despite creating just three turnovers, the fewest in the league at the time.

 

Arians and players were being bombarded with questions on how to get that number to rise with a playoff push on the horizon.

 

Pagano’s message to his close friend was pretty simple with the Colts in the midst of a month-long turnover drought.


“(Pagano) said, ‘Just sit tight and don’t talk about it and it’s going to happen,’ and they did, and they were big,” Arians said following the Colts three-forced turnover, 27-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

All three came thanks to the hands of cornerback Darius Butler who is apart of a defensive unit that is looking to increase the 15-takeaways in 2012.

 

“We left a lot of plays out there last year and I don’t think we created enough turnovers last year,” Butler said.

 

“The people that we brought in will help us change that and right now we are building that attitude as far as creating turnovers because that’s the most important thing when it comes to winning ball games in this league.”

2012 AFC Playoff Teams

2012 Takeaways

New England Patriots

41

Cincinnati Bengals

30

Houston Texans

29

Baltimore Ravens

25

Denver Broncos

24

Indianapolis Colts

15

 

The secondary has shown a knack for making successful breaks on pass attempts during OTAs and that includes one of the highly anticipated newcomers.

 

Cornerback Greg Toler has found himself in the middle of numerous pass breakups and that has caught the eye of defensive backs coach Mike Gilhamer.

 

“We are really happy with Greg,” Gilhamer said.

 

“He reminds me of a big game cat, like a cheetah. He’s just so powerful, he can spring. His attitude has been awesome. He’s been everything that we’d hoped he be.”

 

While the cornerback position will still have some youth in its makeup, the Colts starting safeties are expected to carry 15 years of NFL experience at the backend.

 

Both Antoine Beteha and LaRon Landry bring Pro Bowl accolades to the safety position and gives the Colts defense a striker mentality.

 

“I feel like we could be really strong back there,” Gilhamer said. “Those guys are both smart. They both come up and smack you, so receivers are going to be aware that those two guys are back there.”

 

It’s a Colts secondary with currently 17 players, 15 of which were not with the team prior to the 2012 season.

 

The influx over the past two years has been steady and now with the right pieces in place, the unit is ready for a breakout season.

 

“I feel like every rep we take, we get that much closer, that much more on the same page,” Butler said. “It’s the second year for a lot of us in the defense. It’s a lot of new faces but the more we go out there and get reps, the better it is for us.”


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