INDIANAPOLIS – For a 30th ranked defense the year prior, the next offseason is a vital time to take steps towards improvements.
That's an understatement when it comes to 2017 Indianapolis Colts.
Last year, the Colts ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense.
This year, there's a very strong chance the Colts only have one starting defender returning from their 2016 season opener.
The defensive turnover has been immense this offseason.
Seven new additions have come to the front seven.
Two secondary starters are no longer in Indianapolis.
All of that contributes to why this nine-week offseason program is critical to Ted Monachino's unit starting to make strides in the right direction.
"Having us all here and having us all on the same page is huge," veteran Kendall Langford, the likely only same starter from last year's season opener to this one, says.
"Speaking the same language, getting that camaraderie early. What can we do the rest of the day to continue to get to know each other and know your plays?"
Henry Anderson backed up what his fellow defensive lineman had to say after Day One of the team's offseason program.
Anderson said having the same defensive coaching staff and terminology in 2017 is important for the returners trying to help out the newcomers.
Several of the new guys on defense brings starting experience and acknowledges what this time of year is all about.
"It's important because it brings continuity," new inside linebacker Sean Spence says. "We get to learn each other. We get to learn the defense. We get to work out together and just have that bond that you can't measure. Being a close group is important to being a good team and a good defense."
If the Colts were going to play tomorrow, they would likely have six new starters on defense.
Changes were necessary this offseason, but the handling of communication in the coming weeks/months has to occur in order for improvements to surface.
For Monachino, he's over-looking a room with so many new faces bound for bigger roles in 2017.
The seventh different defensive body for Monachino (defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins) came last week.
In evaluating his new-look personnel, Monachino loves where Chris Ballard has come from in assembling defensive talent.
"Being a 3-4 guy in Chicago and Kansas City, he's got a real great feel for what guys at certain positions have to be able to do physically," Monachino says of Ballard's past stops.
"We've been really fortunate to have some guys come available that like the system and like what we are doing here and we were able to get them to become Colts, which is really exciting."
2017 Offseason Program - Day One - DEFENSE STRENGTH / CONDITIONING
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