INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad talked to local reporters today via video conference. What's the latest on his development as a pass rusher and new defensive line coach Brian Baker? Here's the latest edition of "Colts Chatter."
Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad
» Hard work has presented Muhammad with an opportunity to play a key role in 2020: Muhammad was a sixth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 2017 NFL Draft and the Colts were quick to swoop in and claim the University of Miami product after he was waived just before the start of the 2018 regular season.
Since that time, Muhammad has served as a key piece of depth along the Colts' defensive front. In 31 games in Indy with eight starts, Muhammad has 56 total tackles (13 for a loss) with three sacks, one pass defensed, one fumble recovery and 11 quarterback hits.
But with Jabaal Sheard, one of Indy's starting edge rushers the past three seasons, hitting the free agent market this offseason, the Colts were hoping that a guy like Muhammad would be able to step it up in potentially an even bigger role moving forward. He responded with an extremely productive training camp, and heads into the start of the regular season in position to play a major role off the edge for defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
"To be honest, I've just been working – just working, working, working every day, just competing against some great guys on the other side of the ball," Muhammad said.
"Each year, I've just been getting better and better and better and getting comfortable in the system and getting familiar with what they want and just being coachable and just trying to do everything that they want me to do," Muhammad continued, referencing the Colts' defensive scheme.
» New defensive line coach Brian Baker isn't afraid to critique his players: Muhammad said he doesn't mind being coached up on his craft one bit, so it's probably no surprise to learn that it hasn't taken long for him to take to the style of Baker, who was hired earlier this year to guide the defensive linemen.
Muhammad said Baker is the kind of coach that always has some sort of teaching point on every play, which helps keep him on top of his game.
"He definitely keeps pushing you to get better," Muhammad said of Baker. "Every day, he coaches you hard. He's very, very, very picky when it comes down to steps and technique and a lot of different things that make you focus on those little things that you need to work on to get better.
"f I do something, it might be good or it might be great — it's never good enough for him," Muhammad said. "When you have a coach like that it's actually a good thing."
But Baker, according to Muhammad, also "is not coaching me to be a robot out there."
"He wants you to go out there and play ball, play fast and read and react as quick as possible," Muhammad said.