INDIANAPOLIS – It was the position group the Kansas City Chiefs attacked with fervor when Chris Ballard was hired there in 2013.
A major personnel overhaul in the Chiefs’ secondary occurred early in Ballard’s tenure alongside former Kansas City general manager John Dorsey.
The same thing has begun to take place in Indianapolis.
Ballard was extremely active this offseason in spending his first two draft picks on the secondary (S-Malik Hooker in Round One and CB-Quincy Wilson in Round Two) and re-signing veteran Darius Butler (and moving him to safety, for now).
After the nine-week offseason program, Ballard shared his thoughts on the current state of the secondary:
- On the safety position: “I think we have pretty good depth at safety. I was happy with Darius Butler. Just a tremendous pro. Shows up everyday, works, good teammate. Everything you would want. I think he’s got some flexibility, where he can also go play the nickel. Kind of a Swiss Army Knife back in the back end.” The depth was tested this offseason with Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers sidelined. That meant Ballard got an extended look at other bodies. He’s clearly a fan of Butler, who should still have some role in 2017, even if the Colts get Hooker and Geathers back to full health.
- On second-year safety Matthias Farley taking first-team reps this spring: “I thought Matthias had a really good offseason. Shows up every day, works. Is a really good athlete. Excited to see him in pads.” Arguably, Farley was the biggest surprise of the offseason program. It was Farley, and not fellow second-year safety T.J. Green, taking the first-team reps alongside Darius Butler. Farley was mainly a special teams guy during his 2016 rookie season.
- On rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson: *“I thought Wilson got better. He still has a ways to go in terms of getting his body right and getting into the type of shape that we need him to be, but you see the instincts, you see the length and you see good movement. I think the arrow is definitely going up.” *During the offseason program, Wilson was not yet cracking the starting lineup. That spot went to veteran Rashaan Melvin, opposite Vontae Davis. Another name Ballard mentioned at corner was Chris Milton, who excelled late in 2016 on special teams.
The secondary depth chart in the spring: CB-Vontae Davis, CB-Rashaan Melvin, S-Matthias Farley, S-Darius Butler.
Expect that to see some shuffling come August.
- The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*