Colts 3-4 Defense Will Look Much Different Up Front This Season

Intro: After an offseason filled with re-shaping the defensive personnel of the Colts, there’s a different look to the defense in Indy. What are the differences?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Ted Monachino knows the golden rule of spring football in the NFL.

Any concrete assessments on players/position groups cannot be made until the full pads come on in August.

But Monachino isn't blind.

He saw the bodies working in shorts and helmets this spring.

And the team's second-year defensive coordinator has an observation.

"I will tell you we're different," Monachino says. "We're bigger. We're younger. We're stronger. We've got some guys that are more the rule than the exception around our league, where a year ago maybe we had a few more exceptions.

"We're big where we need to be in there. We're explosive where we need to be in there."

In comparing the front seven from last year to this year, there are some distinct differences.

Projecting a very early 2017 depth chart leads to several bigger bodies:

-Nose Tackle: 2016-David Parry (6-2, 310) vs. 2017-Al Woods (6-4, 330)

-Outside Linebacker: 2016-Robert Mathis (6-2, 245) vs. 2017-Jabaal Sheard (6-3, 265)

-Inside Linebacker: 2016-Antonio Morrison (6-1, 235) vs. 2017-Jon Bostic (6-1, 245)

Even the depth spots, especially at outside linebacker, have the Colts looking more and more like a 3-4 defense.

The physicality of that group cannot be judged until things get much more real in the coming months.

But it's clear Chris Ballard had an objective this offseason of wanting to re-shape the body types at the front of the 30th ranked defense in the NFL.

"I'm excited about our front seven," Ballard says. "I think we've upgraded. I think we are physical, are bigger.

"We've got some good athletes at the position. I'm very encouraged by the front seven."

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.

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