Colts Have Multiple Sack Options In 2015

Intro: Thanks to a mix of veterans and youngsters, the Colts have some promising options to turn to off the edge in 2015.

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INDIANAPOLIS – With the quarterback menace observing in 2014, the question had no easy answer.

Who, or how, were the Colts going to make up for the NFL-best 19.5 sacks that Robert Mathis had tormented opposing quarterbacks with in 2013?

In adding up the numbers following the 2014 campaign, the Colts were able to find alternate routes to get to the quarterback at a similar rate to what they had during Mathis' franchise-setting season.

The Colts had 41 sacks in 543 pass attempts last year, compared to the 2013 numbers of 42 sacks in 536 attempts.

"We experimented a little bit last year and even the year before that," defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said of the Colts pass rush.

"I think the first year when we got in here you're kind of trying to get everybody on the same page across the board and then scale back a little bit more. Then each year you keep on building it and growing it. It kind of evolves as the season goes on and as the years go on when you're with a club for as long as we have."

In his fourth season as defensive coordinator, Manusky feels as though the personnel assembled in 2014 is the best the Colts have had in this regime.

Manusky acknowledges that the pass rush needs to get more consistent (the Colts had just three sacks in their six losses last season).

Outside linebackers coach Brad White took some time to break down a few of the edge options the Colts will turn to in 2015:Trent Cole

"The first thing that jumps out at you is his motor. It is relentless, non-stop motor. He's 10 years in the league and the ball could be on the other side of the field and he's still chasing. It's very Robert Mathis in that regard in terms of his energy, his enthusiasm, his intensity. Then he's a physical presence. He's a matchup nightmare for tight ends. He's got the ability that can play over a guard. He's that strong. He's got some position flexibility to him. He's a professional. He works at his craft to this day. When you go out to practice and you watch, you say, 'Man that could be the hardest working guy out here and he's almost 33 (turns 33 in October).'"

Jonathan Newsome

"The biggest thing on Jonathan is have him keep going. We've talked pretty closely about, 'Hey we just want to keep progressing.' He knows that. I think sack numbers can be over inflated, under inflated, I want to see him progress. He will be the first to tell you, there are plays that he left out on the field that with experience he can make those plays this year. Those are things that he looks at and he could have been double-digit (Newsome had a team-best 6.5 sacks last season). We've got to keep going and you can't get frustrated. There are times that they just come in punches."

Bjoern Werner

"There's no question and we are still working to finding (a signature pass rush move). He's got great technique. I don't think people realized how well he played in the run game for us. He's got really heavy hands. He can set a big tackle down. He had that stretch in the middle of the (2014) season where he was extremely productive. He's a guy that we are really looking forward to blossom. Bjoern is going to find his groove."

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