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Defensive Backs Burning Questions Heading Into 2015 Training Camp

Intro: The countdown to the Colts 2015 Training Camp is less than four days away. What’s in store at the defensive backs positions for the Colts this season?





INDIANAPOLIS –Our final defensive positional group heading into Training Camp is a unit littered with experience.

Whether it is cornerback or safety, the Colts have veteran options with at least a half dozen years in the NFL.

Here's a look at the defensive back burning questions heading into the team's 2015 Training Camp:

How will opposing teams treat Vontae Davis in 2015?

Offensive coordinators and quarterbacks on the Colts schedule this season will have a decision to make.

They will know that Vontae Davis will be occupying the right side of the Colts defense for those 60 minutes.

It's up to them if they want to risk throwing the ball in his direction.

Success rates for quarterbacks trying to thread the football past Davis in 2014 weren't promising.

Davis finished the 2014 season as one of the league's most dominant cornerbacks in virtually whatever metric you use.

Some teams clearly shied away from Davis' direction last year, opting to attack Greg Toler and Darius Butler instead.

That will be something to watch in 2015.

The Colts start the season facing some inexperienced quarterbacks, but that will change when the likes of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Peyton Manning appear in October and November.

STAT TO NOTE: Vontae Davis hasn't allowed a touchdown in coverage in more than 1,300 defensive snaps (Week 13 of the 2013 season).**

Is Dwight Lowery the starting safety next to Mike Adams?**

One of the more underrated storylines of the 2015 offseason was Mike Adams getting the chance to work with one safety for all of OTAs and mini-camp.

The immediacy of free agency went and passed without the Colts addressing their safety need.

Dwight Lowery came on board in early April and was the first-team safety next to Adams this offseason.

Lowery, who has battled injuries in the past, started 15 games with the Falcons last year finishing 2014 with a career-high 79 stops.

Heading into Anderson, Lowery definitely has a firm grip in joining Vontae Davis, Greg Toler and Adams in the starting secondary.

In Lowery, the Colts appear to have a player very similar to Adams---sound, experienced.

I wouldn't expect many mental mistakes from the Colts safety duo in 2015, especially after all the offseason work they will have gotten together (that cohesion hardly came during the 2014 offseason search for safeties).

STAT TO NOTE: Mike Adams played 1,014 defensive snaps last season, the most on the team.**

What will the playing time look like for rookies D'Joun Smith and Clayton Geathers this season?**

The long-term future of the Colts secondary came during the 2015 NFL Draft.

Cornerback D'Joun Smith was the first pickup in that effort.

The Colts traded back, to the top of the third-round, and selected the 5-11, 193-pound cornerback from Florida Atlantic.

Smith spent the offseason program lining up all over the cornerback positions for the Colts in an effort to have those spots learned in case of an injury.

If an injury would occur to Vontae Davis, Greg Toler or Darius Butler, it looks as if Smith would go from minimal playing time, to seeing plenty of action.

When the Colts traded back to take Smith in May, they were able to move up in the fourth-round.

With their first choice on the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft, safety Clayton Geathers from Central Florida was the selection.

Geathers fits the mold of what we are seeing safeties start to look like around the NFL.

At 6-2 and 208 pounds, Geathers gives the Colts some options in how they use him.

The Colts made it very clear this offseason that Geathers impressed enough to implement him some of their sub packages, with multiple defensive backs on the field.

That looks to be his early role as a rookie.

STAT TO NOTE: From 2010-2014, the Colts have drafted just one defensive back in the first five rounds (1/22). In 2015, they drafted two defensive backs in the first four rounds.

2015 Defensive Backs (16): S-Mike Adams (12 Years), S-Colt Anderson (6 Years), CB-Jalil Brown (5 Years), CB-Darius Butler (7 Years), CB-Deveron Carr (2 Years), CB-Chance Casey (1 Year), CB-Donald Celiscar (Rookie), CB-Vontae Davis (7 Years), S-Clayton Geathers (Rookie), S-Winston Guy (3 Years), S-Dwight Lowery (8 Years), S-Dewey McDonald (2 Years), CB-Sheldon Price (1 Year), D'Joun Smith (Rookie), S-Robert Smith (Rookie), CB-Greg Toler (7 Years).Roster Outlook*: Last year, the Colts kept nine defensive backs on their 53-man roster after the preseason. The breakdown of five cornerbacks and four safeties is typically how teams treat the secondary of a 53-man roster. The dilemma that frequently occurs when deciding on those final few secondary spots comes down to special teams. The fifth cornerback and fourth safety probably aren't going to log much playing time on defense, but could easily play 15-20 snaps a game on special teams.


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