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Defensive Consistency Begins Pre-Snap For 2015 Colts

Intro: With the Colts defense striving for more consistency in 2015, it reverts back to communication for the unit.





INDIANAPOLIS – Ask Jim Irsay or Greg Manusky, and the fix isn't substantial.

For a bulk of 2014, the Colts defense had the look of a unit that could more than hold its own.

With a Colts offense re-writing franchise record books, the defense was inevitably going to receive the first bit of criticism when things did not go according to plan.

Whether it was 2014 contests against Pittsburgh or New England, the Colts believe the problem lies in what happens prior to the ball being snapped.

"I think it may have to do with our ability to really be coordinated and deal with the hardest situation, which is on the road, a veteran quarterback where they do a lot of motion and they do no-huddle and really defensively have to be able to make your substitutions and sometimes maybe simplify things," Irsay said earlier this offseason.

"I really talked to Chuck (Pagano) and our staff and general, defensively, to make sure that we're able to have great communication and make substitutions and keep up with the pace."

Irsay has seen flashes of the defense he envisioned (last year's shutout of Cincinnati comes to mind) back in 2012.

He specifically points to no-huddle situations and teams using a plethora of motion that has, at times, given the Colts fits.

When Manusky evaluates the film from 2014, he sees similar things to his owner.

"Well I think the communication part is big," Manusky said last week.

"We did a study at 419 plays we gave up 2.2 (yards per carry) and then 59 plays we gave up 11 or 12 yards per carry. It's either missed tackles or communication. So communication is one of the biggest things defensively that we need to do across the board. That's what we've been focusing on."

Manusky is in the process of incorporating some new faces into a defense that is loaded with veterans.

From Trent Cole off the edge to Kendall Langford in the trenches, and potentially Dwight Lowery at the back end of the defense, the Colts have brought in three defenders with 351 career games played.

This time of year provides Manusky a chance to immerse the new Colts into his 3-4 scheme.

In trying to gauge what the 2015 Colts defense will look like, Manusky reverts back to fundamentals, the focal point this time of year.

"We have to execute the play," Manusky said. "I told them all the time, I said, 'I don't care what defense we are playing as long as we are all on the same page.' When there are breakdowns in those pages or that spoke is not on that wheel it's going to come loose and that's happened.

"Communication and tackling are the major parts of any defense that you play, along with big plays of course. That's what we have to do."

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