Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into 2015 Training Camp

Intro: The countdown to the Colts 2015 Training Camp is less than two weeks away. What’s in store along the defensive line for the Colts this season?





INDIANAPOLIS – Training Camp move-in day is less than a handful of days away for the Indianapolis Colts.

With that, our "Burning Questions" series turns to the defensive side of the ball, with arguably the most watched group of any this season.

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

How important is a productive Arthur Jones to the success of the Colts in 2015?

Arthur Jones doesn't shy away from explaining why 2015 is such a critical year for him.

He knows the Colts had high expectations when they brought him over from Baltimore during the 2014 free agency process.

A nagging high ankle sprain cut Jones' debut season with the Colts in half.

It's why he has transformed his body a bit this offseason, opting for more stretching, yoga and frequent massages.

The numbers back up the need for Jones on the field.

Having the 320-pound Jones out there is even more crucial this season after Cory Redding and Ricky Jean Francois departed in the offseason.

The Colts run defense will be critiqued throughout the 2015 campaign. Jones is going to be at the center of that discussion, after starting just three games in his first season with Indianapolis.

STAT TO NOTE: Arthur Jones' 55 career games played is nearly doubled that of any returnee on the Colts defensive line.

How many snaps will rookie Henry Anderson play this season?

One player that I'm eager to see at Training Camp is Henry Anderson, the Colts third-round pick from Stanford.

Anderson is an enthralling study for what the Colts defensive line is looking for out of a 3-4 defensive end.

Playing in a similar college scheme, Anderson was extremely disruptive (he finished the 2014 season with 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks).

The Colts have a clear need for defensive line reps, with snaps to be had, and won, in Training Camp.

Free agent addition Kendall Langford is the expected starter at defensive end.

Depth is a must though in the trenches, and Anderson could easily log 40-50 percent of the defensive snaps in his rookie season. His ability to play on running downs and slide inside when the fans rise for third-down, made him an attractive option during May's NFL Draft.

STAT TO NOTE: Henry Anderson had 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks during his 2014 season at Stanford.**

Will we see a revolving door at the nose tackle position this year?**

Defensively, the nose tackle position probably has the greatest versatility in terms of options for the Colts in 2015.

The stout Josh Chapman is the returning starter, entering his fourth NFL season with the rest of the 2012 rookie class.

His backup in 2014 was Montori Hughes. The physical gifts of Hughes saw the Colts trade up in the 2013 NFL Draft to select the 6-4, 350-pound lineman.

Those two are the obvious choices to figure in significantly at nose tackle.

After that, what does the role for Zach Kerr look like in his second season?

The undrafted free agent in 2014 was productive in limited playing time, having the ability to line up in a couple of spots up front.

In May's NFL Draft, the Colts traded up to take Stanford's David Parry, who saw time at nose tackle during the team's offseason program.

It will be interesting to see how the Colts divvy up the reps among these four with Training Camp opening up in less than a week.

STAT TO NOTE: As an undrafted free agent in 2014, Zach Kerr finished the year in the top 10 among all rookies with 3.0 sacks.

2015 Defensive Linemen (10): DE-Henry Anderson (Rookie), NT-Josh Chapman (4th Year), Montori Hughes (3rd Year), DT-Arthur Jones (6th Year), NT-Zach Kerr (2nd Year),* DE-Kendall Langford (8th Year), DE-Earl Okine (1st Year), DT-David Parry (Rookie), DT-Jeris Pendleton (3rd Year), DT-Kelcy Quarles (2nd Year).Roster Outlook*: Last year, the Colts kept six defensive linemen on their 53-man roster after the preseason. Dating back to the spring, the Colts staff made it clear that it was time for some of their young defensive linemen to grow into more prominent roles. Those are going to be the guys who ultimately fill out the defensive line group come roster cuts. A half dozen defensive linemen on the roster is a typical number due to these guys not having hardly any value on special teams.[*

ICYMI: Quarterback Burning Questions*](

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