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Defensive Line Burning Questions Heading Into OTAs

Intro: Players return for work on Monday, April 17 with the start of the Colts offseason program. What are the burning questions along the defensive line going into the 2017 offseason?


INDIANAPOLIS –We are less than a week away from players flocking back to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for work.

The Colts will start their nine-week offseason program on Monday, April 17.

Over the next week, will take a look at the "Burning Questions" for all remaining position groups going into the 2017 offseason.

Here's a look at the defensive line burning questions heading into the team's offseason program:

How important are the healthy returns of Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford in 2017?

On paper, Henry Anderson and Kendall Langford are not listed as "newcomers" for the Colts in 2017.

But they might as well be.

The healthy returns of Anderson and Langford, both in their third seasons with the Colts, are extremely vital for Ted Monachino's unit climbing out of the basement of the league rankings.

Anderson returned from a November 2015 ACL injury to play in 11 games last season. Anderson admits the knee bothered him all year and he never felt his normal self.

For Langford, a 2016 preseason knee scope put his active games streak in serious jeopardy. Langford recovered in time to play in his 129th straight game, but the good health would not last. Langford went on injured reserve in Week Eight, missing his first ever action in the NFL.

Chuck Pagano spoke at last month's League Meetings to how important a (healthy) duo of Anderson/Langford is for the Colts making strides defensively.

Their strong play is needed with inexperienced inside linebackers behind the defensive line.

STAT TO NOTE: When Kendall Langford went on IR last year, it ended his streak of 135 straight games played, which was the longest active run for any NFL defensive lineman.**

Will David Parry retain his starting spot for a third straight season?**

The Colts are letting the legal process play out for David Parry, after he was arrested earlier this offseason.

Parry has been the team's starting nose tackle the last two seasons and has yet to miss a game in the NFL, an impressive note for an interior defensive lineman.

Chris Ballard has stuck to his theme of the offseason---adding competition---at the nose tackle position, too.

Veteran Al Woods was brought in through free agency. Woods has started 16 games for the Titans the last two seasons.

Neither Parry (6-2, 310 pounds) nor Woods (6-4, 307 pounds) have the massive 3-4 nose tackle body, but it's looking like one of those two will be starting there this fall.

Last year, the Colts were in sub packages for around 65 percent of their defensive snaps, so the need to rely on Woods/Parry will primarily only be needed on earlier downs.

STAT TO NOTE: David Parry is one of just two second-year defensive lineman to have not missed a game in the NFL.Is a defensive lineman needed in the draft?

With free agency all but over, the numbers on the defensive line are the same for the Colts.

Gone: Zach Kerr (Broncos) and Arthur Jones.

Signed: Margus Hunt and Al Woods.

From a pure numbers standpoint, there is not a desperate need to add another in the draft.

But Chris Ballard has stated he will always lean towards the trenches when weighing the pros and cons to drafting a specific player.

The Colts did choose Hassan Ridgeway in the fourth round of last year's draft.

Ridgeway is probably the top reserve lineman with Jones now exiting.

STAT TO NOTE: Since 2007, the Colts have taken at least one defensive lineman in every draft.[*

ICYMI: Quarterback Burning Questions*](**

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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