Is Another Pass Rusher Needed For The Colts In 2015?

Intro: At first glance, the Colts pass rush might not seem like a major need in 2015. How important is finding another pass rusher?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Scouting 101 has taught Ryan Grigson a plethora of lessons.

When it comes to applying pressure off the edge, you can never have enough.

"I was always brought up with if you have 12 pass rushers, give me 13," Grigson said at the 2015 NFL Combine.

At first glance, pass rush might not be a glaring offseason need for the Colts.

Without 2013 NFL sack champion Robert Mathis last season, the Colts had just one fewer sack in 2014 (42 sacks in 2013, 41 sacks in 2014).

A season with 41 total sacks (good for 9th in the NFL last season), sans Mathis, doesn't initially scream as a vital offseason need in 2015. The Colts had seven players record at least three sacks last season, helping to make up for the loss of Mathis and reaching the 41-sack mark without all of the extra protection attention that comes with No. 98 on the field.

But when taking a closer look at the pass rushing outlook for the Colts in 2015 the need begins to become more apparent.

It starts with the health of Mathis.

The 34-year old is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury. Mathis was the NFL's top sack man in 2013 but trying to predict how he will recover from such a critical injury to his burst is a delicate situation.

While the 2014 Colts sack number was nearly the same as it was in 2013, there was one stark difference in the timeliness of those sacks.

In the Colts six losses last season, they produced just two sacks.

A lack of pass rush against some of the league's best quarterbacks typically led to long afternoons for the Colts defense.

Consistency in applying pressure to the game's elite signal callers has to be a key in 2015.

With the names of Brady, Manning, Brees, and Roethlisberger on the Colts schedule for 2015, the pass rush will be tested against Canton-worthy quarterbacks next season.

The calendar has turned to March and free agency is just a week away.

The pass rushing bodies are returning to the Colts in 2015 but Chuck Pagano reiterates the notion his GM shared a few weeks back.

"I thought (defensive coordinator) Greg Manusky and the entire defensive staff and the players that we have on the team currently did a great job of generating (a pass rush in 2014)," Pagano said.

"It was a huge concern by everybody. Where are we going to get the pass rush from? We found a way to get to the quarterback. Like I said, we've got some guys coming back that we know can rush the passer but again, you can never have enough of those guys. We are always looking to evaluate wherever it is – free agency and the Draft coming up to see if we can improve in that area."

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