Jon Bostic, Antonio Morrison Seeing Ample Starting Action Together At Linebacker

Intro: After nearly a week of Training Camp, the Colts have had a couple of names emerge with the starters at inside linebacker. Who are they?

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INDIANAPOLIS – He was the 12th free agent addition of Chris Ballard's busier than busy offseason.

Jon Bostic signed with the Colts on April 20, a day most NFL fans only cared about because the 2017 schedule was announced that night.

Come next month, no fan of the Colts should undermine the signing of Bostic.

He's been a starting inside linebacker during the first week of Training Camp.

"He's a high-football IQ, smart player," Scott Tolzien says of facing Bostic in practice.

"He's been impressive so far."

Chris Ballard had some previous familiarity with Bostic.

Scouting with the Bears in 2013, Ballard was a member of Chicago's personnel department when they drafted Bostic in the second round.

Since, Bostic has made 18 career starts. He appears back to full health, after a foot injury kept him off the field for all of 2016.

The Colts took a chance on Bostic in April and were impressed by how he recovered, and then looked during the offseason program.

Working alongside Bostic in this camp for long stretches, with the starting defense, has been Antonio Morrison.

Early on, the two former Florida Gators have seemed to separate themselves a bit from the rest of the inside linebacker group, with returning starter Edwin Jackson and Sean Spence among the others still in the mix.

Morrison started the final four games of his 2016 rookie season, showing a propensity for strong run defense.

That style is certainly needed in an AFC South loaded with running back talent.

Before last year's regular season finale, Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone complimented Morrison.

"I think he's a really good young football player coming along," Marrone said.

Marrone could be seeing a lot more of Morrison in 2017.

In Indianapolis, defensive coordiantor Ted Monachino likes how Bostic and Morrison have worked together.

"You love everything about Antonio from a football character standpoint," Monachino says. "If you're talking tough, effort-filled, great leadership, great communicator – those are things that we talk about in terms of football character. He's got all of that.

"Working with Jon, you've got two guys that don't only communicate well with the guys around them, but even more importantly they communicate well together. Any time that Jon sees Antonio has got an issue, Jon will make the right call to get Antonio the help he needs and vice versa. If there is something that Jon misses formationally, Antonio spots it right away. They work very well together. All of our inside backers are at the place right now where they know that with the depth chart, there is not a lot of separation, so they know that no matter who they are out there with, that other dude has got to play well or it's going to be hard for anybody to play well."

Coming into camp, how the Colts lined up at inside linebacker was anyone's guess.

While further Training Camp and preseason reps will ultimately decide how the Colts look on Sept. 10, Bostic and Morrison have seen ample first-team work together.

Are some answers beginning to surface though as the Colts begin a new chapter in the middle of their defense?

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