New Defensive Coordinator Ted Monachino Down Two Starters To Start Camp

Intro: With Training Camp practices beginning on Wednesday, new defensive coordinator Ted Monachino faces questions in each of his position groups.


ANDERSON, Ind. – Two key pieces to the future, and current state, of the Colts' defense are left to observe the start of Training Camp.

New defensive coordinator Ted Monachino is without the services of defensive end Henry Anderson (physically unable to perform list) and safety Clayton Geathers (non-football injury list).

Monachino's defensive line group will also have to prepare for life without Arthur Jones come the first quarter of the season.

While Jones can participate in camp and in the preseason, his four-game suspension will keep him off the field in September.

"We would love to have (Jones) out there and have him contribute to our defense as soon as possible," Monachino said Tuesday, "but right now we're in a mode where he just has to get as far down the road as he can health-wise and get back to the point where he's practicing full speed and practicing with us every day."

Sans Jones and Anderson, the Colts will lean on names like Zach Kerr, Hassan Ridgeway and T.Y. McGill to pair with returning starters Kendall Langford and David Parry.

"We've got plenty of preseason opportunities to get down that road, and we're excited about where we're going," Monachino says of his defensive line group already being tested for depth.

"We've got a bunch of young guys that are going to have to contribute and they're going to have to play well for us and play winning football for us."

The five preseason games for the Colts is a definite benefit for a guy like Monachino.

Anderson and Geathers were two expected starters in 2016, and Jones was expected to challenge for a spot in the starting 11.

Monachino now has an extra preseason game to evaluate what he has for the depth of his defense.

Dividing up the reps at safety, without Geathers, could really benefit second-round pick T.J. Green.

At Tuesday's move-in day, Monachino spoke to the "quantum leap" Green has made with the playbook, an area the Colts wanted to see improvement in considering the Clemson product played safety for just two seasons, one as a starter.

"T.J. had a good spring," Monachino said. "We would expect that to continue over the next couple of weeks and through the preseason. We expect him to play well enough for us to win with him."

While the Colts do hope to have Geathers back in uniform for the start of the regular season, there is some silver lining for the development of Green.

Receiving first-team run alongside 13-year veteran Mike Adams should serve Green well.

Before the Geathers' news on Tuesday, the biggest question for Monachino's unit was going to come in the starting battle for Jerrell Freeman's vacant inside linebacker spot.

As expected, Monachino spoke to Nate Irving and Sio Moore competing for the starting spot next to D'Qwell Jackson.

Fourth-round pick Antonio Morrison, who is now healthy after missing the offseason program, is also in the mix.

"The view is that we've got three really good players there, and we've got a young player that's going to come in and push those guys," Monachino said."Those guys have done enough in the spring that they need to be involved in the conversation."

The Colts return to Anderson University for their 2016 Training Camp.

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