INDIANAPOLIS – What was learned after watching the first open OTA session of 2017?
Keeping your roster handy when watching the defense of the 2017 Indianapolis Colts is an absolute must.
So many new faces, combined with old faces in different roles and a few key starters sidelined all makes for a side of the ball littered with change.
Sure, Andrew Luck is not participating this time of year. But the offense still has its returning core very much intact.
The same cannot be said on defense.
Outside of Vontae Davis and David Parry, not a single returning Week One starter from 2016 was in that same position on Tuesday, the team's second of 10 OTA sessions being held over the next three weeks.
To put it lightly, opportunities are endless for defenders.
"It's exciting," Chuck Pagano says of all the defensive changes. "I know our coaches are excited. I know the players are excited.
"I think we did a great job in free agency with the players that we added through that venue and then obviously six draft picks on that side of the football."
2017 Offseason Program - Phase II - DEFENSE
What the defense looks like in late May is hardly the one we will see on Sept. 10 in Los Angeles.
Kendall Langford, Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers all are still rehabbing injuries to get them back on the field for Training Camp. Even second-round rookie, and expected starter, Quincy Wilson missed Tuesday's practice with a boot on his right foot.
No matter what the starting 11 looks like for the regular season opener, that group will be trying to re-write these 2016 numbers:
- 30th in total defense
- 25th in third-down defense
- 24th in takeaways
"We are a long, long ways away, but we're talking big picture," Pagano says of all the newness to the defense. "We're talking building this thing and building something special. We're trying to build something special on that side of the ball.
"We all know it, they all know it – we have a huge challenge on our hands on that side of the football (and) we have to be better. And that falls on me, I have to be better. I have to coach better and we have to get all these guys going. But together, we need to put a good product on the field."
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