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Rush Defense Impressing Chuck Pagano After Two Preseason Games

Intro: Chuck Pagano held a conference call on Sunday evening to discuss the Colts preseason opener. What did Pagano have to say about the Colts/Giants game?


INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano has reviewed the game film from the Colts, 27-26, loss to the Giants.

While not being able to finish the game, and the 13 penalties, was still fresh in the head coach's mind, he was very pleased with what he saw out of the starting defense.

Here are a few headlines from Pagano's conference call on Sunday evening:

Chuck Pagano on the Colts rush defense in the preseason:

"The front is playing well….Josh Chapman is playing extremely well. What he's doing in the middle of our defense right now is tremendous.

"Anytime you look up and the safety numbers aren't big in tackles, they want to make plays, but it's a good thing…Obviously, very excited about the direction we are going with that."

Bowen's Analysis:* *In the six series for the first team defense this preseason, the Colts have allowed 46 rushing yards on 16 carries (10 came on a Geno Smith scramble). It's been a very impressive effort for the rush defense early on this preseason. Having the right body types to play in the 3-4 scheme (i.e. Arthur Jones and Josh Chapman) is a major reason why the Colts have shown consistent flashes of becoming a better run unit.

I go back to Chapman's days at Alabama when he missed just one game during his 2011 senior season with a torn ACL. In that one game without Chapman, Alabama's No. 1 ranked rush defense allowed over 300 rushing yards to Georgia Southern.

Chuck Pagano on what he's seen from Bjoern Werner this preseason:

"Bjoern is gaining confidence with every snap he takes, in practice, and certainly it's showing up in the games.

"He's affecting the quarterback. He's playing well against the run. He's getting better and better with every rep, and every day that he's out there and we need him to play well and he's doing that. He's had a great offseason and he's had a great start to camp and the preseason. He's obviously trending in the right direction and heading towards what we feel like will be a great season."

Bowen's Analysis: We saw Werner's high motor in full effect on Saturday night with him chasing down a dump off pass.

The tackle/pressure numbers might not be jumping off the box score for Werner but Pagano is pleased with what he's seen from a guy who will play a major role in September. Werner did draw a holding penalty on Saturday night. Both Erik Walden and Cam Johnson continue to get after the quarterback from their outside linebacker positions.

Chuck Pagano on undrafted cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy:

"He played good. He's an athletic guy, has length, he's got speed, he's got excellent ball skills."

"He's making a strong case for himself not only playing outside at corner, but as a special teamer."

Bowen's Analysis: Pagano was asked specifically about Purifoy, who impressed on Saturday night. The talented cornerback battled some injuries during Training Camp but we saw his talent on full display against the Giants in coverage.

Like most guys fighting for a roster spot, special teams is where players need to get noticed. In the return game on Saturday, Purifoy was electric with two returns for 37 yards. He has also covered punts and kicks very well this preseason. Purifoy split a double team on the game's opening to kickoff to lay a hit on returner Quintin Demps. That hit definitely got the attention of those on the Colts sideline. Cornerback Marcus Burley also had a nice evening once the Colts top four corners exited.

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