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Ryan Grigson: "We Need To Build That Defense"

Intro: At Thursday’s NFL Combine, the messages were very similar from Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson. The protection has to be better. And it’s time to build the defense.


INDIANAPOLIS – What Chuck Pagano started on Thursday, Ryan Grigson finished.

The needs are known---protect your own franchise and disrupt other team's quarterback.

Pagano spoke first on Thursday and Grigson's message followed, touching a little bit more on the logistics for the Colts' 2016 offseason plan.

Grigson on the spending the Colts can use in 2016:

"I would say this year is a little different than in years past just because of some of the financials we have on the horizon (i.e. Andrew Luck's second contract)."

Bowen's Analysis: This offseason for the Colts is closer to 2012 in terms of how much room the team has to spend in free agency. Things are a bit tighter money wise. As Grigson put it Thursday, "we (have) to scout our rear ends off," with the free agency acquisitions expected not to be too immense in numbers come March.

When evaluating the 2015 season, Grigson mentioned pass rush, protecting the quarterback and pass coverage as three areas to improve in 2016. The Colts' cornerback need in 2016 could come through free agency or the draft with Greg Toler a free agent.Grigson on the criticalness of improving the offensive line this offseason:

"Obviously, we need to protect our quarterback better."

Bowen's Analysis:* *The clearest similarity between Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson's pressers on Thursday was the importance in bolstering the offensive trenches. Pagano spoke specifically about the interior of that group.

Grigson has used picks on offensive linemen before in rounds two, three and four. Will the first round be added to that group in 2015?

Grigson on the depth of the pass rush in the 2016 draft class:

"The draft this year, there are some (pass rushers). It's not, in my opinion, as thick as you'd like."

Bowen's Analysis: How Grigson described the edge rushers on Thursday is what we are seeing in Mock Drafts. We haven't seen a tremendous number of pass rushers in the top 20 picks.

Grigson knows the type of attention pass rushers command whether where they fall on draft boards or how much money they garner in free agency. Building the pass rush through the draft is something Grigson believes is the best avenue. Acquiring developing talent off the edge would help Grigson continue his goal of adding bricks to the building of the Colts defense. **

Other Grigson Tidbits**

  • Andrew Luck contract update: Talks between Andrew Luck's people and the Colts are expected to pick up in the coming weeks. Grigson said on Thursday that there is "real motivation" from each party to get a deal done. Thursday reiterated the consistent message we continue to hear about the Colts and Luck eventually agreeing to a second contract for the franchise quarterback.
  • Wide Receiver Phillip Dorsett: The Colts are still very, very high on the potential for last year's first-round pick. Grigson calls Dorsett "stupendous" and a more expanded role is likely for the speedster in 2016.
  • What Grigson learned in 2015: Grigson said on Thursday he has learned some patience over his four years as a first-time general manager. The competitor in Grigson is evident and is a reason why Jim Irsay kept the continuity together atop his organization this past offseason.
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