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Secondary Burning Questions Heading Into Training Camp

Intro: We are less than a week away from the Colts beginning their 2016 Training Camp. Where do the questions start in the defensive backs group this season?


INDIANAPOLIS –The backend of the Colts' defense will have two new starters in 2016.

While new coordinator Ted Monachino is keeping his focus up in the front seven, Chuck Pagano has a close eye on the secondary.

Our final "Burning Questions" piece on the defensive side of the ball looks at things at the cornerback and safety positions.

  • How important was the signing of Patrick Robinson?

When the early headlines of the 2016 offseason began for the Colts, finding a second corner wasn't shouted from the rooftop.

It was certainly a need though.

How the Colts would go about addressing it was a bit of a mystery.

The suspense ended near the end of March's League Meetings, once Chuck Pagano again showed his closing ability.

Veteran cornerback Patrick Robinson didn't need to hear any more recruiting pitches after listening to Pagano, a former defensive backs coach.

In Robinson, the Colts have a corner capable of lining up outside or in the slot (a big-time luxury nowadays in the NFL).

Robinson also spoiled several big plays last season, an area the Colts need to improve on.

Getting consistency from Robinson will do wonders to help Monachino be creative with trying to pressure the quarterback from the front seven.

STAT TO NOTE: Per Pro Football Focus, Patrick Robinson led all cornerbacks in averaging just 8.9 yards per catch last season.

  • Is Clayton Geathers ready for the bright lights?

With five family members having already played in the NFL, there should not be too much of an "awe" period for the new starting safety.

The Colts have always felt comfortable throwing things at Clayton Geathers.

From his early days in the league last year, Geathers was logging time with the first unit (in sub packages).

Geathers' mental makeup granted him the chance to show off his physical ability last year in a couple of starts.

What the Colts saw in that action gave them the assurance to let Geathers take over a starting role in his second NFL season. Last year's starter Dwight Lowery signed with San Diego during free agency.

A Geathers and Mike Adams pair brings different characteristics to a safety position that will have two very different starting safeties in 2016.

STAT TO NOTE: Mike Adams, the NFL's oldest active safety, has 10 interceptions since 2014 (the third most in the NFL).**


  • What type of roles could safety T.J. Green and cornerback D'Joun Smith receive in 2016?

T.J. Green's first impact in the NFL will be seen on special teams.

With Mike Adams and Clayton Geathers starting, action for Green on defense is probably on hold for his rookie campaign.

Learning behind Adams is a tremendous opportunity for a guy in Green who is still relatively new to the safety position.

Smith is more of a wild card, with his health forcing him to miss the entire offseason program.

Knee injuries limited Smith to a little more than 20 total snaps as a rookie.

The Colts are searching for a young cornerback or two to emerge behind the vets (Davis, Robinson and Darius Butler).

Even though Smith isn't currently slated in for major reps, that could change in a hurry if an injury occurs.

STAT TO NOTE: In the last two seasons, both Mike Adams and Vontae Davis have been to two Pro Bowls.

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