Sio Moore Starting, Colts To Use Trio Of Inside Linebackers In 2016

Intro: While the inside linebacker competition has been thought to be between Sio Moore and Nate Irving, look for those two to join D’Qwell Jackson on the field this season.

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ANDERSON, Ind. – The man who traded for him sees it.

So does the guy who could be starting next to him in 2016.

Former third-round pick, Sio Moore brings tremendous athletic ability to the linebacker position.

Says returning starter D'Qwell Jackson of Moore: "He shoots off the chart when it comes to athletic ability."

Says GM Ryan Grigson of Moore, the guy he traded for just prior to the start of the 2015 season: "I feel to a man we would all agree he is about as athletic and explosive as you could want on all four downs at that position. It's just up to him to put it all together this year and produce on the field like he has at a high level in the past."

Through a week of Training Camp, Moore has been running with the first unit, alongside Jackson.

Moore is listed atop the depth chart.

Despite that, we've seen a fair amount of interchanging with Moore, Jackson and Nate Irving this camp.

A variety of combinations with those three have occurred in Anderson.

Even if Moore is the "starter," the Colts believe a now healthy Irving can bring real value.

"(Irving) was a productive starter on a very good defense (in Denver)," Grigson says of the 2015 free agent signing. "He is a high-motor guy that was just so active since college on the film. He has a presence in the box and he attacks the line of scrimmage with as much physicality as anyone we've had, in my opinion, since I've been here. He has good quickness and is capable and aware in coverage.

"He just has to put it all together, now that he's fully healthy. We all feel Nate is going to help us this year."

New coordinator Ted Monachino has routinely been asked this offseason about the competition between Moore and Irving.

He cautions to boil it down to those two.

The Colts have three starting-caliber inside linebackers, Monachino says, so expect all three to see action in 2016.

"Sio and Nate each have different traits that we'll use when we can, from a matchup standpoint," Monachino says. "One is better at one thing and the other is better at the other. But they are all renaissance football players that do a nice job at a lot of different things.

"So we're excited where those guys are and we have no reservations with either one of them, whether they are either standing next to D'Qwell or whether they are standing out there side by side."

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