Colts Bolster Defense and Special Teams with Two Recent Additions
INDIANAPOLIS — There are 12 new players on the Colts' 53-man roster this season, two of which were added over the weekend.
After whittling their roster down to 53 on Saturday, the Colts claimed two players off waivers afterwards, fifth-year safety Aaron Francisco and rookie linebacker Cody Glenn.
Francisco played for the Arizona Cardinals the past four years and served as the team's special teams captain the past two. In 2008, Francisco played in all 16 games for the Cardinals, which is one of the reasons he said he was "totally surprised" to learn the only NFL team he had ever played for was letting him go.
It was a tumultuous 48 hours for Francisco. After being cut by the Cardinals on Saturday, he got a call from the Colts and quickly packed his bags for Indianapolis.
"It was tough at first, but my spirits are up now that I got picked up so quickly," Francisco said. "I'm excited for the new opportunity, and I feel like the slate has been wiped clean and I get a whole new start."
Francisco, who registered 53 tackles in 2008, met with Colts coaches Monday morning and said the team's defense is similar to the one he mastered in Arizona, with terminology serving as the main hurdle.
But Head Coach Jim Caldwell is confident Francisco can catch on quickly and is hopeful the team's new safety could play Sunday against Jacksonville.
"We are trying to get him acclimated as quickly as we can," he said.
In addition to Francisco, the Colts also claimed Glenn off waivers, a 2009 fifth-round draft pick by the Washington Redskins. Prior to being drafted, Glenn played four years at Nebraska, but did not play linebacker until his senior year after playing running back his first three.
At 6-foot, 240 pounds, Glenn is similar in size to other Colts linebackers but is hoping his size is not the only thing that helps him fit in with his new team.
"Right now, I just want to learn as much as possible and do as much as I can do to contribute to this team," he said.
Caldwell said the Colts have had their eye on Glenn for quite some time.
"He's a pretty versatile player and has also played some special teams," Caldwell said. "He certainly gives us a little bulk with a little punching power and some speed as well."
Glenn thinks he will be able to pick up the team's defensive system quickly, and the Colts coach said the linebacker has shown he is able to adjust and adapt up to this point.
"I don't think they would have brought me in if they didn't think I could fit right in," Glenn said.
Glenn said he is looking forward to helping the Colts on special teams as he gets caught up to speed with the intricacies of the team's linebacking assignments.
"A lot of people just look at (special teams) like you just run down the field, but there is a lot more that goes into it," Glenn said. "You have to study and game plan, so it helps I've played special teams in the past and know a bit about what I'm doing."
When making roster moves over the weekend, Caldwell said special teams were something he took into consideration.
"That's something we always try and balance and take a real good look at as an area we need to improve upon and an area we considered for a number of the decisions we made," Caldwell said.
Caldwell said he anticipates Glenn will bolster their special teams unit, but the former Cornhusker said there is still a "long way to go to be as good as a linebacker as I want to be."
"I know those days are ahead of me," he said.