2010 Indianapolis Colts Projected Defensive Depth Chart
With training camp now just a few weeks away via going in full swing, along with the “dead time” that’s taken place between the draft and longing football season absence, it’s this juncture to check in with team-by-team depth charts in the AFC South division.
Reports scatter that newly acquired third-round selection cornerback Kevin Thomas has already suffered an injury in practice and could be out for the entire season.
So with that, it’s time to assess the Colts’ 2010 defensive depth chart before the highly anticipated season takes flight.
DT: Fili Moala, Daniel Muir, Antonio Johnson
The Colts’ interior defensive line is very young, as the five defensive tackles on the current roster have had three years of experience in the league or fewer.
However, Daniel Muir had a productive third year, starting ten games and putting together 52 tackles and half a sack.
Taking the other spot was Antonio Johnson, who started all but one game in ’09, accumulating 34 tackles and one sack. Next in line is second-year pro Fili Moala, who plans to be a solid contributor in substituting for the starting tackles.
Clearly more sacks should be expected to form, barring a free agency find, or outstanding production via the defensive ends and linebacker corps.
DE: Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney
Robert Mathis now enters his 8th year in the league, having established himself as an out of this world pass rusher.
Akin to Mathis, 9th-year veteran Dwight Freeney only played in 14 regular season games and only started in nine in ‘09, yet both had one of their best career seasons in a very successful rotation.
Blended in last year’s alternation and expected to continue this season will be Keyunta Dawson and Eric Foster, who built up 55 tackles, two and a half sacks, and a forced fumble in seven integrated starts.
Moreover, the very versatile Jerry Hughes will also become a worthy asset, as he excels in tackling, pass rushing, dropping back into coverage, run stopping, and creating an immense number of turnovers.
OLB: Clint Session, Phillip Wheeler
Phillip Wheeler enters his third year in the league coming off a season of obtaining 61 tackles, with one sack and one forced fumble in seven starts.
Wheeler will likely undergo vast improvements over time, and will be aided by Clint Session, second-year pro Ramon Humber, and rookies Jerry Hughes and Pat Angerer.
However, Session and Wheeler will be the presumable starters in an effective rotation.
MLB: Gary Brackett
Unless Pat Angerer operates fluently in the middle, Gary Brackett will easily coup d’état the inside, as he’s achieved 99 tackles the last two consecutive seasons.
Brackett has racked up over 600 tackles with 11 interceptions, three and a half sacks, and four fumbles over the course of his seven-year NFL career. In addition, he shows signs of more playmaking ability with surrounding talent that continues to improve.
CB: Jacob Lacey, Jerraud Powers
Like Miami, Indianapolis has proven two rookie corners can handle the job—and then some. Jacob Lacey split half the starting time with corner Kelvin Hayden last season, landing 85 tackles with three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Stand-in Kelvin Hayden gathered 50 tackles with one interception. Opposite Lacey and Hayden, Jerraud Powers mounted 66 tackles with one interception and one forced fumble in 12 starts.
Should Kevin Thomas be able to play this season, he and Kelvin Hayden will serve as a powerful understudy.
SS: Melvin Bullitt
Melvin Bullitt will battle Bob Sanders for the starting position at strong safety once again this season.
Bob Sanders, now entering his seventh career season, was once thought to be a premier safety in the league or at least on the well-known video game Madden for a time based on rating, as well as the commotion brought on via the media.
However, he’s never played a full season, and only twice has he played for more than a half season.
Melvin Bullitt has been in the league half the time as Sanders, yet has 58 percent the number of tackles as Sanders, with the same number of forced fumbles, and has only mounted one less interception.
In order to be an elite player, or even a starter in the NFL, you have to stay healthy, and this is why Sanders has been replaced with the explosive Melvin Bullitt.
FS: Antoine Bethea
Diametrically opposed to Sanders, Antoine Bethea has started all but five games in his four NFL seasons.
Bethea has built up over 350 tackles with 11 interceptions and two forced fumbles over his career, while leading a run of the mill secondary to two Super Bowl trips as well.
Verse of this Piece
“Wisdom will make your life pleasant and will bring you piece.”—Proverbs 3:17| AFC South Depth Charts, Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Colts 2010 Defensive Depth Chart