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Colts Witness Change on the Defensive Line

Posted by coltsindianapolis on May 24, 2012 – 4:04 pm

By Kevin Bowen,

Perhaps no unit on the Colts roster will take on a new look more in 2012 than the defensive line.

Thanks to a new scheme, a trio of new faces and some positional changes along the front, the line has a multitude of options as the Colts make their way through OTAs this offseason.

One of the first moves the Colts made was signing a pair of former Baltimore Ravens defensive linemen in Brandon McKinney and Cory Redding.

“Anytime you’re dealing with guys who have been in the system, they’re comfortable,” defensive line coach Gary Emmanuel said. “They are like an extra coach in the room. They really help as far as their leadership and that’s the biggest thing.”

Meshing with some new faces are a pair of returning defensive linemen who have shown some flexibility in moving along the new three-man front.

Last season Fili Moala and Drake Nevis both played primarily inside on the defensive line but they will be expected to play the end position in 2012.

“Drake and Fili both are progressing,” Emmanuel said. “They are getting better each time out. They are really improving their technique. They do a great job of picking up the scheme and working hard at the scheme to understand it. I’m extremely pleased with what they’re giving us.”

The Colts turned to the draft to add some more depth on the line when they chose their first defensive player during April’s draft in the fifth round by selecting Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman.

It remains to be seen when Chapman will hit the playing field as he finished last season playing with a torn ACL while helping the Crimson Tide to the 2012 National Championship, but his ability to play through pain won’t be questioned.

“He’s tough. He’s physical,” Emmanuel said of Chapman. “He’s been coached hard because coach (Nick) Saban does a great job down there with the personnel. We are really excited about Josh and looking for some great things from him.”

With Chapman and the 350-pound McKinney manning the middle the Colts are starting to add the pieces to a system that has found success throughout the league in the past few years.

McKinney had been apart of the Ravens defense since 2008 and says he is hoping to bring some ‘nastiness’ to the new unit along with helping his teammates learn a fresh system.

“It’s one thing to just go out there and pick it up but it’s another thing to actually want to learn and learn the whole system,” McKinney said.

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Allen Readies for Role With Colts

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 1:00 pm

By Kevin Bowen,

As the media headed into the Colts locker room on Wednesday afternoon for player availability a swarm gathered in front of locker #83.

Occupying that spot would be third round draft pick Dwayne Allen out of Clemson University.

The Mackey Award winner from last season, Allen was named the nation’s top tight end thanks to setting school records for tight ends with 50 catches for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011.

With Allen still on the board at the top of the third round in last month’s draft, the Colts knew they couldn’t pass on a player that fits into a offense which uses the tight position extensively.

“(The offense) requires the tight ends to be versatile and do a lot of jobs,” Allen said. “Coming from the college offense that I played in, I showed my versatility and I feel I have a very good chance to show it here.”

His ability on the field speaks for itself but the 22 year-old Allen was extremely composed while fielding questions from the media on Wednesday.

Colts tight end coach Alfredo Roberts has a pair of high draft picks at his disposal this season and can’t wait for the city of Indianapolis to see what he has already witnessed.

“He’s a big, strong guy that’s willing to work on some things that he’s probably not as clean on,” Roberts said of Allen. “People of Indianapolis are going to be impressed with the type of player and person he is once they get to know him.”

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Offensive Line Presents Versatile Options

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 10:09 am

By Kevin Bowen,

Of all the units on the Colts roster to see an influx of new talent this offseason, the offensive line received the most veteran additions with a trio of lineman made the move to Indianapolis.

Center Sampson Satele (6 years), guard Mike McGlynn (5 years) and tackle Winston Justice (7 years) all bring together ample NFL experience to a unit that is trying to blend it’s young talent around them.

Offensive line coach Harold Goodwin talked about each of the new additions and what they will bring the Colts in the trenches:

On Satele: “He’s been in the battle. He’s been in the wars. For him to come in, it’s just transitioning the terminology to what he’s heard in the past and flipping it over. He’s been great because he’s a smart football player and anything I teach him he picks up right away.”

On McGlynn: “He’s a huge leader in the room and a powerful, smart football player.”

On Justice: “We have a flexible guy who can play right tackle or play left tackle.”

The unit was a little undermanned on Wednesday afternoon with first year players Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana both sidelined along with guard Joe Reitz.

Castonzo and Reitz saw extensive action on the line last season and with them sidelined the veteran returnee came in the form of third-year pro Jeff Linkenbach.

“As far as the guys who’ve been here, Jeff (Linkenbach) is doing a great job. (We’re) kind of bouncing him around from tackle to guard, just trying to find him a home because I think he’s maybe one of our top five or six lineman.”

Goodwin said that even though the line is ever changing during the month of May he expects that to change come training camp.

“I know I’m kind of bouncing them around a little bit, but I just told them ‘stick with me’ and once we get to training camp and have healthy bodies we can start slotting guys into a single spot and go from there,” Goodwin said.

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