How Much Does Vontae Davis Trade Speed Up Colts' Rebuilding Efforts?
The Indianapolis Colts got their cornerback in Vontae Davis.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports also reported:
For all who've been trying to find out Colts trade, I'm reporting the Colts have agreed to a trade for Fins CB Vontae Davis for 2nd rd pick— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 26, 2012
This was a nice move by the Colts as the defense did need to add some young talent. Davis is only 24 years old and has enjoyed a decent career thus far.
Most certainly are the Colts taking a risk after Davis lost his starting role, but he's proven to be a gamer in the regular season. Indy is back on the rise and much more recognition needs to start being given to coach Chuck Pagano's defense.
Where now, is the Colts' defense?
Adds Needed Talent to the Secondary
With safeties like Tom Zbikowski and Antoine Bethea, Indy was sitting pretty having Jerraud Powers on one side.
So with one spot left to complete the defensive backs, Davis is easily a better option over Cassius Vaughn or Justin King. Through three seasons Davis has accumulated 148 tackles (132 solo), nine picks and defended 32 passes.
Vaughn and Davis, though, do have the experience to provide Pagano with the option of a more reliable nickel/dime package. In a pass-happy league you can never have too many defensive backs with solid playing experience.
Davis however, possesses the instincts, size and reliable tackling to shutdown one side. He doesn't allow an extension number of yards after the catch and is stronger for run support when needed.
Takes Pressure Off the Front Seven
All of this, of course, takes a vehement amount of pressure of the Indianapolis front seven.
Lacking against the run in 2011 by allowing 144 yards per game and ranking No. 29, the Colts also gave up 4.3 yards per carry and 19 rushing touchdowns. Now, however, the linebackers can assist the defensive line in focusing on the opposing ground game.
With corners like Davis and Powers, the Colts can play a lot more press coverage and use inside leverage. This forces a receiver to adjust his route outside, which allows the corner to utilize the boundary as an extra defender.
In turn, the linebackers need not worry as much regarding receivers getting free releases toward the middle of the field. If anything, the outside linebacker closest to the boundary can blitz more often and the inside 'backers can man up on the tight end and/or bracket the running back.
This also allows a safety to roll down and fill the intermediate zone for a blitzing inside 'backer to apply more immediate quarterback pressure. It's quite fascinating how much a corner can impact a defense and help prepare when half the field is taken away on both sides instead of one.
Obviously this type of look won't be shown on every down, but it's a viable option that opens up the rest of the defensive playbook.
Creates Additional Possessions For Offense
Everything in the aforementioned sections leads back to giving Andrew Luck more opportunities.
For as much promise and current ability that Luck possesses, his NFL development will quickly pick up with each series under center. Well, that's the essence of defense aside from preventing an opponent from scoring: getting the offense back on the field.
Davis only appeared in 12 games last season but he finished with four picks, nine defended passes and made 43 tackles. At his core Davis is efficient, because he may not get challenged a great amount but he makes the most of each test.
Plus, it's not like the AFC South presents him with any receivers who are impossible to cover outside of Andre Johnson. And he hasn't played a full season since 2009.
Include two young quarterbacks in Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker, and Indianapolis won't be too far behind the Houston Texans. Also, if quarterbacks don't attack Davis then there's Powers, Zbikowski and Bethea blanketing elsewhere.
The Colts' coverage will be there and lest we forget about the pass rush duo of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Indianapolis will force more three-and-outs and turnovers than 2011, so count on Luck being provided with plenty of additional possessions this season.
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