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Another potential safety target, T.J. Ward is a very different type of safety from Jairus Byrd. While Byrd is a natural center fielder, a free safety who would allow the Colts to play more consistent single-high coverage looks, Ward is more of a strong safety type, a big hitter who flies around the field.
So why would the Colts go after him after signing LaRon Landry last season? And why would I support the move?
Well, Ward is a much better player than Landry or Bethea and wouldn't leave quite the coverage hole that those two did in 2013. By signing Ward, the Colts would be confirming that they really do want to continue to use a fluid defensive scheme, especially in the backfield. Over the last two years, the Colts have leaned on flexibility and unpredictability in their coverage schemes, attempting to confuse opposing offenses by rarely playing in the same coverage for multiple plays in a row.
Ward would allow them to continue to do that, as he can both step up and play the run as well as drop back into coverage. With Ward, the Colts could try to use the interchangeable safety concept again, only with a better piece. While Landry still isn't the ideal safety to pair him with, Ward would be a big upgrade.
The Browns will certainly try to re-sign Ward, but there have been hints that Ward may become available. Ward has expressed his support for Rob Chudzinski in the past, and his firing may have pushed Ward into looking for a better home. No matter where Ward ends up in 2014, it will be his fourth coach in five years, and he may be looking for more stability than Cleveland seems to offer at this point.