News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 28, 2013

Indy defense would like to be as well-known as its offense

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts with a powerhouse defense? According to defensive end Cory Redding, free safety Antoine Bethea and several other members of the team’s retooled defensive unit, that’s the goal heading into the 2013 season.

A lofty goal, to be sure. Indianapolis — first with Peyton Manning at quarterback and now Andrew Luck — have always been thought of as an offense-first franchise. Manning and Luck have certainly had plenty of options to use, the idea being that you have to surround a top-flight quarterback with playmakers.

When it came to defense, the idea was to be just good enough. Make the necessary stops in order to get the ball back for the offense.

Rather than blowing teams out on the scoreboard on a regular basis, the decision was made to outscore the opposition. And, more often than not, that gameplan worked pretty well for former coaches Jim Mora, Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell.

Dungy, a defensive-minded coach at Tampa Bay, was happy if the Colts could just be somewhere in the middle of pack among NFL defensive units. Not great, mind you, but just good enough. If Indianapolis did better than that, so much the better.

Enter second-year head coach Chuck Pagano. Like Mora and Dungy before him, his background lies with defense.

Pagano — who came to Indianapolis from a strong defense with the Baltimore Ravens — and second-year general manager Ryan Grigson, however, have decided instead to re-think that philosophy.

Why not have the best of both worlds? A strong offensive attack, this time led by Luck, and a defense that is expected to do more than just force punts.

Pagano wants an aggressive defense, a ball-hawking defense that can score points on its own. Are the Colts there yet? Probably not. But with the massive changes made in personnel and scheme over the past two off seasons, Indianapolis is a lot closer to its coach’s goal.

“We want to put it out there that we have defense in Indy too. It’s something that we’ve been working hard for and just want to make the most of it,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said earlier this week.

“I feel like we’re doing a lot of things the right way and heading in the right direction. But there’s still a lot we need to work on. And it’s still about timing and meshing as a unit.”

The Colts could have five new starters on defense from a year ago — outside linebacker Erik Walden, defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, either Aubrayo Franklin or Josh Chapman at nose tackle, Greg Toler at cornerback and LaRon Landry at strong safety.

If the last two preseason games are any indication, Indianapolis is starting to make some important strides. The Colts have not allowed a touchdown in wins over the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

“We want to be a dominant defense. We talk about how in previous years around here, it’s been offense, offense, offense. But we want to build a dynasty here and have a great offense, great defense and good special teams,” Bethea voiced.

Redding — who was a part of the Ravens’ defense two years ago — likes what he sees from his Indianapolis teammates so far.

“It comes from just being more comfortable in the system, having an understanding of what’s going on and knowing how great we can be. We set that tone in April. The first day we got here, we said [we wanted to be a] top-five defense,” he said Tuesday.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in the top five in any category because we feel that confident in the guys that we brought in, the system that’s in place and the guys that we have here from last year. There’s no reason to. It’s out there for the taking. Right now, make our minds up right now to be that team, not let our brother down beside us and go out there and make plays. That’s our mindset.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tom Lindley column mug.jpg

CNHI News Service

Local Interest

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

High School
  • ISU football picked last in MVFC

    Indiana State’s football team found itself in familiar, if depressing, territory when the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll was released on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Degano2.jpg Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes

    Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.

    July 26, 2014

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Terre Haute Rex

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Safe!: Tony Rosselli beats the tag at second base by a West Virginia opponent during the Rex' game against the Miners on Tuesday at Warn Field.

Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Auto Racing
SPT071614sprints clauson.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Waiting: Bryan Clauson sits in his sprint car, waiting his turn to qualify at the Terre Haute Action Track for the Don Smith Classic.

AP Auto Racing News
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Broken Water Main Floods UCLA In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast 'The Bachelorette' and Her Beau Go Public
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News