It should come as no surprise the Colts’ weakest link is on the defensive side of the ball, and it should also come as no surprise the position is defensive tackle. It has been a sore spot on this team for some time and the Colts continue to neglect the position through the draft.
This is a team that is built for speed, but the lack of strength at defensive tackle is alarming. The projected starters are Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir. Though the duo combined for 86 tackles last season, they totaled only 1.5 sacks and lack the ability to be explosive or disruptive. The duo is often knocked back off the line of scrimmage, which puts a ton of pressure on the second level of the Colts’ defense.
The Colts pride themselves on having a defensive front that comes off the ball quickly. They have a philosophy of playing the pass first and then worrying about the run. Even though Johnson and Muir possess very good initial quickness off the ball, you just don’t see either player making plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage against the run or the pass. Muir and Johnson would be decent backups on most teams, but they are forced to start in Indianapolis.
Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are the strength of this defense. However, they are often both double teamed on the same snap. Teams will use an offensive tackle and tight end to double one side and an offensive tackle and guard to double on the other. That leaves the defensive tackle duo to win battles against the center and other guard, and the Colts’ defensive tackles are not winning that battle on a consistent basis.