Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Signing Jones good sign for Colts defense
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson is not playing around when it comes to trying to improve the front seven of their defense.
It started with the signing of former Cleveland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson last week, and it continued when the Colts announced the signing of defensive lineman Arthur Jones less than 45 minutes into the start of the free-agency period Tuesday.
“He is an outstanding producer down after down versus the run and pass,” Grigson said. “He's a guy who plays at a championship level week after week and lays it on the line every time he steps out on the field. He is a great fit for our team.”
The Colts had to do something with their defense. While they had their moments last season, they lacked the consistency needed to make a deep run in the AFC playoffs. They were 20th in the league on defense and even worse when it came to stopping the run (26th).
Here's what former Colts GM Bill Polian said about Jones.
“A power player with great size, he proved difficult to move in the run game. He's well-suited to play end in a 3-4 or tackle in the an even front, but Jones should be taken off the field in clear throwing downs.”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano is familiar with Jones. Pagano was the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator during Jones' rookie season in 2011.
Jones can play defensive end and defensive tackle. The Colts need help at defensive tackle after Aubrayo Franklin and Josh Chapman combined for only 44 tackles and no sacks last season. Jones finished with 53 tackles and four sacks last season.
The Colts continue to improve in the front seven, but they're in need of a new starting safety, as Antoine Bethea, who started every game he played in during his eight-year career with Indianapolis, signed with the 49ers Tuesday.