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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Measuring up vs. Colts in four-wide

By Paul Kuharsky

We’ll get some good stuff Tuesday morning out of Orlando, where AFC South coaches are having breakfast with reporters at the owners meetings. I’ll be monitoring what comes out through some of my colleagues who are there.

The first thing of note I’ve seen was this from Adam Schefter via Twitter:
"Colts coach Jim Caldwell is thinking about playing some four WR sets with Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez."

As if three wides and Dallas Clark isn’t enough of a problem.

I automatically started thinking of secondary depth in the division and how it would stack up against that. Nobody in the league has the kind of corner and secondary depth needed to stand up to that personnel grouping with Peyton Manning at the controls.

The Texans and Titans are definitely in the market for a cornerback, and safety is also in play. The Jaguars likely take a defensive back or two as well in the draft.

Teams could obviously use an additional safety in the sort of dime scenarios this could force. Here’s our take on the depth at defensive back for each of the Colts’ division opponents:

Houston
Nickel: Glover Quin, Jacques Reeves, Brice McCain.

Dime candidates: Cornerbacks Fred Bennett, Antwaun Molden; Safeties Dominique Barber, Troy Nolan.

Assessment: Contemplating this secondary against the Colts’ four-wide lineup is scary right now. Throw Clark in as the fifth skill player and I don’t know how Houston holds up. Corner and free safety are big draft needs.

Jacksonville

Nickel: Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Tyron Brackenridge.

Dime candidates: Corners William Middleton, Kennard Cox, Michael Coe; whichever safety isn’t already playing out of Reggie Nelson, Anthony Smith, Sean Considine.

Assessment: Top three are pretty solid, but safety really needs to be sorted out and could have a new piece.

Tennessee

Nickel: Cortland Finnegan, Ryan Mouton, Vincent Fuller.

Dime candidates: Corners Rod Hood and Jason McCourty; safety Donnie Nickey.

Assessment: I am giving the nod as the second starting corner to Mouton right now based on hearing the team is high on him. A draft pick needs to compete for that spot. Overall depth is unproven.