Originally posted on The Colts Authority  |  Last updated 4/17/12

One of the most notable and drastic changes that will be implemented in the great Regime Transition of 2012 is the defensive shift. Not only with the defense likely become much more of a focus under new head coach Chuck Pagano, but the scheme and philosophies of the defense will be drastically different. 

Under Bill Polian and Tony Dungy (and his predecessor, Jim Caldwell), the Colts ran a Tampa-2 defense, a Cover-2, 4-3 base defense. This defense was designed to value speed and sound tackling, and is known as the "conservative" defense. The two deep safeties were designed to prevent the big play, and the reliance on the speed rush by the defensive ends allowed the defense to conserve leads built by the explosive, Manning-led offense. 

New head coach Chuck Pagano brings a completely different philosophy from Baltimore, where the 3-4 defense and chaotic, unpredictable schemes rule the day. This drastic change has brought up some very critical questions in transitioning, mainly concerning the players that will make the transition effectively. 

So, what is the difference between the Colts defense of 2011, and the Pagano-era Colts defense? Well, to start, check out the types of defenses the Colts put out in 2011, versus the schemes that Pagano's Ravens ran (via ProFootballFocus):

Team 3-4-4 4-3-4 5-2-4 2-4-5 3-3-5 4-2-5 1-4-6 2-3-6 3-2-6 4-1-6 1-3-7 Other Colts 0% 61% 0% 0% 1% 36% 0% 0% 0% 0%

0%

1% Ravens 6% 36% 0% 8% 21% 22% 0% 1% 1% 0% 0% 5%

While most have realized that the Ravens ran a hybrid 3-4/4-3 last season, it's astounding that they used four down linemen 58% of the time. Of course, when compared to the Colts, who were in a 4-down set for over 97% of the time, this doesn't seem like much. However, for a team who has been known for its base 3-4 defense, this use of four linemen is good news for the Colts. 

Coach Pagano knows how to use four linemen, which should prove beneficial for players like Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Drake Nevis, all players who have had questions about their place in a 3-4. But, with Pagano's experience in using four linemen, he should be able to translate that to being able to use these talented players in beneficial way. Contrastingly, Pagano brings a knowledge of the 3-4 that hasn't been seen in Indy in years, which should be a good fit for players like Fili Moala, Jerry Hughes, Cory Redding, and Brandon McKinney. The knowledge of different schemes (and the ability to use them) is one that fueled the unpredictable nature of the Baltimore defense, leaving the offense confused and guessing.

Another positive point on the defense is Coach Pagano's willingness to commit to stopping the pass. One of the most disturbing pieces of rhetoric to come out of the Colts' facilities has been the mantra of "stopping the run and running the ball." While there is innumerous evidence of the folly of that statement, it doesn't keep people from believing it. 

However, Pagano had more than the base of four defensive backs 54% of the time last season, showing a willingness to, at the very least, use extra defensive backs to put a premium on stopping the pass. 

So, how will this affect the Colts' decisions on players? Well, like I said, it should put off the notion of certain players fitting the system, especially on the defensive line. The Colts need talent on the DL, and the coaches should be able to figure out how to use that with their schemes. They don't need a true nose tackle right away, and reaching for one (whether it be by overpaying a free agent or reaching in the draft) isn't necessary. 

The Colts definitely need talent at the DT spots, but should have enough to hold the fort down while the front office looks for true long term solutions. The Colts arguably second biggest need is cornerback, where they absolutely need to grab some viable bodies in the NFL draft. The Colts have Jerraud Powers who will likely start the season as one starter, and then they have three developmental players in Rucker, Thomas, and Johnson. A safety is also necessary, but there isn't much available out there. 

Overall, the Colts just need talent on the defense, and if Pagano is who we are all hoping he'll be, then he'll make it work.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker