Indianapolis Colts

Frank Reich’s top assistants weigh in on Carson Wentz, Colts’ defense

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady is ready to attack training camp this summer at Grand Park in Westfield.

The Colts first-year offensive coordinator is as battle-tested as a rookie NFL coordinator can be.

For the third consecutive season, Brady is scheming with head coach Frank Reich to devise an offense for a new quarterback: Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett, Brissett to Philip Rivers, Rivers to Carson Wentz.

The baton isn’t expected to be passed again for some time in Indianapolis. 

“[Wentz has] been great both in the meeting room and on the field,” Brady said. “The meeting room, (he’s) bringing a lot of ideas. This is the time of the year when we’re trying to, ‘OK, this is our offense, this is what we run.’ Then he will bring in some ideas – what fits him to his skill set? Frank [Reich] and this offense, the way we built it is being able to adapt to quarterbacks.”

“On the field, I think he had a great two weeks here getting a rhythm with the receivers, being able to give some handoffs to the running backs, working that footwork out,” Brady added. “I thought we got a lot accomplished the past couple weeks.”

As for the defense?

Darius Leonard is still dancing between drills.  DeForest Buckner bulldozing? Yep. And a five-year personnel overhaul led by general manager Chris Ballard appears to be nearly complete.

“I sat down with Chris Ballard yesterday,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said. “We always do it this time of year and we talk about what’s going to go on during training camp and we just went through every position, D-line, linebackers, safeties, corners, nickels and what we saw was competition. We saw it throughout the whole thing. We’ve never had this depth before.”

“They’ve done a great job of building depth here,” Eberflus said. “The competition is all the way through the depth chart, which is outstanding and we’re just looking for it to play out. It just has to play out the way it should play out.”

The Colts’ two most important long-term additions this offseason are off to strong starts.

It was well documented this spring that any rumored locker room rifts involving Wentz last season in Philadelphia are simply hard to fathom for his new teammates. Colts running back Nyheim Hines delivered one of the most glowing reviews of the new gunslinger, sighting his humility and humble approach. 

On Wednesday, Brady delivered a glimpse into the Colts youthful quarterback room led by the 28-year-old Wentz. 

“I definitely think we have a great room with Frank [Reich], myself and like you said, Scott [Milanovich],” Brady said. “That experience and being able to talk in the meeting rooms, that’s going to be huge for him. What I love about him is he’s very vocal in the meeting room whether it’s his likes, his dislikes. He’s not one to be shy about what he doesn’t like, which I appreciate from a quarterback because he is the guy out there executing. If he believes in it, he is going to make it work.” 

Defensively, Kwity Paye drew the most attention this spring. The rookie defensive end out of Michigan certainly looks ready to contribute physically. 

Wednesday, Eberflus took it one step further, citing Paye’s early approach behind the scenes. 

“Kwity [Paye] is everything we’re looking for in terms of a character of men and what he brings to the table, and you can see that on his tape,” Eberflus said. “He has just been outstanding so far with us, working with the D-line coaches and everybody else.

“You can tell when you ask him questions about a particular defense, he can dive into the detail and absorb that in a quick manner and be able to give it back out to us on the practice field,” Eberflus continued. “That’s been really a pleasant surprise.”

A solid spring at two vital positions certainly has excitement rising around Indianapolis. 

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