ANDERSON, Ind. — At some point near the end of Cory Redding’s nearly nine-minute talk with the media Thursday, someone suggested the Indianapolis Colts defensive end sounded like a football evangelist.
Redding laughed off the comparison, but there’s no doubting the fact he has laid down a few commandments for his defensive teammates.
Stop the run.
Challenge every ball in the air.
And don’t let the offense gain a blade of grass.
Those were the talking points Redding returned to repeatedly following the morning practice at Anderson University. And the 10th-year veteran said those tenets will not change throughout the season.
“You know pudding is pudding,” Redding said. “You can’t mix it up and throw everything else in there. Vanilla wafers, you’ve got banana pudding.
It is what it is, it’s still pudding. That’s the basis of this defense.
You can’t do anything unless you stop the run. You’ve got to have big, stout, kick-behind guys up front with that attitude to stop the run. Guys in the back end that aren’t afraid of cover-one, put bone on bone, man on man, I’m going to cover you all day, let’s go, let’s play football. That’s what this is based on. The whole team concept has to buy in to that, and the moment we buy into that, which we are, we’re going to be great.”
First-year head coach Chuck Pagano lured Redding to join him in Indianapolis from Baltimore for speeches just like that.
There’s an energy about Redding as he’s talking that fills the air and infects all those around him.
It’s easy to envision him as a leader, and it’s a role he relishes.
“That’s part of my personality,” he said. “These guys in the league have seen me play for the past nine years so they know, and guys talk. So guys know who are leaders in this league and who are not. So when I walked into the locker room, day one, it was understood. And it wasn’t the fact that I’m coming in and cracking the whip and saying, ‘Guys, this is me, who I am,’ but they accepted me because this is who I am.