The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

September 6, 2013

Colts prepare for playoff run in 2013

(Continued)

LINEBACKERS:

Starters – SLB Erik Walden, ILB Pat Angerer, ILB Jerrell Freeman, RLB Robert Mathis. Backups – ILB Kavell Conner, ILB Mario Harvey, OLB Cam Johnson, ILB Kelvin Sheppard. OLB Bjoern Werner.

New starter at strong side linebacker in Walden. Angerer appears to be healthy again after struggling with a foot injury all of last season and during the pre-season this year. Freeman led the Colts in tackles last season as a first-year starter. Mathis moves over to be the rush linebacker, taking over for former starter Dwight Freeney. Indianapolis looks to have good depth with Conner, Harvey and Sheppard inside. Johnson was added to the roster on Monday in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. He can play either the rush or the strong side outside linebacking role. Werner, the Colts’ top draft pick last spring, continues to be a work in progress but has played relatively well in the early going.

DEFENSIVE BACKS:

Starters – LCB Greg Toler, S LaRon Landry, S Antoine Bethea, RCB Vontae Davis. Backups – S Sergio Brown, CB Darius Butler, CB Josh Gordy, S Delano Howell, S Joe Lefeged, CB Cassius Vaughn.

The Colts have improved the secondary with the additions of Toler and Landry. They should team with Davis and Bethea to give Indianapolis a strong starting group. Landry and Bethea are both listed as safeties, with either one having the ability to play near the line or back in pass coverage. Butler, Vaughn and Gordy provide pretty good depth at cornerback. Lefeged, Brown and Howell strengthen the safety position.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Starters – P/KO/H Pat McAfee, PK Adam Vinatieri, LS Matt Overton, KR David Reed, PR T.Y. Hilton.

McAfee and Vintatieri combine to give Indianapolis a great one-two punch on special teams. McAfee is the Colts’ punter, kickoff specialist and placement holder. Vinatieri had a strong pre-season and appears ready to start his 19th year in the league. Overton is in his second year as Indianapolis’ long snapper. Reed will most likely handle kickoff returns while Hilton is the primary punt returner. CB Cassius Vaughn can also return kicks for the Colts.

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