New Colts GM Chris Ballard identified a weakness. This month he has signed LBs Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, John Simon, and Sean Spence.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2017
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out, the Colts have signed four linebackers in March. This is a team that finished 8-8 in 2016 and had the third worst total defense in the NFL. Led by captain and quarterback Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts need to revolutionize the defense before the 2017 season kicks off.
Sean Spence arrives in Indianapolis after spending last season with the Tennessee Titans. Before his one-year stint with the Titans, Spence spent three seasons with the team that drafted him- the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A linebacker from Miami (he played his high school football at Northwestern High School in Miami and then college football at the University of Miami), Spence has his strengths and weaknesses. The player is a bone-shattering tackler and plays exceptionally well against the run. His weaknesses are in pass-coverage. He has a tough time defending tight ends and slot receivers on short routes and has yet to have an interception in his career.
Sean Spence played his entire NFL career learning from and working under living-legend defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Spence followed LeBeau from Pittsburgh to Tennessee when the longtime defensive coordinator wanted a new challenge after spending 10 years with the Steelers. LeBeau has coached some of the best defensive players in the league during that time span: Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Joey Porter among others. All of those players were hard-hitters and dedicated, motivated professionals. Sean Spence plays with a similar edge and he brings some of that LeBeau wisdom to his new home in Indianapolis.
Expect the Indianapolis Colts to continue to improve their defense, especially through the draft by adding some younger players in the secondary. The Colts are clearly thinking “defense first” in their approach to the 2017 NFL off-season.
Michael Berns is Editor in Chief of Endzonescore.com. He also contributes to college football writing: particularly covering the Illinois Fighting Illini and all things BigTen. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter –@MichaelBerms.