The Indianapolis Colts went from from a base 4-3 to a 3-4 on their way to improving by nine wins. Going from 2-14 to 11-5 was nothing short of incredible, even with pieces that didn’t quite fit. They called their D a “hybrid” of the 3-4 and 4-3 because they weren’t quite all there yet. And now only players who fit a 3-4 will stay in Indy.
Even Dwight Freeney, as successful player there is in Indianapolis Colts history had to be let go.
Indianapolis Colts OL
In the offseason, Indy added RT Gosder Cherilous and Left Guard Donald Thomas. Both will start and provide an upgrade to the protection of Andrew Luck, the franchise quarterback. Of course, the man leading the charge is guy protecting his blind side, Anthony Castonzo, who hails from OLU, also known as Boston College. The Indianapolis Colts drafted Hugh Thornton from the Illini; who is reunited with his previous line coach from Illinois. He’ll back up Mike McGlynn at Right Guard, but he’s an intriguing prospect. He’s overcome so much to get where he is. Thornton has gone through a lot of adversity to get to the NFL. And I mean genuine adversity; not the cliched “adversity” you hear from college football players and in “coachspeak.”
During his childhood, Hugh Thornton saw his parents get divorced, his mother and sister murdered while visiting them in Jamaica and he had to move in with his aunt after being abused by his father while living with him in Idaho. He made this move his senior year of high school across the country to Ohio.
I don’t mean to sound all Les Miserables, as draft night was actually a joyous event. He’ll be reunited with Coach Gilbert on the Colts and join former Illini CB Vontae Davis in Indy. (You might have read about Vontae Davis recent Twitter flap a couple months ago.)
Samson Satele, who is good, but nowhere near as awesome as his name truly sounds, starts at Center.
Indianapolis Colts DL
They paid starter money for a career back-up in Ricky Jean Francois. However, he fits what Chuck Pagano wants to do, so he’s probably worth it. He can play either E or T, but he’ll start at Right End. Opposite him is Cory Redding, backed up by Lawrence Guy. Aubrayo Franklin enters his 11th season, and he still keeps going, backed up by Josh Chapman, a huge mountain of meat delivered from the Alabama Crimson Tide. All in all, this is far from the Colts’ biggest strength as a team.
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Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@PaulMBanks)