The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


August 19, 2013

Defense getting closer to Pagano's vision



The final score of the Buffalo game obscured a solid start by the first-team defense that forced a punt and recovered a fumble on its two possessions.

In fact, the only touchdown allowed by the defense in the first half of either preseason game was scored during a two-minute drill by the Bills against a unit featuring many of Indianapolis' third-stringers.

Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel had nine of his 16 completions and 68 of his 107 yards on the drive that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass.

The main damage against the first team has come on long runs by the Bills' C.J. Spiller and the Giants' David Wilson early in the game. In each case, the running back has cut back against the Colts' overpursuit and used the defense's aggressiveness against it.

Pagano said Wilson's big gain was the result of a miscommunication between two defenders and admitted the defense still has some work to do.

"We're going to keep working to eliminate the big plays, the chunk plays in the run and pass game," he said. "It was unfortunate we had the PI (pass interference) which gave up a big chunk there, but in the one run, one guy thought one guy was supposed to be somewhere else, and we've just got to trust the guy next to you and that he's going to be where he's supposed to be."

Toler made up for his penalty by intercepting Eli Manning on the next possession, and Walden tied for the team lead with six tackles and added a sack against the Giants. They're just two of the many additions general manager Ryan Grigson made during the offseason to bring the Colts' personnel more in line with the needs of the 3-4 scheme.

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