INDIANAPOLIS – The offseason changes for the Indianapolis Colts have begun with the coaching staff.
Brian Baker won’t return after serving as defensive line coach for the past two seasons, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The Colts’ defensive line is viewed as one of the team’s strengths, but the pass rush was a major disappointment last season. The team finished with 33 sacks, down from 40 in 2020 and the fewest since coordinator Matt Eberflus’s arrival in 2018. Also, the run defense slipped to 10th (109.1 yards per game, 4.4 per attempt) after ranking 2nd last season.
It’s difficult divvying up the blame for the inconsistent pass rush.
The team opted to enter 2021 with a young, relatively unproven set of pass rushers after not re-signing veteran free agents Justin Houston and Denico Autry.
The result was not as expected.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner led the team for a second year with 7 sacks and Al-Quadin Muhammad was next with 6. Kemoko Turay had 5.5 while rookie Kwity Paye finished with 4.
Other changes might be on the horizon.
Eberflus is a candidate for the vacant head coaching positions in Jacksonville and Chicago.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.