Colts All-Time Roster: Defense

The Indianapolis Colts have a long and storied history going all the way back to 1953 when they cheap jerseys china were founded in Baltimore. The team won three NFL Championships (pre AFL-NFL merger) and two Super Bowls. The Colts have had some impressive players on their roster, including some of the best of their era.

The Colts are just a few weeks away from meeting for training camp and starting off the 2015 season. But today we look at the history of the franchise and try to assemble an All-Time roster for the Colts.

First up is a look at the Colts All-Time Defensive unit.

For this exercise, we’ll be using a more traditional 4-3 defensive scheme.

Defensive End

Dwight Freeney, wholesale jerseys china 2002-2012

Robert Mathis, 2003-Current

This might be the easiest position to fill on the roster (besides QB). Freeney and Mathis are the franchise leaders in sacks by a wide margin.

Mathis has the overall lead with 111 sacks (by way of having played with the team for longer) and Freeney has 107.5. They are also a duo known for perfecting the art of the strip-sack, ending many-a-comeback with a late fumble. Mathis is credited with 50 forced fumbles while Freeney has 43.

While neither player offered much in terms of run support, they were the bane of opposing quarterbacks for nearly a decade. The speed rushers attacked with spin moves and karate chops that would keep lesser QBs awake at night. Opponents had to account for both players, but it was tough to double team them on the same play.

Defensive Tackle

Art Donovan, 1953-1961

Billy Ray Smith, 1961-1970

While defensive stats are hard to come by for players from the 1950s and early, accolades are not. Art Donovan is a Hall of Famer who played in five Pro Bowls, was voted to four All-Pro teams, won two championships and was voted to the 1950s All-Decade Team. He also made the game saving play in the 1958 NFL Championship. Donovan had the drive ending tackle against the Giants in overtime, allowing Johnny Unitas to lead an 80-yard game winning drive.

Donovan played alongside Billy Ray Smith for five seasons and during that time the Colts led the NFL in run defense multiple times. Smith’s motto: “We always play for a shutout. Nothing fancy, nothing sensational. Just a shutout.” Smith was the anchor of the line during his time and a captain for years. He didn’t rack up the accolades like some of his teammates, but did the dirty work in the trenches.

Honorable Mention

Fred Miller, 1963-1972

Miller essentially took over for Donovan a couple years after retirement. He went to three Pro Bowls and continued the dominance of the line during that era for the Colts.

Linebacker cheap nfl jerseys

Outside LB wholesale jerseys Don Shinnick, 1957-69

Middle LB Mike Curtis, 1965-75

Outside LB Duane cheap jerseys Bickett, 1985-93

Despite recent history, the Colts actually have had a lot of talented linebackers to represent the Horseshoe.

At middle linebacker is Mike Curtis, who was a team captain for most of his tenure in Baltimore. In 1970, the same year the Colts won Super Bowl V, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro rosters. Despite sacks not being a recorded stat in his time, estimates put him with 22 for his career, including this gem from a rougher NFL. Curtis also had 25 career interceptions and is considered the 13th most valuable player in franchise history.

Joining Curtis is Don Shinnick, who holds the NFL record for most interceptions by a linebacker at 37. Shinnick was on three championship rosters (and was a coach with the Raiders for two more) in his 13 years with the Colts. Curtis and Shinnick were teammates for five seasons, and Shinnick retired just before the Colts won the Super Bowl.

Rounding out the group is Duane Bickett, who was drafted just after the team moved to Indianapolis. Bickett has the distinction of being third all-time in sacks for the franchise (behind two other guys on this list). Bickett finished with 50 sacks during his career in Indianapolis, to go along with nine interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and 14 fumble recoveries. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the year and named to the Pro Bowl in 1987.

Cornerback

Bobby Boyd, 1960-68

Eugene Daniel, 1984-96

Most people have probably never heard of Bobby Boyd, but he was a stud for the Colts. In just nine years he had 57 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), which ties him for 13th all-time in the NFL. He is seventh in team value and was named to three All-Pro and two Pro Bowl rosters.

On the other side of the field is Eugene Daniel, an eighth round draft pick who paid off in a big way. In his 13 year career with the Colts, Daniel had 35 interceptions (three returned for touchdowns), a pair of sacks, and 720 tackles.

Safety

Jerry cheap jerseys from china Logan, 1963-72

Rick Volk, 1967-75

Jerry Logan was a three time Pro Bowler who finished his career with 34 interceptions (in an era when teams preferred to run the ball) and took five back for touchdowns. He was

Along side Logan for the later half of his career was Rick Volk. Volk had 31 career interceptions in a Colts uniform. The two players anchored a tough secondary. Volk went to three Pro Bowls and was elected to the 1971 All-Pro team. Both Logan and Volk were on the roster when the Colts lost Super Bowl III and again when they won Super Bowl V.

The four players making up the Colts secondary accounted for 157 interceptions over their careers. With Freeney and Mathis on the pass rush, this would be a very difficult team to throw the ball against.

Thoughts on the roster, hit us up on twitter or in the comments.

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