The ILB position is probably the most intriguing position battle at Colts Training Camp. After todays practice, IndyStar insider Stephen Holder announced that the position battle for 1st string ILB is between Jon Bostic and Antonio Morrison. What makes this interesting is that last year, Colts fans know Morrison struggled in 2016. But we saw many flashes of his physical prowess, by witnessing some big hits on running backs. We all know Morrison can lay down some hard hits, but we saw him struggle reading offenses and dropping into coverage. Morrison was overwhelmed in his year and many colts fans know this. How is Morrison still in the Conversation to be first string ILB?
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The first thing I have noticed is that Morrison has dropped a little weight. I think this will help him more in coverage and pursing offensive players. Second, his mental game may have gotten better. What I mean by mental game? Reading offenses, composure, calling defensive audibles, etc. The ILB position, needs to be the vocal leader on the defense. ILB’s like Ray Lewis and Luke Kuechly, all communicate effectively when they read offenses correctly. Even though it’s a possibility that Morrison did improve his mental awareness, but he is only a 2nd year player in the NFL. He still has a lot of learning to do.
Let’s look at Jon Bostic. Back in the beginning of April, the Colts signed Bostic to a one year “prove it” deal. In the past couple years Bostic battled injuries. This lead Bostic getting more time in Special Teams rather than on the 1st string defensive unit at Chicago. Bostic is another ILB that is known to have big hits in games. He does a good job pursing the offensive carrier and making plays that limit their yardage. Bostic is 26 and he has more years under his belt rather than Morrison. In my opinion, we should roll out Bostic as the starting ILB week one with Morrison following behind him. I love Morrison’s potential don’t get me wrong. I think Morrison needs to grow some more maturity by playing behind Bostic this year.
Regarless of who wins over the inside starting spot, it has been great to see the competition ramp up this training camp at the linebacker position.