Montae Reagor versus Alan Faneca

Colts defensive tackle Montae Reagor faces a stiff challenge on Monday Night as he works against Pro Bowl offensive lineman Alan Faneca.

In the Colts' system of constantly rotating in and out defensive linemen, right defensive tackle Montae Reagor sees most of his action in the base defense. He will get snaps in the nickel/pass-rush set, but normally what the Colts do here is insert Robert Mathis at left defensive end, move Raheem Brock from that postion to left defensive tackle, and replace Reagor with Larry Tripplett. So opposing offensive lines must prepare for that constant barrage of different defensive linemen to face. 

One matchup that will take place in the trenches that I want to focus on is Montae Reagor versus Pro-Bowl Left Guard Alan Faneca. Reagor has flourished in Tony Dungy's "speed over size" system, because in this system he can use his quickness to create havoc. Reagor is at his best on stunts and twists where he has the opportunity to use his agility and quick hands to an advantage. He has an explosive first-step and uses that quickness to get off the ball and shoot gaps to disrupt the run.

Reagor will need to be at his best on Monday Night as the Colts will need him to be as disruptive against the run as possible to keep the running back from gaining a full head of steam. But that won't be easy. His opponent, Alan Faneca is an exceptional run-blocker. He is tough, aggressive, shows excellent reach on his run blocks, and really mauls his man. Besides that, he also plays with excellent leverage, is quick off the ball and gets into the defender quickly.

Faneca is also excellent in pass protection. The guy is a Pro-Bowler for a reason. He shows excellent foot quickness, the ability to redirect, and gets very good hand placement. He's an exceptionally smart lineman, too. He maintains excellent vision and awareness. This is key against a team like Indianapolis, which uses twists and stunts regularly.

The key to Reagor winning this trench battle is to not let Faneca get his hands on him. Once he does that, he will start to drive and Reagor will be mauled backwards. So the key moment here is right off the snap. If Reagor can use his initial quickness to shoot and disrupt before Faneca can get into him, then he should have the advantage. If not, it will be a very long night for #90.

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