Season in Review:
Despite being a bit of a question mark coming into the season, the Colts' linebacking corps turned in a solid performance for the 2009 season. Brackett (115 total tackles) and Session (104) finished 2-3 on the team in tackles (Antoine Bethea led the team with 120), and Wheeler ended up in a starting role after Hagler went down with an injury for the second straight season. Wheeler finished the season with 52 total tackles and Hagler had 36.
For all the talk of increased blitzing under new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, however, the linebackers only ended up contributing 3.5 sacks, with Brackett, Keiaho and Wheeler each getting one and Session being credited for the other half-sack.
However, the blitzing was often effective in hurrying opposing quarterbacks into mistakes and led to a more aggressive defense overall. Session also had two interceptions — one going for a game-sealing touchdown against Houston — and Brackett made an interception.
The versatile Keiaho was a solid reserve and special-teams contributor again, making 26 tackles, 14 on special teams. Humber led the team in special-teams tackles with 17, and Glenn made six solo tackles on special teams. Both Humber and Glenn showed great promise in their special-teams roles, but we still haven't seen what they can do in the regular game.
Brackett is still the perfect leader for this scheme and defense, and the Colts showed that by locking him up with a new contract earlier this month. After an inconsistent 2008, Session blossomed in 2009 with his speed and bone-crushing hits. And Wheeler began to show he is developing the skills to go with his physical gifts.
This is a group that relies on speed to cover the width of the field, and in Brackett's case, the intermediate to deep-middle of the field. Despite the low number of sacks, both Brackett and Session showed surprising effectiveness in the blitz, able to get penetration at the line of scrimmage
The Colts rely on their front four, particularly the end position, for sacks, but added contribution in this area is something the team is surely something the team would like to see.
The primary concern is depth. Keiaho and Hagler are free agents and have not been re-signed, so their future with the team is up in the air. However, the same thing happened after the 2008 season and both players ended up back on the team last fall. There hasn't been much interest in either of the two so the same scenario could play out this year as well.
Humber impressed in training camp and the preseason and led the team in special-teams tackles, so there is some potential there, as well as with Glenn. But with Hagler and Keiaho gone for the time being, there is a serious lack of proven performance behind the three starters.
The Colts have already made their biggest offseason move at this position, locking up Brackett on the first day of free agency with a five-year, $33-million deal, with $12 million of that guaranteed.
The team also signed Brandon Renkart, an outside linebacker, to a contract on March 5. Renkart joined the Colts' practice squad in late December.
At this point, little else is settled. The team will probably not bring in a big name at the position in free agency with the three starting spots locked up, although the return of Hagler or Keiaho is a definite possibility at this point.
Instead, look for the team to draft at least one linebacker next month. Two names to keep an eye on are Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon and Michigan's Brandon Graham, if the Colts make it a first-round priority to begin grooming a player.
Look for a mid-round choice — one possibility is University of Miami MLB Darryl Sharpton — to be a target for the Colts on draft day, and for the team to bring in at least one undrafted free agent. One possibility there is Middle Tennessee State OLB Chris McCoy, who the Colts have shown some interest in and will work out later this month. Look for a scouting report on McCoy later this week.
Talk about it in our Insider's Forum!
Follow ColtPower's updates on Twitter!
Season in Review: Linebackers
Colts Blitz Top Stories
Week 8: FAAB / Blind Bidding GuideFantasy Football Expert Jack Delaney recommends players to consider adding and also includes a price range for how much of your FAAB budget to use.
Scout FantasyTuesday at 1:54 PM
Prescription Notes From Week 4Dr. Roto discusses what he learned from Week 4 of the Fantasy Football season!
Week 7 NFL Offensive LeadersCheck out who put up big offensive numbers week 7
ScoutTuesday at 5:28 PM