After playing the majority of his career at the linebacker position, John Simon is making the switch to defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts. With new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus leading the way, Simon is ready for the new challenge. He is also showing that he is more than capable of helping fix the pass-rushing issues that the Colts have had over the last few years.
Unfortunately for the Colts, their defense still has plenty of holes that need to be filled. Simon may be able to help get to the quarterback, but there are still major questions in the secondary.
While we could talk about the secondary all day, let’s focus in on exactly what Simon brings to the field for the Colts.
During the first preseason game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks, Simon was a shining star for the Colts’ defense. He played sparingly but still came through with three tackles and 1.5 sacks. Those numbers should be a major encouragement for the Colts.
At 27-years-old, Simon is one of the veteran leaders of a very young defense. If the Colts are going to compete for a playoff spot, they are going to need their defense to get to the quarterback and force mistakes. Simon will be joined by Denico Autry and Jabaal Sheard as the primary pass-rushers.
Last season with the Colts, Simon put together a solid all-around season. Unfortunately, he was only able to play in nine regular season games. In those nine appearances, Simon racked up 43 total tackles to go along with 3.0 sacks, an interception, a defensive touchdown, and a defended pass, according to ESPN statistics.
Those numbers may not look great, but for the limited time that he played, they were some of the best on a weak defense.
Chris Ballard, the Colts’ general manager, went into the offseason with plenty of money to spend. Many thought he would aggressively pursue high-caliber names on the defensive side of the football. That did not end up happening.
Instead, the Colts seemed to focus on beefing up the offensive line and drafting defense. Autry was signed after a good season with the Oakland Raiders in 2018, but the Colts are hoping for improvement from some of the players that were on their roster in 2017.
Simon being switched to defensive end may very well end up being one of the most important “additions” for Indianapolis. As he showed against the Seahawks, he is more than capable of getting to the quarterback. If he can stay healthy and continue getting to the quarterback, the Colts are going to take a big step forward.