Indianapolis Colts Sign Nose Tackle Brandon McKinney: Fan's Reaction

The Indianapolis Colts finally have their nose tackle for their new 3-4 defense. Well, they at least have someone on the roster who can play nose tackle now. After being very active through the first two weeks of free agency, things slowed down in Indianapolis and the team was left without a big body to many the middle of the defense. On April 5 the team helped solve that problem by signing free agent defensive tackle Brandon McKinney.

As a fan of the team, McKinney is the kind of player I have been begging for for years. McKinney stands six-foot-two inches tall and weighs 345 pounds. It’s no secret that the Indianapolis defense has long struggled against the run. Anthony “Booger” McFarland is the last defensive tackle I remember that did a decent job defending against the run. Shortly after coach Pagano was hired, I remember looking at the list of free agent defensive players from Baltimore and noticing McKinnney’s name. A 3-4 defense is not complete without a big body in the middle that can occury defenders and create space for others to work. At this time, McKinney appears to be the best option the team has at that position.

The addition of McKinney isn’t something fans should get too exited over. He’s never been a great player and never seen consistent playing time at either San Diego or Baltimore. He has played behind some very talented players though and hopefully learned a lot from them. Fans can only hope that McKinney soaked in a lot playing in Baltimore and watching Haloti Ngata and Terrance Cody every day. Maybe this will be a chance for McKinney to finally prove his worth and have a breakout season.

Like the rest of the offseason signings, fans have to like the new general manager Ryan Grigson isn’t afraid to take chances on players in the free agent pool. McKinney is another low risk signing that could pay off for the team. If he doesn’t, the team can go with a younger alternative in his place. If he does, it’s another signing that could go a long way toward helping Pagano build a monster on defense in Indianapolis.

Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He also runs the blog that covers the team. Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.

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Could the Indianapolis Colts Defense Be Dominant in 2012? Fan's Take

The Indianapolis Colts are making big improvements already this offseason in preparation for the 2012 NFL season. They hired Chuck Pagano as head coach from the Baltimore Ravens and are hoping to bring his Raven-style defense to Indianapolis. They’ve made several strong moves so far in free agency and may be more prepared than many think to make the switch to a 3-4 hybrid defense. With several months left to fill needs in free agency and with the NFL draft approaching, I think Indianapolis could be much better than fans think at this point.

The additions to two former Baltimore players, Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski should provide a big boost. Both will likely step in as starters and play major roles in helping others learn and feel comfortable in the new defensive scheme. Redding is one of the better 3-4 defense ends in the game and Zbikowski fills a major need at safety alongside Antoine Bethea.

The biggest remaining need is at nose tackle. Nose tackle is one of the most important positions in a 3-4 and is one where Indianapolis is currently lacking. The closest fit to this position on the current roster is Antonio Johnson. At just 310 pounds, he isn’t the ideal fit at nose tackle. There are several options in both free agency and the NFL draft. with the addition of someone at nose tackle, Indianapolis will have a strong defensive line in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 front. Fili Moala could fit in very good as a 3-4 defense end opposite Redding and Drake Nevis should be a disruptive force wherever he plays in the new defense.

I think this scheme is perfect for the personnel because it will instantly give Indianapolis one of, if not the best, linebacking groups in the NFL. Robert Mathis recently stated that the SAM linebacker spot and Dwight Freeney would play the rush linebacker position. The Colts’ two inside linebackers, Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner, should continue to improve and will likely be very good in a system where plays are funneled toward the linebackers.

I think fans who think Indianapolis could be in for a down year may be pleasantly surprised. This defense already has the makings of being very good in 2012. Only time will tell, but I think fans may be pleased with the success the team has on the field next season.

Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a lifelong fan of the Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl XLIV in Miami and follows the team closely. He runs a blog about the team at . Follow him on Twitter @kyler11.

Indianapolis Colts – The Team

Although the Indianapolis Colts were officially founded in 1953 in Baltimore, they have roots much further back in American football, beginning in 1913 with the Dayton Triangles. While in Baltimore, the Colts managed three NFL Championships and two Super Bowls. Since moving in 1984, the team has won one Super Bowl, two Conference Championships, and ten Division Championships. They have a total of 24 playoff appearances, 14 of which have been since the team moved to Indianapolis.

The Colts’ move from Baltimore to Indianapolis was one full of legal disputes and emotion. After years of fighting with Baltimore to get updated facilities, the Colts owner became firmly convinced that the team would not ever get a new stadium in that town. Officials went so far as to place an amendment in the city charter prohibiting the building of new stadiums. Several times it seemed as if renovations and improvements for the old stadium would be approved and each time the deal was found undesirable by one of the parties, causing it to fall through.

Eventually, the owner began earnest negotiations to move the team somewhere more supportive. The NFL granted the team permission to move, causing the Maryland legislature to sign a bill giving Baltimore the right of eminent domain over the team. Two days later, the team was moved in the middle of the night using fifteen Mayflower Transit trucks, all taking different routes. To this day, when the team plays games in Baltimore, against the Ravens, they are not referred to by their name, but rather as “Indy” or the “Indianapolis professional football team.”

In 2008, the Lucas Oil Stadium replaced the RCA Dome as the home of the Indianapolis Colts. The new stadium seats 63,000 for football games, and cost approximately 720 million dollars to build. The stadium boasts a retractable roof that is open for games unless the weather is poor. The interior of the stadium is not waterproof, requiring that the roof stay closed during inclement weather to keep from flooding the field and destroying the electronics. There is also a retractable glass wall at one end of the stadium that serves as a gate and is the largest of its size in the league.

Off the field, the Indianapolis Colts are heavily involved in their community, giving back as much as they can to the fans who have given them so much. Programs include the All Pro Dads, which promotes building strong relationship between fathers and their children, the Basket of Hope which gives gifts and inspiration to children diagnosed with cancer, and the Bleed Blue Blood Drive. Other programs that are supported by the team are focused on helping children learn to live healthy and productive lives by encouraging active lifestyles and educational excellence.

The Indianapolis Colts have had a long and interesting past. Despite their difficulties, they have managed to consistently play a good game of football, entertaining fans of all ages and becoming a contender to watch for each season.