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Dwight Freeney accepting, adjusting to new role

Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney AP

He’s neither young, nor cheap, nor really a linebacker at all.

But the early returns are good on Dwight Freeney’s transition in Colts camp.

As coach Chuck Pagano switches them from a 4-3 to a 3-4 hybrid system, defensive ends Freeney and Robert Mathis are no longer able to simply get down into a stance and speed-rush, as they have for years.

That’s a challenge for the 32-year-old Freeney, who sounds like he’s embracing it.

“Listen, when you’ve been doing the same thing every single day, you get real good at it, but this is exciting, something fresh and new, and possibilities are endless,” Freeney told Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. “It’s a proven defense. San Francisco, the Steelers, the Ravens, they’re always in the top five in defense. The proof is there.

“I dropped back in coverage a bit my first couple of years, so it’s not completely unfamiliar. The last six, seven years, I haven’t dropped back at all, so it’s just a matter of remembering what I used to do.”

Freeney will make just over $14 million this season, the final year of his contract. There was trade speculation this offseason, but nothing came of it.

While it’s unlikely they’ll make another such commitment to an old player at a new position, his acceptance of the new role is another sign the Colts new attitude is catching on.

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10 Responses to “Dwight Freeney accepting, adjusting to new role”
  1. millerhour says: Jun 16, 2012 11:33 AM

    As a Chicago Bears fan I am very excited for the first game of the season, against the Indianapolis Colts, a lot of new players on offense, rookie QB in his first pro game, and a new defensive scheme? New faces in coaching and management. Last seasons worst team? What better situation could you ask for in a first game?

  2. polo550 says: Jun 16, 2012 12:13 PM

    Why would he mention the 49ers defense in the same sentence as the Steelers and Ravens? They had one good year defensively. Those two defenses have a tradition of being in the top five. Longevity. The 9ers need at least another 6 or 7 years before the Steelers or Ravens will let them sit down and eat at that table.

  3. kegrun says: Jun 16, 2012 2:21 PM

    “As a Chicago Bears fan I am very excited for the first game of the season, against the Indianapolis Colts, a lot of new players on offense, rookie QB in his first pro game, and a new defensive scheme? New faces in coaching and management. Last seasons worst team? What better situation could you ask for in a first game?”

    Be careful what you wish for. Everyone said the same thing about the Atlanta Falcons when they got a new staff, qb, rb, and other things after the Mike Vick debacle. That first year (2008) of the new team they went 11-5 and won their opening game of the season.

  4. randallflagg52 says: Jun 16, 2012 4:27 PM

    kegrun says:Jun 16, 2012 2:21 PM

    “As a Chicago Bears fan I am very excited for the first game of the season, against the Indianapolis Colts, a lot of new players on offense, rookie QB in his first pro game, and a new defensive scheme? New faces in coaching and management. Last seasons worst team? What better situation could you ask for in a first game?”

    Be careful what you wish for. Everyone said the same thing about the Atlanta Falcons when they got a new staff, qb, rb, and other things after the Mike Vick debacle. That first year (2008) of the new team they went 11-5 and won their opening game of the season.

    ==================================

    Atlanta then proceeded to choke in every playoff game since 2008.

  5. preventoffense says: Jun 16, 2012 4:47 PM

    millerhour – I hope the Bears players view it just like you do. It will be the perfect trap game to open the season against an energized small group of talented veterans who have convinced a larger group of very talented 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year players that they can beat any team. It may be the classic case of they don’t know better.

  6. skodi says: Jun 16, 2012 5:05 PM

    polo550 says:
    Jun 16, 2012 12:13 PM
    Why would he mention the 49ers defense in the same sentence as the Steelers and Ravens? They had one good year defensively. Those two defenses have a tradition of being in the top five. Longevity. The 9ers need at least another 6 or 7 years before the Steelers or Ravens will let them sit down and eat at that table

    ———————————————–
    1981 – #2 Total Defense
    1987 – #1 Total Defense
    1988 – #3 Total Defense
    1990 – #3 Total Defense
    1995 – #1 Total Defense
    1997 – #1 Total Defense,
    2011 – #4 Total Defense

    There’s 6 or 7 more years for you.

  7. millerhour says: Jun 16, 2012 5:09 PM

    millerhour – I hope the Bears players view it just like you do. It will be the perfect trap game to open the season against an energized small group of talented veterans who have convinced a larger group of very talented 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year players that they can beat any team. It may be the classic case of they don’t know better.

    ————————————————–

    Generally pro football players, and coaches, never look past any team. I have a feeling they will be prepared to play another professional football team and will not falter. I really hope it is a confidence builder, because even when the Bears have played well the past few years they always start out the season slow.

  8. polo550 says: Jun 16, 2012 8:17 PM

    Skodi says:

    1981 – #2 Total Defense1987 – #1 Total Defense1988 – #3 Total Defense1990 – #3 Total Defense1995 – #1 Total Defense1997 – #1 Total Defense,2011 – #4 Total DefenseThere’s 6 or 7 more years for you.
    _————————————————–

    Hahaha. That’s funny. I’m not talking about going back to when I was 6. We are talking the past 10-12 years. Who cares about the early 80s and 90s? Go back a little further and you might find the Steelers in the 70s. LONGEVITY and CONSISTENCY. You can’t put them in the same breath as the Steelers and Ravens. Lmao. You can’t go 2 years then 5 then 14. That’s rediculous.

  9. warrenpeacephotography says: Jun 16, 2012 11:55 PM

    1981 – #2 Total Defense
    1987 – #1 Total Defense
    1988 – #3 Total Defense
    1990 – #3 Total Defense
    1995 – #1 Total Defense
    1997 – #1 Total Defense,
    2011 – #4 Total Defense

    HA! So where did they rank in the 14 years between 1997 and 2011?

  10. skodi says: Jun 17, 2012 2:50 AM

    warrenpeacephotography says:
    Jun 16, 2012 11:55 PM’

    polo550 says:
    Jun 16, 2012 8:17 PM

    ——————————

    Oh. I didn’t realize you were handpicking the years you actually count as played in the NFL

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