There’s nothing quite like the optimism that NFL teams find in May when the regular season is still months away from starting and best-case scenarios are the ones in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Players are in the best shape of their lives, offseason tweaks have resulted in great progress and bold proclamations for the year to come sprout up like weeds in an untended field. One such proclamation comes from defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who signed with a Colts team that’s failed to impress defensively for several years and made numerous additions to the unit in free agency and the draft in hopes of changing that.
According to Hankins, those efforts have been right on the money. During an appearance on NFL Network, Hankins said that he believes the Colts are at the top of the heap.
“Right now I feel like we got probably the best defense in the AFC,” Hankins said. “On paper, it looks good, but we’ve got to go out there and prove it. We’ve got a great quarterback here, as y’all know, Andrew Luck, and some great weapons on offense. So, if we can just come together during OTAs, and once training camp starts, get a good feel of everybody and just trust each other, I feel like we’ll be real dominant out there.”
With so many new pieces, it should probably go without saying that non-contact practices in the spring can’t provide a full picture of how things will look on defense in Indianapolis when things start getting real later this year. The good news is that they went 8-8 with a poor defense last year so they probably don’t need to make it all the way to the top of the mountain in order to do their part to push the team to a better record in 2017.