Photo credit: Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Indianapolis Colts made a splash when they signed Jabaal Sheard to a three year $25M dollar deal one year ago. Sheard consistently produces when it comes to getting after the quarterback and that’s one of the most important aspects of professional football. The problem is Sheard led the Colts with 5.5 sacks in 2017 and that’s not enough collectively. Some other players on Indianapolis’ roster will have to step up. Whether that’s John Simon, Hassan Ridgeway, or Margus Hunt it doesn’t matter. Somebody out of that group has to be around 5 sacks for the year and Sheard has to get his total up to at least 8 for the season. Everyone on that defensive line has to improve their sack output if they want to be competitive in the future. Jabaal Sheard can’t be the only guy that’s asked to handle those responsibilities because it should be a team effort. The good news is Sheard doesn’t seem to be slowing down and that’s obvious when you plug in his game tape. The first thing that stands out is Sheard is usually able to overpower the offensive lineman that is lined up across from him. That’s such a huge advantage to have and it will serve this guy well as he continues his career with the Colts. One of thing that must be pointed out is there’s a new regime calling the shots up there in Indiana. Former NFL Quarterback Frank Reich is the head coach of Indianapolis so they are turning the page on the Chuck Pagano era. Jabaal Sheard will have to take on a leadership role under Reich and prove he can inspire the other players on the defensive side of the ball. They aren’t that talented on the defensive front so Sheard will have to rally those lesser known players and find a way to turn them into contributors. It’s not an easy task but the 29 year old (Sheard) has earned that alpha dog role.
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The Colts pass rush will fall on Jabaal Sheard’s shoulders. He has to come out and have a big season.