Indianapolis Colts linebacker Pat Angerer was cleared to play in week two against the Miami Dolphins, as announced by head coach Chuck Pagano at his weekly press conference Wednesday, Sept. 11, and it could not happen at a better time for his defense.
While showing off its aptitude against the run versus the Oakland Raiders in the opening game of the season, the Colts defense struggled in containing Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, and had further difficulty getting off the field on a few critical third down plays in the second half.
"Going back to the read stuff and the plunge stuff that Oakland did, we got to be on a communication cycle and I’ll be the first to admit that communication is number one," defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. "Sometimes we weren’t communicating to the back end to the front end and it got messed up a little bit."
The communication issue should begin to mend with Angerer's return to the field. Angerer was out last week after he was unable to pass a concussion test on Sept. 5, which he suffered during the preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 29.
“He did pretty good yesterday," Manusky said. "It was kind of weird going into the week with him getting some signs of a concussion but for the most part right now, his mind is clear. … It was good that the doctors and the trainers caught it prior to him going into the game because it could have messed him up. We’re lucky to have him back and we’re looking forward to him.”
Angerer missed the first six games in 2012 because of a broken foot, and never got on track after his return. He only registered 21 total tackles for the season after leading the team the previous year.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill won't be as much of a threat to take off out of the pocket as Pryor was, but has previously shown enough mobility, including against the Colts last season, to keep him contained as much as possible.
The ability to keep him contained comes through communicating as a defense with one another, and Angerer provides another voice for everyone to listen.
"It’s that communication that’s vital in the NFL for each snap and each play," Manusky said.
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