After a disappointing rookie season for T.J. Green, the Indianapolis Colts are hoping he can have a breakout second season.
Just how much does second-year defensive coordinator Ted Monachino hope Green can improve? A Landon Collins type jump. Translation? Beyond leaps and bounds.
Green appeared in 15 games as a rookie in 2016, totaling just 43 tackles and 2 passes defended. According to Pro Football Focus, Green was the lowest rated safety in 2016 with a player grade of just 38.3. Compare that to Collins, who in 2015 graded out at 58.0.
Collins, however, made a major jump in his second season and was graded as the second highest safety with a player grade of 91.7. He was a candidate for Defensive Player of the year and finished with 125 tackles, 4 sacks, and 5 interceptions. Cementing himself as one of the best young players in the game.
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Can Green really make that type of leap in 2017? Again, Monachino thinks so. He recently sat down with Colts.com to talk about the second year safety.
“I think you figured out that young players are always going to be young players no matter how talented they are. T.J. made quantum leaps in some areas; he needs to continue to grow in a lot of different areas. Obviously, I don’t think he played to the level that he believed he could have, and I think that with the time that Greg has spent with him starting right after the season this year all the way through the season last year – and he’s another role guy too. We can do a lot of things with T.J. So I see the arrow way up on T.J. Green and I think in his second year, you look at a guy like Landon Collins the jump he made from year one to year two, we would hope T.J. could make a similar jump.”
Two things come from this.
First, Green is a freak of an athlete, but continually looked lost at times during his rookie season. His five total penalties were 3rd on the team and each one seemed to be a rookie mistake. If Green can make a major jump this year it will come down to cutting out some of these mistakes.
Second, Monachino is not necessarily saying Green will be as dominate as Collins. Collins came into the league and had over 100 tackles as a rookie. He started all 16 games, while Green started just four last year.
Ideally, the Colts are just hoping that at some point things begin to click for Green and he can become a starter down the stretch. That still is a reach after the Colts brought back Darius Butler to play safety alongside Clayton Geathers.