Saturday, March 25, 2023

Stephen Gilmore on signing with Colts: ‘It just felt right’

The Indianapolis Colts made a big splash in their secondary last week when they signed cornerback Stephen Gilmore to a two-year deal.

After Rock Ya-Sin was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders as compensation for defensive end Yannick Nagakou, the cornerback position quickly became one of the biggest needs on the roster.

But the Colts followed Gilmore—even sending Jim Irsay’s jet to pick him up for the trip. When it was all said and done, Gilmore felt Indy was the right choice.

“I think last week’s trip – I’m coming downstairs, meeting with the coaches and Chris (Ballard). Just felt right. The team had the opportunity, the potential, talking to my family to make sure it It’s the right opportunity for us too,” Gilmore told reporters last week. “So, I’m looking forward to it because I think the future is bright here. This is an occasion that I have decided to come here.”

The five-time Pro Bowler and former Defensive Player of the Year gives a huge boost to a young secondary. Now, the Colts have a bonafide starter on the boundary, while Brandon Facison and Isaiah Rodgers fight it out for other boundary spots in the nickel package.

When it comes to plan changes, Gilmore will be playing in a lot more territory than before. Given his skills as a one man coverage corner, this is the role teams usually employ for him.

But Gilmore believes that working with a zone mentality makes life a little easier for most of her reps.

“I think to be honest with you the zone is a little easier because you’re not as stressed. Obviously, you have to repeat this every day to get better and better — knowing where your help is and things like that, Gilmore said. “I think the more you repeat this, the better and better you are going to get. I think it is with someone, not just because a certain person is in a certain position or a certain style of play. Plays. You just have to repeat it every day.”

The Colts are still likely to add some depth to the cornerback room at some point during the 2022 NFL Draft, but the addition of Gilmore is a big one and shouldn’t be overlooked when reviewing Chris Ballard’s off-season moves.

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