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INDIANAPOLIS – For a secondary returning their top 5 players from last season, there’s work to be done.

Back in the spring, Kenny Moore, the leader of the Colts secondary, went out of his way to state a change that the final line of the Indy defense must do in 2021.

“I think in the back half in general we have some cleaning up to do,” Moore said, unprompted. “We have to play together more. I think we should hang out outside of the building. I think we should stay together after practice.

“We made the points that we needed to make as far as building off each other and being able to play together.”

New cornerbacks coach James Rowe enters a room where the Colts have had zero turnover from last year. All the team’s top corners return and Marvell Tell is back after opting out in 2020.

When Moore describes the on-field portion of playing together more, it’s mostly about knowing everyone’s own responsibility, in case of an individual breakdown.

“Coach Rowe made a point after practice as far as knowing each other’s jobs and creating a chemistry – of knowing what Rock (Ya-Sin) is going to do on third down, or if someone is going to do something, you have to clean up for him,” Moore explains.

“That goes into the chemistry of what we want to achieve as a defense. So knowing our job, but we really want to know the job of the guys to the left and right of us.”

In 2020, the Indy secondary struggled down the stretch, right as the quarterbacks on the schedule started to improve.

For a defense that prides itself so much on not allowing the big play, the Colts struggled in that area last year.

They allowed 53 pass plays of at least 20 yards. That ranked 22nd in the NFL.

In the Wild Card loss to Buffalo, the Bills hit the Colts with 3 pass plays of at least 35 yards.

When taking a glance at the 2021 schedule, it is littered with some of the game’s best wide receivers:

DeAndre Hopkins. Julio Jones. A.J. Brown. Stefon Diggs. Mike Evans. Chris Godwin. DK Metcalf.

Seeing that goes back to what Moore was pointing out in the spring.

It’s something that veteran T.J. Carrie, who was the team’s 3rd corner to end last season, agrees with, while pointing to some things the group has already done this offseason.

“I think one of the steps we took upon ourselves is doing a lot of off the field activities together,” Carrie says. “Building our brotherhood off the field. It’s easy to build those chemistry aspects during the season because you are always in the building. But when you truly step off the field and are away from the building, ‘Hey man, let’s go shoot some pool. Let’s go bowling. Let’s go do some things to really get to know each other as teammates and as brothers because that unity and that strength it translates on the field.’

“I think that’s something we really harped upon ourselves to get together off the field and really do more things off the field to build that chemistry.”

Will that lead to a secondary that holds up better with the personnel staying intact?