Moore believes in secondary's talent, potential

May 3—INDIANAPOLIS — It is arguably the most talked about topic of the Indianapolis Colts' offseason — and likely the biggest disconnect between the fan base and the front office.

General manager Chris Ballard has repeatedly expressed confidence in a young defensive secondary, and he backed his words up by making no major additions to the unit through free agency or the first two days of the NFL Draft.

Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore II and veteran strong safety Julian Blackmon were re-signed — allowing the unit's leadership to remain intact — but many fans were hoping for a more aggressive approach.

Moore suggested the Colts already have everything they need.

"I think whenever they bring in a veteran, it's always open arms, and we're very welcoming of whoever it is — whether it's a vet or a young guy — and I think we're always just ready to work," Moore said. "Whoever it is, I know they can actually help us in the back end. But who's to say that we need more help? We have a great scheme here. We have great guys here that can help us, and I know we'll put it all together."

For all the flack the secondary receives, the pass defense actually ranked higher last season than the run defense in a pair of key categories.

Indianapolis was 16th in passing yards allowed and 10th in touchdown passes surrendered. That compares favorably to its rankings of 24th and 29th, respectively, against the run.

Another crucial metric, however, favors the ground defense.

The Colts ranked 19th with an average of 6.2 yards allowed per pass attempt and 10th with a 4.1-yard average per attempt against the run.

The latter stat is likely a reflection of the youth in the secondary, where missed assignments often led to big plays.

"We had a lot of guys with first-year experience last year," Moore said. "So you couldn't really do anything about (miscues) because they hadn't seen it before — whether it's tempo, adjustments, motions. So now you're kind of getting the feel of it.

"Obviously, going through walkthroughs right now, they've got a lot more time. ... So just today I was telling (corners) JuJu (Brents) and Jaylon (Jones) I see growth already. And that's just from having meetings and being able to correlate the views to 'class on the grass,' which is walkthrough. And they felt good about it. I felt good about it. So, from there, I feel like we can just ascend, and that's exciting to the entire group. I think that creates self-confidence, not only to me but for them as well."

Open competition is another way the group could improve as a whole this spring and summer.

Moore and Blackmon are heavy favorites to retain their starting roles. But the two outside corner spots and free safety are wide open.

Brents and Jones are joined by Dallis Flowers — recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon — and Darrell Baker Jr. in the competition for the outside jobs.

Rodney Thomas II, Nick Cross and Daniel Scott — who missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL — are expected to battle at free safety.

Ballard also reserved the right to continue adding to the roster after selecting a pair of cornerbacks — Auburn's Jaylin Simpson and Marshall's Micah Abraham — in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, on the final day of the draft.

"There's some veterans out there that can still play," Ballard said. "We'll dig and investigate all of them, and then make a decision if we think they are the right fit for us as we go along."

Like Ballard, however, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is confident in the talent already on the roster.

He's looking forward to training camp and the preseason games — where the competition will really begin to heat up — and he has a very specific trait he's looking for to separate the contenders.

"Now it's just the consistency," Bradley said. "Who is going to step up and be that guy that takes the next step there as a corner? Kenny, we feel really good about and what he brings. We trust Kenny and his consistency.

"With those other guys, it's — play in and play out — who can play at the standard we're looking to play at?"

Moore feels the trust and belief from the front office in the entire room, and he believes that faith will be rewarded.

The secondary has work to do — just as every other position — but Moore doesn't believe it's a question of talent.

Brents played just nine games last season while dealing with a litany of nagging ailments, and Flowers was sidelined after four starts.

"We've got the guys in the room," Moore said. "I think the only thing that we lacked last season was just being durable and just being available. And that hurts the chemistry. That hurts the continuity part about having guys on the field each week. I think once we see certain looks, once we see things — I guess — repeatedly, we all gain the sense of mind that — something that (former Indianapolis head coach) Frank (Reich) used to say was 'accelerated vision.'

"... That's what you start gain, and that's what you need in this league as far as knowing what's coming and knowing how the offense wants to attack you. So, yeah, I tend to agree with Chris and his thoughts on the back end."