QUINTIN ECHOLS (AP Photo)
| By Jerry Langton |
Posted Jun 20, 2007
At a stout 328 pounds, Echols looks and plays like a consummate space-eating, two-gap nose guard. So what's he doing in Indy? Are the Colts looking to change their defense enough to accomodate the big run-stuffer, or are they hoping to change Echols into a player who fits their defense?
Quintin Echols, , DT, Kansas State Numbers: 6007/328, 5.05 forty, 2.93 twenty, 1.73 ten, 25 reps, 31.5 vertical, 8'8 long, 4.78 shuttle, 7.95 cone
2006 stats: 11 tackles, 20 assists, 4-14 tackle for loss, 1-5 sack, 2 forced fumbles
The Player: Okay, what's this guy doing here? For years Colts fans have been begging and pleading for a huge, space-eating defensive tackle and Bill Polian has rewarded them with tiny, shoot-the-gap guys instead. Maybe he was serious, but it seemed awfully insulting when he signed 258-pound nose man Brandon Hicks out of Bowling Green in 2003. It was as though Polian was telling the fans to shut up — he was in charge and he'd decide how big or small the defensive linemen would be. And they would be small.
So now here's Echols, who is the very model of a two-gap, blocker-absorbing, stay-at-home nose tackle.
He has all of the good qualities of a middle guard. He's immensely strong, can shed blocks, thinks nothing of taking on two blockers and hits like a wrecking ball. He has a thick, strong lower body that helps him stand his ground and he is, at times, immovable. He's smart and instinctive — he usually know where the ball is — and quick off the snap. Echols understands leverage and uses it to frustrate blockers. His presence generally makes things much easier for the defenders around him.
|Quintin Echols at the NFL Combine|
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
But he also brings along the baggage one normally associates with big men. His lateral movement is limited and he has no pass rush moves other than bludgeoning the guy directly in front of him. More important, and perhaps more predictable, though, is that he can get overweight and run out of gas quickly. When he's 'on,' Echols looks like a solid pro, but when he's exhausted, he's just another guy. Too many times I've seen him stumble around, too tired to make a play, and be stood up by some tiny halfback. Many have questioned his work ethic, dedication to conditioning and intensity.