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Cal football alumni Stefan McClure and Darius White sign with the Colts: Q&A with Stampede Blue

Two members of Coach Greg Burns's defensive backfield are off to Indianapolis. How many times will they have to pick off Andrew Luck in practice to impress the coaches?

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Sometimes, good and evil must coexist. The yin and the yang. Undergrad classes with bioengineers and pre-meds. Heroes and villains in blockbuster sequels that have to keep bringing back the villains because they're popular. Delicious pizzas and vile mushrooms. And now, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts and two of their undrafted free agents, S Stefan McClure and CB Darius White. We chatted with Stampede Blue's Editor-in-Chief, Head Writer, Stormborn, King of the Andals and the First Men, Owner of Many Titles, and Super Official Colts Liaison Josh Wilson about our departing DBs and I'm disappointed that I forgot to ask Josh a single question about Pawnee.

1. How does the depth chart look at cornerback and safety? Is there a dire need to upgrade at these positions or is your team pretty stacked?

Josh Wilson (JW): There is certainly a need at safety for the Colts. They currently have Mike Adams, a 35-year old who has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons, and Clayton Geathers, a second-year pro with only a few starts, as the two starting safeties. I would expect that to continue for the duration of the 2016 season (barring injury), as I think the team plans to stick with Adams and Geathers as the two starters. After the season, however, it's very possible that they could move on from Adams, in which case they'd need someone else to step in. It's likely that guy would be T.J. Green, the safety from Clemson the Colts drafted in the second round this year. That would leave Geathers and Green as the starters, but since that's still a year or so away, there's plenty of time for opinions to change. Furthermore, there is a need for depth at the position. Colt Anderson, who has been a key depth guy in recent years, left in free agency, so the team will need another safety or two to step up and make the roster as a depth guy and special teams contributor. Stefan McClure would seem to be well behind some of the other guys competing for that spot at this point, but an impressive offseason and training camp could certainly change that.

2. What kind of skill set do your coaches look for at cornerback and safety?

JW: At cornerback, the Colts want a guy who is able to play in their press man system, needing a cornerback to play well in man coverage. Someone like Vontae Davis, for example, is a perfect fit for their system and has flourished since arriving in Indianapolis. At safety, the Colts really value versatility. They don't really distinguish between free safety and strong safety because they use those two interchangeably, so the Colts need someone who can be a balanced safety and help them in multiple areas—both against the run and the pass.

3. What roles do cornerback and safety play in the Colts' scheme?

JW: The secondary has a huge role in the Colts defense. Head coach Chuck Pagano is a former secondary coach and realizes the importance of having good play from his cornerbacks and safeties, and for the Colts' current situation, the secondary is even more important. The Colts do not have a strong pass rush whatsoever, making it even more crucial to have solid coverage in the back end of the defense. To be completely honest, a lot of the defensive success that we have seen the Colts have in recent seasons has been largely a result of strong secondary play (some games against the prolific Broncos offense come to mind, for example).

4. Have the fans had much of a response to signing McClure and White or are they not even on most fans' radars?

JW: I don't think there has been much of a response so far from most Colts fans, though that's not unusual for undrafted free agents. It seems that most fans will (understandably) look at the list of players signed and then wait a few months until training camp and preseason to really start identifying a few potential keepers. At this time of year, there are some guys that interest fans, however, and I wouldn't particularly say that McClure or White have been among the leaders in that category so far. As is the case for most of these players, they'll need to prove it on the field.

5. What are your evaluations of McClure and White?

JW: I haven't gotten much of a chance to study either of them, so I'm going just based off of what I've heard. Most of that is about Stefan McClure, who seems to be a nice athlete and seems to have nice size for the safety position. In short, he seems to be an overall solid safety and a good player who can give teams what they are looking for in a potential safety. The injury concerns for McClure are a huge negative and red flag, but on the flip side his lack of playing time in college due to those injuries means that he still has room to improve.

6. Not much of a question, but McClure is a fan favorite at Cal because of his character and I highly recommend this profile on him to hear about everything he's endured over his career.

JW: That's awesome! It's always easy to root for a guy like that who has been through so much and is trying to make it in the NFL.

7. Is there any early indication or do you have a guess if the two have a good chance at making the Colts roster?

JW: It's probably too early to tell, as rookie mini-camp hasn't even taken place yet, but I can say that there are some depth spots definitely up for grabs if either Stefan McClure or Darius White really stand out. I'd say that I'm very interested to see what McClure can do in particular, as I think there's a chance he could compete for a depth spot at safety. There are other guys I would consider more likely to earn those spots than him him right now, but I do think McClure's talent bears watching. So at this point I'd say both are long shots to make the roster, but that's the case for pretty much all of the undrafted free agents at this point in the year. If McClure and/or White impress this offseason and in camp, however, there are spots to be had.


Thanks again to Josh Wilson and Stampede Blue for taking the time to talk to us—next time I'm in the area, I'll definitely owe him a steak at Mulligan's Steakhouse and a Lagavulin neat. Follow them on Twitter at @StampedeBlue and @JoshWilsonSB for all McClure-and-White developments.