Our writer Zach Sears had the pleasure of interviewing Grover Stewart, the Colts’ second-year defensive lineman.
The Colts’ defense is thin. Coming off of a season where they ranked 30th in scoring defense and 29th in sack percentage, they will need some beef on the inside. Al Woods is aging and Hassan Ridgeway has proving to do. In 2018, the Colts will need second-year player Grover Stewart to step up his play.
Stewart didn’t start any games last season, recording 12 tackles. Playing 4-3 defensive tackle in the Colts’ new defensive scheme, he will have a chance to shine in year two. Grover definitely has improving to do in his second year. Coming out of college, scouts viewed him as an athletic freak with an NFL ready frame but lacking great quickness and finesse. “Getting off the ball quicker and making a new line of scrimmage” has been a focus for Stewart in this offseason.
The Colts saw veterans Jabaal Sheard and John Simon break out in 2017, exceeding all expectations. According to Stewart, being around Sheard and Woods is great because “both of those guys push me either on the field or in the weight room” and “make sure that I’m not slacking around.” Sheard and Simon are seasoned veterans, and Stewart listens closely to their advice. “I know that they know what it takes to be in the league and being successful in the league,” he remarks.
Coming into training camp, the Colts are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. Despite Andrew Luck seemingly being healthy, many doubt Indy’s ability to eclipse last season’s win total. Some even have the Colts playing like Curtis Painter is their starting quarterback. Like the rest of the roster, Grover has a chip on his shoulder heading into the season. Stewart is looking to “Dominate every day and stack the days. Outplay and outrun every team and show them who we really are.”
The Colts have a fairly tough schedule in 2018. Not only do they face the tough AFC South but they play powerhouses like New England and Philadelphia. In week 7, the Bills come to town in a game that shouldn’t be as snowy as last year. In fact, Grover Stewart’s favorite player to go against is Bills’ lineman Dion Dawkins, or “Shnowmam.”
We thank Grover for taking the time to talk to us and wish him the best in his sophomore season!