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Frank Reich has Big Expectations for Stephon Gilmore

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich believes cornerback Stephon Gilmore will take the defense to a new level.
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New Indianapolis Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been to the Pro Bowl the last four seasons. But he's also on his third team in three years and turns 32-years old next week.

How much can the Colts expect from Gilmore in 2022? Head coach Frank Reich has been pleased with what he's seen at camp thus far, and he believes Gilmore is making everyone better. 

"I can just tell you from a quarterback’s perspective, he’s the kind of cornerback you fear because (the) way he sees the game," said Reich after practice on Sunday."

Reich isn't concerned with Gilmore losing a step as he gets older, because he feels his knowledge and anticipation are some of his biggest assets.

"He knows what’s coming before it’s coming," said Reich.

"He’s so quick to recognize routes, concepts and then he has the ability to make plays on the ball and turn it over. That’s what we’ve seen from start to finish."

"Love him. Love the player, love the person, love how he’s fitting in with this team. I really feel like he’s helping our defense and helping our secondary to kind of elevate it to a new level for us."

Much has been made about quarterback Matt Ryan helping everyone get better around him, and the receivers getting challenged by Gilmore is also paying dividends.

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Rookie Alex Pierce is learning first hand to disguise his routes better after going against Gilmore in practice every day.

"A lot of times he knows what route I’m running before I even run the route just off of splits and how I’m stemming and stuff like that so that’s wild," said Pierce. "I always try to pick his brain, see what he’s seeing. It’s really crazy, you know how smart he is as a player."

Reich appreciates the challenge Gilmore presents to his offense in training camp.

"That is just a universal principle, right? The more you are challenged, the harder it is and the more you have to figure out how to win," said Reich. 

"This game ultimately – like we always say – comes down to one-on-one matchups and how am I going to win my one-on-one matchup. So, when you go up against a guy like (Stephon) Gilmore, you’re just challenged. Half the time he knows what you are doing and you still have got to find a way to win."

"So, I think the receivers have been doing a decent job at that, and we won our shares versus Gilly (Stephon Gilmore), but he’s definitely challenging us all to get better."

The Colts brought in an experienced quarterback who is elevating the play of those around him, and it turns out they're getting the same on defense in Stephon Gilmore.