Following Wednesday afternoon’s ninth OTA practice of the offseason, Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers made it clear that his unit carries a little something on their shoulder this summer.
Powers is entering his fourth season in the NFL and despite being just 24 years old, he has accepted a leadership role for a secondary that has heard its criticism from the outside.
In 2011, five defensive backs made their NFL debuts for the Colts, but that youth will be no excuse with a full offseason under their belts heading into the 2012 campaign.
“I kind of get (angry) every time I see an article or something talking about ‘Colts secondary is this, the Colts secondary is that’ when they’re not in the building every day,” Powers said. “They don’t see how these guys work their craft.”
“I think we have a lot of talent. I know a lot of people are counting us out just based on pervious stuff.”
Opposite Powers last year, fellow cornerbacks Terrence Johnson, Chris Rucker and Kevin Thomas all took their first NFL snaps.
Those three were extremely active in the secondary on Wednesday as they are also getting their first taste of a complete NFL offseason.
“Those guys were sort of thrown into the fire last year and had to play early and had to come in without an offseason,” Powers said. “I think they’re the main ones that’s benefiting from this the most, because this is the first time they’re having a true offseason.”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said he is extremely pleased with the secondary, as they are asked to a little more in terms of fundamentals and technique in the new system.
Pagano said without being able to go full contact until training camp it will be difficult for someone to separate themselves at the cornerback position for the next few weeks.
One of the men vying for the spot opposite Powers come September is 2011 sixth round draft pick Chris Rucker.
The Michigan State product saw extensive action in the final five games of the season last year and is hoping to carry that momentum into 2012.
Rucker said when the young players have a question they don’t hesitate to look towards Powers for an answer.
The leadership of Powers has shown, as Rucker echoed the same sentiments about playing with some extra motivation this year.
“In the secondary we definitely feel like we’re playing with a chip on our shoulder and we are looking to prove ourselves, and prove everybody wrong,” Rucker said.
Tags: chris rucker, cornerbacks, jerraud powers
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