The thought of possibly getting some key defenders back in the fold this weekend is a welcomed surprise to Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
Especially in the front seven, Manusky’s unit has been searching for bodies the past couple of weeks.
This week at practice, Manusky has added the services of rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman to the middle of the Colts defensive line.
Chapman tore his ACL during his senior season at the University of Alabama but elected to not have surgery until following the season while the Crimson Tide made their run to a second National Title in three years.
With putting off surgery until January, Chapman is just now getting his first taste of on the field action in the NFL.
“We finally got a young buck that we drafted to finally get a guy that looks the part,” Manusky said. “He looks good right now. He’s strong, he’s physical, he’s got good feet and he can put pressure in the middle of the pocket.”
The offseason was difficult for Chapman not knowing the exact date he would get back on the practice field.
While his rookie teammates have been showing their talent on the field, it’s been a lot of classroom work for Chapman.
“I’ll tell you the guy actually studies his playbook a lot,” Manusky said of Chapman. “He spends time in it, usually the good ones do.”
It’s that drive away from the field that has Manusky excited about the future for the 316-pound nose tackle.
Back in April’s NFL Draft, the Colts addressed the offensive side of the football with eight of their ten picks. Chapman is the lone rookie defender left and Manusky is anxious to see his talents that helped Alabama to the top rush defense in college football last season.
“From watching the tape, I’m happy as heck we got him when we got him,” Manusky said “Now we’re going to try to build through him and the young guys that we get in the future.”
On Thursday afternoon, Chapman admitted that he was a little sore from his first NFL practice but finally strapping the pads on brought back those championship memories.
“Being out there, being able to put my hand in the grass and making contact with o-linemen just gave me that great feeling again,” Chapman said.
Tags: Greg Manusky, josh chapman
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