After reading various articles and quotes from Bjoern Werner’s coaches, teammates and opposing players, it’s pretty clear what the Colts are getting in the 266-pound outside linebacker.
In just six seasons of playing football in the United States, Werner’s football IQ and his high-motor continually stick out when those describe the All-American defender.
Even though Werner played primarily defensive end in a 4-3 scheme at Florida State, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said the first round pick will make the move to outside linebacker and his 16 pass breakups, along with Pagano’s first-hand workout of Werner, indicate that switch won’t be difficult.
This past December, writer Coley Harvey of the Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote an excellent feature of Werner’s path to becoming one of college football’s most disruptive defenders.
The article talked about how former FSU offensive coordinator James Coley watched Werner in person at a basketball game at Salisbury School in Connecticut to determine whether or not the Seminoles should extend a scholarship.
“(Werner) was fouling everybody and they stood no chance…(but) you could see his athleticism, running up and down the court, jumping,” Coley said.
The offer came and Werner eventually blossomed into the 2012 ACC Player of the Year and helped FSU to an Orange Bowl appearance in January.
Northern Illinois would be the Seminoles opponent and during bowl preparations, NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch offered his assessment of Werner.
“The guy has a motor; that’s the biggest thing that stands out about him,” Lynch said.
“Sometimes he’ll get cut-blocked and he’ll get right back up and make a tackle. It’s pretty impressive. He’ll run sideline-to-sideline to chase guys down.”
Those attributes are exactly what attracted FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher to Werner despite the prospect being very raw when it came to football experience.
Fisher said Werner’s technique wasn’t perfect coming out of Salisbury but the tape showed a very instinctual football player with the way the future Seminoles defensive end saw things and how he reacted to plays.
Werner will arrive to Indianapolis early Friday afternoon and he spoke with local media on a conference call late Thursday night.
His emotion was evident when talking about getting the opportunity to play for the Indianapolis Colts. Werner gave Colts fans a small glimpse into the type of player they will be watching for years to come.
“I know what I can do and that’s get off the ball,” Werner said. “I can’t wait for the coaches to just be coaching me up and learn the new playbook. Now that everything’s over, I know that I’m a Colt and I can’t wait. I honestly can’t wait to be there and start rookie minicamp.”
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