The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

August 6, 2013

Werner loving life as a rookie linebacker in Colts camp


That’s exactly what head coach Chuck Pagano wants to hear.

The Colts are trying to bring the first-round pick along slowly, not overload him with too much information and too much responsibility too early.

The coaches have been impressed with the speed at which Werner processes new concepts, and his transition from a 4-3 defensive end in college to a

3-4 outside linebacker in Indianapolis is going well.

Some believed the rookie might be put on the fast track to compete with free-agent addition Erik Walden at the sam outside linebacker position.

But the Colts have chosen instead to install Werner as Mathis’ backup and allow him to play the rush linebacker position - which is closer to the role he played as the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season.

“I think for us to ankle weight him, so to speak, and slow him down because he’s thinking and move him around in our base package, right now the plan is to leave him at rush, leave him behind Robert for the time being,” Pagano said. “Because we’re taxing him pretty good once we get to our third-down sub package, and we’re giving him a lot there. So right now we’re just going to leave him (at rush) and let him grow from there.”

Werner doesn’t seem to care where he plays.

He’s living a dream in the NFL, and he’s not afraid to admit it.

“It drains you, but it’s a lot of fun,” Werner said about his first week of camp. “This is a job right now, and in college you’re like, ‘Oh, I have to train and I have to go to school.’ I’m going to keep going, just football, football, football, and that’s awesome. You can focus only on one thing. I love it so far.”

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