Colts Camp Battles: Outside Linebacker
By Evan Reller
Oct 5, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts defender Bjoern Werner(92) goes up against a Baltimore Ravens defender in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts won, 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sportss
The Colts have a number of other players on the active roster, but it is highly unlikely that they take more than five outside linebackers into the regular season. These players are essentially fighting for a spot on the depth chart and need to prove they can contribute on special teams.
Bjoern Werner is an enigma. There have been times when he looks like a very good player and then he will completely disappear (eventually getting benched in the playoffs). Werner had 37 tackles and four sacks last season despite taking 365 more snaps than Newsome. Werner also had a -9.8 overall grade for the season.
As a first round draft pick, Werner should be better than this. Yes, his learning curve is going to be much higher since he hasn’t been play football for as long and is also essentially switching positions from college to the pros. But where defensive ends usually struggle is in run support and pass coverage, both areas where he had better grades than pass rush.
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This preseason is likely the last chance for Werner. He was a beast in training camp last year and will need a similar effort this year just to make the roster. GM Ryan Grigson can be stubborn with players he brings in and this might be another situation where they give a player too many chances.
The Colts have four more players who might end up being camp bodies fighting for a practice squad position.
Cam Johnson played all of five snaps last season before suffering a triceps injury and being sent to IR. The Colts traded a conditional pick for him in 2013 but he hasn’t anything resembling an impact since joining the team. He has a decent amount of potential, but with a crowded position likely won’t make the roster.
Daniel Adongo is a South African rugby player turned footballer, but hasn’t managed to stay healthy. He was always going to be a project, but if he can’t stay healthy it might be time to let him go.
Rookie Zack Hodges went undrafted out of Harvard and was a standout in the Ivy League. Cody Galea went to San Diego State and finished his career with 15.5 sacks over four years. Both are going to be camp bodies and it is a huge longshot for either to even make the practice squad.