Colts Sign S Dezmen Southward and QB Alex Tanney to Practice Squad
The Indianapolis Colts announced Tuesday that the team has signed safety Dezmen Southward, as well as quarterback Alex Tanney to the the team’s practice squad. Both quarterback Matt Blanchard and offensive guard Kitt O’Brien were waived in corresponding moves.
Of the duo, Southward’s name may be one to watch.
Aug 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons safety Dezmen Southward (41) against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Texans defeated the Falcons 32-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Originally a 2014 3rd round pick of the Falcons, Southward played his collegiate football at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a consensus All-Big 10 honorable mention as both a junior and senior.
As a rookie, Southward appeared in all 16 games for the Falcons, recording 23 tackles, 2 passes deflected, and an interception–showing initial promise at safety.
However, this season under new head coach Dan Quinn, Southward was unsuccessfully transitioned to cornerback–eventually falling out of favor with the coaching staff and becoming seldom used.
It didn’t help matters that Southward underwent knee clean-up surgery this past May and missed valuable OTA reps at his new position.
As a result, Southward appeared in just 3 games with Atlanta this season, recording 1 tackle before being released this past Friday.
By returning him to his natural position of safety, perhaps the Colts could get the same Southward that was such a highly regarded prospect entering the NFL Draft. The 6’0, 210 pound Southward has tremendous physical measurables, as he ran a 4.38 forty yard dash at his pro day and boasted a 42 inch vertical.
It’s worth noting that this is Tanney’s second stint on the Colts practice squad, as he was signed on September 29th before being released on October 20th. The 2012 undrafted quarterback out of Monmouth (IL) has also served on the practice squad of a number of other NFL teams during his 2-year career.