Indianapolis Colts DB Rock Ya-Sin has heard all the talk about his penalties, and he’s working to get better.
Over the past two weeks of the Rock Ya-Sin experience, we’ve seen both the exceptional and the powerfully frustrating elements of his game come to light.
When the Colts needed to create a takeaway in the worst way against Aaron Rodgers, there was Ya-Sin, somehow diving into frame for a spectacular interception that ranks among the most athletic you’ll see. Unfortunately, minutes later, he was the one responsible for Rodgers getting free points right before halftime, when a careless strike at Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a desperation heave was flagged for a 51-yard pass interference.
With fans already bringing premeditated anger to the fray on Sunday against the Titans, Ya-Sin’s “drive from hell” was only magnified in importance, and his drive-extending hands to the face penalty after it seemed a sack had held Ryan Tannehill’s squad to three points served as the breaking point on a frustrating afternoon.
Ya-Sin spoke to the media on Wednesday, knowing he has to get right on the whole, but acquiescing to the idea that he’s close to greatness.
Ya-Sin seemingly knows that word travels fast within a fan base, but that first-blush judgments aren’t always accurate. Still, reputations don’t go away until evidence to the contrary overwhelms that first notion.
The 2019 second-rounder is still just 24 years old. Perhaps it’s the emergence of a fresh-out-the-draft Julian Blackmon in the secondary that’s led to unreasonable expectations for Ya-Sin, but most second-year corners still have bugaboos in their system.
Ya-Sin is an excellent coverage corner with a hands problem. This is the type of thing that’s coachable. It just takes time.
It’s clear the Colts have plenty invested in Ya-Sin, and are big believers in his skill set. These next few weeks, along with the offseason, will be about pinpointing this correctable flaw and teaching around it.
Until he can prove it’s past him, though, opposing teams will attack, hoping to get lucky in the same way that Rodgers and Tannehill have in recent weeks.
Every pass is another chance to adjust, though, and Ya-Sin will surely be looking to take advantage of the many opportunities headed his way in the season’s final stretch.