Colts finally admit why Nick Cross lost his starting spot last season

Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos
Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After securing a starting safety spot for the Indianapolis Colts in training camp, Nick Cross was eventually demoted to a reserve role. Here’s why.

Last offseason, Nick Cross was the most exciting rookie for the Indianapolis Colts. Cross was making impressive plays from the very first day of training camp. Because of a quality training camp and preseason, Nick Cross was named a starting safety for the Colts and there was a ton of excitement about the rookie defender.

However, after starting two games, Cross was moved to the bench in Week 3 in favor of veteran safety Rodney McLeod. At the time, Indianapolis’ defensive coordinator said it wasn’t because of anything Cross did, just that Indy needed experienced defensive backs for the type of defense the team wanted to run against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. It worked, because Indy was able to upset the eventual Super Bowl champs.

However, Cross wasn’t reinserted into the starting lineup in Week 4. In fact, he didn’t start another game for the reminder of his rookie season. To be fair, McLeod was playing tremendous football, and turned out to be an amazing signing for Indy. Still, everyone was curious why Nick Cross’ snaps decreased so significantly.

Defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, recently gave some insight into that decision. Speaking with the media during Indy’s offseason program, Bradley explained that Cross was just thinking too much. The team felt it was best for him to take it slow and learn behind a veteran like McLeod.

Colts say Nick Cross was thinking too much during rookie season

This is common among young, talented players making their transition to the NFL. Indianapolis was lucky to have a veteran that Cross could sit behind and learn from. Now, with McLeod no longer on the team, and a season in the NFL under Cross’ belt, Cross should be prepared to step up and play this season.

If he’s ready to go, the Colts will have a talented safety room, filled with young players. From Cross, to Julian Blackmon, to Rodney Thomas II, the two safety spots should be good for the next few years at least. The cornerback position is the big worry in Indy’s secondary, but that should be addressed in the draft.

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