Nick Cross has had a complete turn around as he prepares for second season with Colts

After a rocky rookie season, Nick Cross has made tremendous strides ahead of his second year with the Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis Colts safety Nick Cross (20) runs a play during day #9 practice of Colts Camp, Tuesday,
Indianapolis Colts safety Nick Cross (20) runs a play during day #9 practice of Colts Camp, Tuesday, / Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

2022 was a weird season for Nick Cross. It was his first year in the league, and after an impressive offseason, he started the year as a starting safety for the Indianapolis Colts. However, in Week 3, Rodney McLeod started over Cross. At the time, Gus Bradley explained that it was a game-plan decision. However, Cross didn’t get his starting spot back for the rest of the year.

In fact, he didn’t even see many snaps in he secondary. McLeod, Julian Blackmon, and Rodney Thomas II handled the safety responsibilities. Bradley eventually explained that Cross lost his starting spot because he was thinking too much, and as a young player, he needed time to learn and develop behind a veteran like McLeod.

With McLeod leaving the team in free agency, Thomas and Blackmon became the two starting safeties, and it was a question if Cross would be able to carve out a roll for himself in the secondary. Turns out, he has, and the struggles that he had a s a rookie are no more.

In a recent conversation with the media, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley explained that Cross has done so well this offseason, he’s earned the trust to play both safety positions and nickel if needed.

Nick Cross could play all across Colts secondary

This is a tremendous development, and the kind of jump you hope for second-year players to make. Cross had a lot of promise when he was drafted, and had very good flashes early in his rookie season. It’s great that he’s been able to put the mental aspect of the game with his physical talents, and will hopefully shine for the Colts this season and moving forward.

Julian Blackmon and Rodney Thomas II are still the listed starting safeties for Indianapolis, though, and Kenny Moore II is still holding things down in the slot. However, if Cross is playing at a level that’s hard to keep off the field, Indy will probably rotate three safeties, similar to what the team did last year when McLeod was starting. Additionally, it’s always great to have depth, and it seems like the talented Cross will provide that.