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January Surgery Has Malik Hooker Sitting Out Rookie Minicamp

Posted May 12, 2017

Intro: Surgery earlier this year has Malik Hooker on the sideline at the Colts rookie minicamp. How does defensive coordinator Ted Monachino want to use Hooker, once the first-round pick returns to full health for Training Camp?


INDIANAPOLIS – Malik Hooker’s physical introduction to the Indianapolis Colts is not occurring this weekend at the team’s three-day rookie minicamp.

Seeing Hooker roaming in the secondary is on hold until the team’s Training Camp in late July.

January surgery for Hooker (on his hip and labrum) has the Colts first-round pick sidelined for a few more weeks.

So, for now, defensive coordinator Ted Monachino wants Hooker soaking up the mental reps.

“What we can expect mentally is (him) to dive both feet in, going full speed with the install and seeing how far down the road he can get with film study and becoming a better pro,” Monachino says.

“Once he does start to come out and compete on the field, we can expect great things out of Malik. He’s got some instincts that a lot of players don’t and that’s what we are looking for. That’s one of his main traits as a deep, range safety. He understands angles. He has great speed and great ball skills.”

About the only knock on Hooker coming out of Ohio State was some inconsistent tackling in his one season of starting for the Buckeyes.

During the draft process, the Colts had special teams coach Tom McMahon analyze Hooker’s ST reps from 2015.

The tackling checked the box then, so the Colts believe that aspect of his game can grow into a strength.

But the Colts also know they would be foolish to have Hooker removed for long stretches from that centerfielder role. 

"I think the learning curve will be in the run fits, something he will have to spend a little extra time (with coaches) on,” Monachino says of Hooker. “That’s one thing we will ask him to do occasionally.

“The kid is so dominant in the deep parts of the field (though) that it’s hard to take him out of there. It’s not like we are going to spend a lot of time teaching him how to rush the passer and blitz. That’s silly.”

In 2016, the Colts had just eight interceptions, tied for 29th in the NFL.

The drafting of Hooker comes with the expectation that he will be helping that number rise.

“It sure is comforting knowing that you have a rare cat back there,” Monachino says, “that can get pylon from pylon while the ball is in the air.”






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