INDIANAPOLIS – The month of March is just days old, and there will a time next week when there will be chances for new faces in a few places around the NFL.
The free agency period opens on March 12, and the Colts have a number of unrestricted free agents who could be free to pursue other opportunities.
Indianapolis has an interest in retaining as many players as possible, one being
Powers has completed four seasons, starting all 42 career appearances.
Under Chuck Pagano, the Colts went from a 4-3 to 3-4 last year. The shift meant players would have duties reshaped. In year two and as free agency looms, Pagano hopes a return for Powers is possible.
“Jerraud is a really good football player. Before he got injured, he was just starting to hit his stride,” said Pagano at last week’s combine. “They were used to a couple of coverages here, he played that for so long, in the same system. We were asking him to do a lot more things, terminology-wise, technique-wise, play a little bit more man coverage.”
Powers was able to start the first eight games before a toe injury shelved him. He was placed on injured reserve as the team needed the roster spot.
Powers joined the club in 2009 as a third-round pick. He was talented enough to start on opening day, and he answered the starting bell 12 times in the regular season and once in a three-game playoff run that reached Super Bowl XLIV.
Jim Caldwell has the same grounding on defense that Pagano has, and he commented that year on the mature nature of his rookie starting right corner by saying, “It’s almost like he’s been here before.”
At a position where some performers yap and have a profile, Powers always has gone about his business. His give-and-take in the locker room with media is a process respected by those who cover the team.
Powers is not alone in conduct like that, but it has been a part of his method since day one in Indianapolis.
“He’s a heck of a football player,” said Pagano. “We would love to re-sign him because he brings so much to the table, not only on the football field but he’s a student of the game. He’s a really bright guy. He understands the game.
“He was one of those guys after he got hurt, he never missed a meeting. He was doing his rehab, doing his treatment, doing those types of things. He became a coach on the sideline, for all those young guys and the new guys that we were bringing in. He studied the film, studied the game plan and helped those guys out.”
Injuries are part of playing in the league. They have affected Powers. He missed the final three games of 2009, missed the AFC Championship game and was limited in the Super Bowl. In 2010, a broken forearm intervened and he spent the last four weeks on injured reserve. An elbow injury in 2011 forced him to miss the last four games, then he was halted this past year by the turf toe.
Injuries can be legitimate, and Pagano hopes for health for Powers, along with a return.
“He’s been hurt,” said Pagano. “It’s been well-documented for the last two or three years and I’m going to say ‘unlucky.’ I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that he’s healthy and he’s hopefully playing for us. If he’s not, then hopefully (he’s) playing for somebody and playing good football.”
Late last week, Ryan Grigson said the work to retain Powers is a “priority.” He said the team has put together its proposal and hopes negotiating will find a common ground that will provide a return for Powers.