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T.J. Green Starting To Learn Cornerback Position

Posted Aug 15, 2017

Intro: Second-year Colts safety T.J. Green on Tuesday was asked to take some reps at cornerback for the first time in his football career. How soon does he think he could be ready if the team needs him to make the switch?

INDIANAPOLIS — About an hour before Tuesday’s training camp practice, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano approached T.J. Green with an idea.

“He said, ‘You wanna play corner?’” Green recalled. “I said, ‘I’m all for it.’ So that’s where we’re at.”

Not long after that conversation, Green would find himself lined up, one-on-one, on the outside against the league’s reigning receiving champion, T.Y. Hilton.

While Green only ended up playing a few reps at cornerback on Tuesday, the message is clear.

“The more you can do, the better off you can be,” Pagano told reporters asking about Green on Tuesday.

Green was selected in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft out of Clemson as an ultra-athletic prospect at safety, and he would end up playing in 15 games at the position for the Colts in his rookie season, starting four, and collecting 46 total tackles and two passes defensed.

As he enters his second NFL season, he’s drawn praise from Pagano and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino, who have said the game has noticeably started to slow down for Green, a wide receiver his freshman season at Clemson before making the move to safety the following year.

But with some injuries at cornerback, Pagano said he just thought it was time to gauge the 6-foot-3, 211-pound Green’s interest in beginning to learn the position with three preseason games still left before the Colts open up the regular season Sept. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams.

“We’re missing some guys in the backfield — we’ve got a couple corners out — and we’ve got a tall, fast guy that’s a good football player,” Pagano said of Green at cornerback. “And at the end of the day, we’re going to find the best four guys (in the secondary).”

That’s just fine to Green — who said he had never played cornerback prior to Tuesday’s practice — who will take any opportunity he can get to find his way onto the field.

“I’ve got the speed, I’ve got the size, physicality — all that. I mean, none of that is questionable,” Green said. “I feel like if I feel the work in, you know, work on these little details — I know the playbook — so I can already play fast, just work on the technique part, I feel like I can be a solid corner in this league.”

If Green is able to make a transition to cornerback, he’ll be the second player on the Colts’ defense with that sort of flexibility; veteran Darius Butler started to make the transition over from cornerback to safety in some games last year, and then re-signed with the team this offseason with the intent of moving to safety full-time.

The Colts next take the field Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys in their second preseason game of the year. All things considered, however, just how soon could Green conceivably find himself playing cornerback in an actual game setting?

“I guess we’re going to find out,” he said with a smile. “As soon as I get ready.”

 

 

 

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.
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