ANDERSON – Turn a corner in the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this offseason and there’s a good chance
With his family across the pond, Werner’s new home base is in the state capitol of Indiana.
Werner made sure to make the most of his first full NFL offseason.
“His mindset was when the season was over that he was going to get back to work early and he was a tireless worker the entire offseason,” Chuck Pagano says of Werner.
“He was here long before the April 21st reporting day for the offseason program. He’s put the time in both in the classroom and on the practice field and you can see the progress that he’s made. So none of us are surprised, he’s not surprised, at the jump he’s made from year one to year two.”
The presence of Werner coming off the edge is a necessity for what the Colts will see in the first two weeks of the season.
When the Colts learned that they would be without
How would the Colts make up for Mathis’ 19.5 sacks?
Was Werner ready to play a leading role amongst a group of unproven Colts pass rushers?
Mathis reassured those worried that Werner had taken a “leaps and bounds” type jump from his rookie campaign.
“He's going to shine,” Mathis said of Werner at the start of Training Camp.
“He can play fast and there is more reaction than thinking. That's what defense is. Defense is just reaction, reacting to what the offense gives you, and he can do that. Give him the plays, he knows where he's going so he can just go.”
With more than a week of Training Camp in the books, Werner remains one of the early highlights from Anderson.
He’s made the most of his abundant first team opportunities and has disrupted the Colts offense, from a position that can be difficult to make impressions in such a controlled environment.
Werner is relishing the chance to show people why the Colts coveted him in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft.
“Every time you get reps with the first team, you get so much better,” Werner says.
“I want to be that guy to step up and I’m lucky I get all those reps to communicate with my teammates out there.”
In just six days, Werner will try and take what he’s done in Anderson against a team in a different color jersey.
Whether it’s batting down balls or being disruptive off the edge, Werner seems primed to carry out the notion of helping this team in a big way early in 2014.
“He’s miles ahead of where he’s ever been at any point since he’s been here,” Pagano says of Werner.
“He’s got a really good grasp of the defense now. So whether he’s dropping in coverage, or rushing the passer, or setting the edge in the run game, he’s doing really well. You just keep moving in the right direction, getting better every single day and be that guy we need him to be at the start of the season.”