HUNGRY ON THE CORNER

Cornerback Michael Coe, after playing six games as a rookie, missed all of last season with a knee injury sustained in training camp. But Coe, entering his third NFL season, said he's confident he can contribute this season.

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Third-Year Veteran Coe Confident He Can Contribute After Missing 2008

INDIANAPOLIS – Confidence never has been a problem for Michael Coe.

He said how he feels now, after his first two NFL seasons, have proven that. Big-time.

Coe, a third-year cornerback for the Colts, has played sparingly in his first two NFL seasons, missing all of last season with a knee injury sustained in training camp.

That injury kept Coe from playing during a season in which many young players make a significant jump, but Coe said he sees it another way, and that's that he figures he still made improvement.

And just because not everybody knows it doesn't make it untrue.

"I'm just hungry," Coe said recently during the Colts' offseason conditioning program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "I think for the most part, I made a great jump from my first year to second year, but not too many people got to see it unfold."

That's because for Coe, the second season ended before it had a chance to begin.

Coe, a fifth-round selection by the Colts in the 2007 NFL Draft, played in six games as a rookie, developing into a solid special teams contributor late in the season. His blocked punt against the Baltimore Ravens led to a Colts touchdown, and he also had a pass defensed and a fumble recovery that season.

He said the next year started well. It just didn't last nearly long enough, with Coe sustaining a knee injury early in training camp.

The Colts placed him on injured reserve on August 12.

"I was having a real good training camp and I was anxious to finally get my chance," said Coe, who played collegiately at Arkansas, where he was a roommate of Colts offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, before transferring to Alabama State. "My rookie year, I had a pretty good training camp, but so did Marlin (Jackson) and Kelvin (Hayden). Those guys had a great training camp and they played well throughout the year.

"I felt like during my rookie year, when I got out there, I did pretty well."

Coe said the injury last season was a frustrating experience. He said he was healthy midway through the season, but because he was on injured reserve, he could not return. Instead, he said he tried to simulate playing situations best he could.

"Some of those things happen and you just have to move onto the next phase," Coe said. "The only thing I could control was the rehab, so I went after it hard. By midway through the year, I was backpedaling. I'd go out there and try to watch film with coach even though I wasn't out there all the time. I got the mental repetitions as far as watching Kelvin (Hayden) and Marlin (Jackson) and other guys who were out there playing."

Part of that process, Coe said, was getting on the practice field alone two of three days a week and simulating as many game situations as possible.

"I tried to make it seem like I was out there in a game," Coe said. "I'd play defense. If I was playing Cover 2, I'd do my drops, or if I was playing Cover 3, I'd run a comeback. I'd have one of the strength coaches or the interns take me out there two or three days a week. I'd try to stay in the came and watch film every Wednesday with (Colts special assistant) coach (Rod) Perry. We'd watch film and watch the game plan. I kept myself into the game.

"I didn't want to get far out of it. I stayed in it as much as I could. I feel like that helped."

Coe said while many players fight feelings of being down or left out while injured, he never has been big on self-pity. His approach, he said, was to try to improve despite the circumstances – the only approach he knew.

"There were a lot of emotions," Coe said. "I was never one of those guys to get down in the dumps. I feel like everything happens for a reason. It's unfortunate. As a competitor, it stinks, but I'm one of those guys, 'What can I do?' It was out of my control. It happened. I had the surgery. I had no choice it wasn't up to me. The only thing I could control was the rehab, but as a competitor, yeah, you're like, 'Are you kidding me?'

"I'm not a guy who loses confidence too easy. I think working hard helps that. You're out there working and you feel like you're getting better, getting quicker, getting stronger. I think success breeds confidence. I have my strength back. I'm a little bigger and I got a little faster. Everything else is mental.

"I feel like I have the athletic ability. Everything else is just getting reps and getting out there."

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