Second-Year LB Senn Still Looking for Ways to Help the Colts
INDIANAPOLIS – Jordan Senn never rested easy. He wouldn't have dared.
Not when he made the Colts' roster. And not even when he started contributing.
Senn, a linebacker who made the Colts' 53-man roster last preseason as an undrafted free agent, said he never allowed himself to relax. Not in September, October or even November.
As a result, he said, he never stopped working. And he never stopped trying to figure a way to help the team.
"I just want to be useful in any way possible, and in as many ways as possible," Senn said recently during the Colts' offseason conditioning program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"If you can do more jobs, you're going to have a better chance of sticking around and a better chance of contributing."
That's the mantra of a lot of undrafted NFL free agents.
And it's a mantra Senn parlayed last season into not only a roster spot but a spot as a valued contributor on special teams.
Senn, who played collegiately atand State, didn't just achieve the free-agent goal of making the roster last season, he played in 15 games, finishing the season as the Colts' second-leading special teams tackler. He finished the season with 16 tackles on special teams, two behind team leader Darrell Reid.
And while Senn said playing on defense is a goal, it's not an objective he hopes will take him away from the role he played a year ago.
"I love special teams," Senn said. "If I was on defense, I wouldn't want to be off kickoff (coverage). Kickoff, I think, is the most exciting play of the entire game. In college, I always tried to do it. I did for my first couple of years and my senior year, they wouldn't let me do it.
"In college, we had a guy who would jump over the wedge. I always wanted to do it and they wouldn't let me do it, so this year I got a chance to do it. I did it in a game. I love it. It's probably one of the most violent plays of the entire game and it's definitely the most intense.
"The rush I get from kickoff is unmatched by anything else."
Told some might think this attitude a bit "odd," Senn shrugged and smiled.
"That's why I play," he said. "That's why I've played from the time I was younger. That's what makes the sport great is it's a physical and mental challenge. You're going to be scared and it makes you nervous, but I embrace it."
What Senn said he also embraced throughout last season was the chance to prove he belonged in the NFL, something he didn't question after the Colts' appearance in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, against the Washington Redskins.
"That first game, I don't think it told me, 'Oh, it's going to be easy,'" Senn said, "but at least it told me it was still the same game. It's just a new level. But I don't ever want to get complacent with my job, my career. Hopefully, I won't ever get to that point where I'm saying, 'OK, I'm good.' That's what drives a lot of people to be great and getting better every year, is that they don't have any complacency in them.
"If you are called upon, I don't want to feel like, 'Oh, man. I didn't prepare myself at all.' That's how you lose your job. You see guys come in when somebody gets hurt and they stay. They were ready when the time came. The last thing you want to be is unprepared when it's your time to produce."
Senn said he spent the offseason very much not complacent. He said his objective was to work on pass-run reads on defense, and to continue improving as a special teams player.
"That's something I want to do, is be a leader on special teams," he said.
And Senn said although he has a year experience, he won't change the attitude he had throughout his rookie season.
"I was nervous the whole season that I might be the next one to get shipped out, moved around or dropped down," Senn said. "I don't think that ever really went away, but after I played in that first game against the Redskins, that was a big relief for me because you go through so much waiting. From college to that first game, there's so much preparation and so much training and practicing. You finally get to go back on the field and remember why you play.
"I'm trying to hopefully learn and understand 'Will' (weak-side linebacker) a little better. I want to be ready in case anything happens. It's a long season, and we have injuries. You never know how the situation is going to be and who's going to go down. (Linebackers) coach (Mike) Murphy always says, "You're an ankle sprain away from starting or two ankle sprains away. We're all real close to going in and starting.
"You have to be ready as much as you possibly can. It's our job to know everything."