Werner coming along
Indianapolis’ 2013 first-round draft pick, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner, continues to make progress.
Werner is currently the primary backup as the Colts’ rush outside linebacker, playing behind veteran Robert Mathis.
There had been some thought as to whether the team’s defensive coaching staff might try to cross train the former Florida State standout and have him also get work at strong side linebacker. He would end up playing behind free agent acquisition Erik Walden if that were to happen.
Pagano, though, says no. At least not for now.
“Right now the plan is just leave him at Rush, leave him behind Robert for the time being. We’re taxing him pretty good once we get to our third-down sub package and we’re giving him a lot there. Right now just we’re going to leave him there and let him grow from there,” the Colts coach said.
Overall, the Colts are happy with the way Werner is coming along.
“He’s got a long way to go, as we know, going from a guy that played with his hand in the dirt and very rarely stood up to a stand-up outside linebacker [while at Florida State]. We know that. We did it with two guys that played with their hand in the dirt for a long, long time last year [former Colts defensive end/outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and Mathis],” Pagano voiced.
“The transition is never easy but Bjoern’s a smart guy. We said back in the offseason program, OTAs and minicamp, he adapted pretty quickly. But just the technical things, the fundamental things, he’s doing well but he’s got work to do.”
Offensive line meshing
Indianapolis will have at least two new starters on the offensive line this season, with Donald Thomas take over at left guard and Gosder Cherlis getting the nod at right offensive tackle. Both were veteran free agent additions, from New England and Detroit respectively.
Thomas and Cherilis will team with center Samson Satele, right offensive guard Mike McGlynn and left offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. A pair of rookies, center Khaled Holmes and Hugh Thornton, will also push for playing time once they return from ankle injuries
“I’m pleased with where they’re at. Again, we got a long ways to go. It’s early. We’re only one week into camp. But I’m very pleased. The guys that we brought in stepped right in from day one. It was basically a seamless transition because of the type of players they are, the type of people they are. They fit right in the locker room,” Pagano said.
“They fit inside that O-line meeting room. So that makes the transition pretty easy for everybody else, coaches and players alike. I’m pleased where they’re at collectively as a group. It’s a great room. They all get along. They’re working extremely hard at their craft. I think with the first line and the depth we have right now, I feel really good where we’re at with that group. They’re going to do nothing but get better.”