BJOERN TO RUSH: First-round outside linebacker Bjoern Werner got a paw on a pass during Saturday’s practice, flashing the form that helped him lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in passes batted down last year at Florida State.
But the Colts drafted the German native to sack the quarterback, and that’s one area of the game that can be extremely difficult to evaluate while players still are practicing in shorts.
“Not much,” defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said when asked what he can evaluate about Werner’s rush skills in this weekend’s rookie camp. “We just know his burst off the ball. He uses his hands well, and we’ll see it once the pads come on.
The assumption has been that Werner and free agent addition Erik Walden will compete for playing time opposite returning veteran Robert Mathis. But Manusky said the team will look for ways to get both players on the field at the same time.
“I think you’ve got to try and find a situation where they are both in that situation where we can get them out on the field,” he said. “Two good football players, along with Robert. The more pass rushers you have, the better off you are going to be in a 3-4 defense.”
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS COACH: During his appearance last week on “Not 4 Print,” The Herald Bulletin’s weekly radio show on AM 1240 WHBU, Colts punter Pat McAfee said new special teams coordinator Tom McMahon already is the favorite special teams leader of his five-year NFL career.
That statement carries a lot of weight when one considerers McMahon is the third man to hold the position since McAfee was drafted in 2009.
When the punter’s comments were relayed to McMahon on Saturday, the coach smiled and let out a short laugh.
“I don’t know about that yet,” he said. “We really haven’t had to go into battle yet, but I really like working with all three of those guys (including kicker Adam Vinatieri and long snapper Matt Overton). They are winners, and they approach it the right way. That’s all you can ask. They come to work to work.”