The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

August 2, 2013

Chapman living up to legend

ANDERSON, Ind. — Nose tackle, by design, is not a glamour position.

It takes a certain kind of man to willingly draw a double team on every snap and understand his primary job is to make the players behind him look better. It's dirty work, and it's unlikely to make its practitioners famous.

But, every now and again, a nose tackle demands to be noticed.

That moment came for Josh Chapman on Wednesday afternoon at Anderson University.

Working with the second team, Chapman engaged starting center Samson Satele and right guard Mike McGlynn on an early running play during team drills. He pushed the offensive linemen so far to the right that they collided with two offensive teammates and blocked the intended path of the running back.

The play was whistled dead, and Chapman jogged back to the huddle to prepare for the next snap.

Two days later, the second-year Indianapolis Colts defender still seemed unimpressed by his effort.

"You're trying to keep those linebackers free," Chapman explained after Friday morning's practice. "That's like Big Rob (Mathis) is always telling me, 'Keep those linebackers clean, man.' That's one thing I'll always do. I mean, you want to get a little fun in there and make some plays, too. But, at the same time, it's fun going in there. You know you've got to demand a double team, and those guys have got to double you. You try to make it fun by making everything pile up in there. That's the fun part of being a nose guard."

Chapman is having a lot more fun than he did a year ago.

He's already a legend in Alabama for playing through a torn anterior cruciate ligament as the Crimson Tide marched toward the 2011 national championship. But the rehabilitation of that injury caused him to fall into the fifth round of last year's draft and ultimately cost him his entire rookie season.

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