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Laskowski Switching to Safety

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Laskowski Switching to Safety

Laskowski Switching to Safety

Ed Thompson - Scout.com
March 16, 2006 at 2:27am ET
Linebacker Chris Laskowski will be making a run at the 2006 roster at a new position.

Chris Laskowski 's rookie season was filled with ups and downs. After signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, Laskowski suffered a slight shoulder separation on the opening kickoff of the team's first preseason game in Tokyo.

Despite that blow, he put together a solid preseason, especially on special teams. But then he aggravated the shoulder again. Then, in a move that surprised us at ColtPower, he was released in the final round of cuts prior to the start of the regular season.

Some thought he'd be signed to the practice squad, but based on team needs at the time, Laskowski wasn't selected as a member of that initial group. So he went back home to Melbourne, Florida.

But about ten weeks later – in mid-November – he got a call from the Colts and was told to pack his bags and head back north to Indy. He finished out the season as a member of the Colts practice squad.

At 5'9 and 210 pounds, one thing working against him was he wasn't as big as the other linebackers. Cato June is 6'0 and weighs in at 227. Gary Brackett is 5'11 and 235. But his speed and his ability to hit were a definite asset to the team, especially on special teams.

There was speculation that he was a bit of a "tweener" for the linebacker position at the pro level, perhaps projecting better as a safety. And if you compare his physical size to Mike Doss , who is 5'10 and 207, or Bob Sanders at 5'8 and 206 pounds, it's easy to see which group Laskowski pairs up with more naturally from a physical stature point of view.

During this offseason, Laskowski received word that he'll be reporting as a safety this year, not a linebacker.
And he's excited.

Laskowski recently told ColtPower that his first priority is to get into better running shape for the position since he'll be covering a bigger area of the field at his new position.

"I'm going to get into shape to where I can run all day," he said.

He played safety in high school, so the position isn't new to him. And while he'll need to dust off his coverage skills a bit, he knows that he is primarily competing for a special teams position while providing a depth option at safety this year.

A twist to the story that adds a layer of complexity for Laskowski is that he just started running again a couple of weeks ago. Immediately after the 2005 season wound down for the Colts, he had sports hernia surgery that required him to rest for about a month while he healed. He just started jogging again towards the end of February.

Laskowski will be joining Mike Doss, Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano , Dexter Reid , Brandon Lynch , and most likely veteran restricted free agent Gerome Sapp on the depth chart at safety.

Sapp, a special teams star for the Colts, is a restricted free agent who was offered a one-year tender by the Colts. If another team offers a better deal, and the Colts decide not to match it, Sapp's new team would have to give up a 6th-round pick in this year's draft to secure his services for this season.

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Laskowski Switching to Safety

Good article. I really hope he gets a shot at being a special teams regular this coming season.

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Laskowski Switching to Safety

Way to go Chris, keep healthy and see lets see some heads roll this season.
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Laskowski Switching to Safety

I find it pretty impressive that this program can send and undersized walk-on to the pros. I know alot of it is Laskowski's work ethic.

Saturday, May 6

By John Oehser - Colts.com

Rookies Always Being Watched ? Even in Mini-Camp
INDIANAPOLIS ? The message is clear, and it?s the same one Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy sends each season during rookie camp.
No evaluations. Not yet.

Not until training camp.

That means rookies can take this weekend, and even the off-season conditioning program and upcoming summer-school sessions, to learn and prepare for training camp. That?s when Dungy and Colts President Bill Polian begin making roster decisions.

But although that?s the case, Dungy said something else is equally true:

While the rookies may not be being evaluated on the field yet, they are being watched. And what Dungy sees off the field ? how a rookie studies, prepares, carries himself ? often begins forming an early impression. Even in mini-camp.

Even a week after a player was drafted.

?You can tell a little bit,? Dungy said of watching a player during rookie camp. ?If guys are very anxious to learn, if they have the ability to process information ? you can tell about that relatively quickly. It?s a good quality to have. It serves you well.

?You still have to have the talent and the ability to play. Sometimes, you can?t always tell that, but guys who are bright-eyed and really on top of things and asking questions and learning quickly ? it goes a long way.?

Dungy said he enjoys the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in late February for the same reason ? that while the raw statistical data may not be critical, how a player conducts himself through a difficult process can be insightful.

?I like to watch guys ? how they carry themselves, how they compete, what they do in terms of just being there at the combine,? Dungy said. ?I think you can tell a lot by watching people.?

Conversely, Dungy said when a player seems overwhelmed early in the process, ?it gives you cause for concern.?

?Sometimes that happens,? Dungy said. ?Not saying that a guy can?t play, or won?t be a good player. It might take him a little bit longer. You might have to be a little more careful how much you give him and what type of role you give him early on.

?You can sense a little on both sides of the coin.?

LASKOWSKI MOVES: First-year veteran Chris Laskowski has been moved from linebacker to safety, Dungy said.

Laskowski was with the Colts in training camp last season, and has been in the Colts? conditioning program throughout the off-season.

?Chris is a good player for us,? Dungy said. ?We just thought he might be a little bit undersized at linebacker. But he?s a very good special teams player for us, good movement and good in coverage, so we thought it was a natural thing for us to try.?

ONE ROOKIE BACK: The Colts last weekend selected running back Joseph Addai in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, then did not obtain another back the entire weekend.

That means they bypassed the position on the rest of the draft, then also did not sign a back as a rookie free agent. The Colts currently have five backs on the roster: veteran Dominic Rhodes, veteran James Mungro, Addai, veteran Kory Chapman and first-year veteran Vashon Pearson.

?We knew we wanted to use this off-season and training camp to get Joseph Addai a lot of work,? Dungy said. ?We also have Vashon Pearson, who we think is going to be a real good player for us. We had some guys we want to look at and get them the work.

?We?re primarily a one-back team, so we didn?t want to overload it too much.?

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Laskowski Switching to Safety

Good Luck Chris, I sure hope he has a better start this season.
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Laskowski Switching to Safety

I think it's a good move for him. He can see the play develop a little better from the S spot.
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