Following the sudden retirement of S Khari Willis, the Colts are calling on S Nick Cross, whom they drafted in the third round out of Maryland.
“Nick was one of those guys who had unique traits,” former Colts area scout Mike Derice said, via 107.5 The Fan. “He’s 6-1, 215 pounds and has incredible range and ball skills. And was also physical at contact. And that’s a hard combination to have at the safety position because there are some guys who are great ball skills and not-so-great tacklers. There are guys who are great tackles who are limited in coverage. So Nick can do everything we want in the back end. He can play free (safety) and strong interchangeably. So that was what makes him pretty special. He’s 20, 21 years old almost. Not a lot of football experience as a starter, I think (can be) in a year and a half. But traits were off the charts and so intelligent as a football player.”
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence admitted that his first year in the NFL didn’t go as smoothly as planned, adding the team’s losing streak was something he’s never experienced during his playing career and gave him a different appreciation for winning.
“Yeah, I mean, it was a long year for sure,” Lawrence said in an interview with FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd. “I’d say I think I stayed pretty positive the whole year. There were definitely some times where — especially after games where you’re going home and you’re just like, man, we’re on a losing streak of five or six games in a row — it gets a little rough. I hadn’t lost more than five or six games probably my whole career up until that point. So that was definitely a reality check for sure.
“But just trying to stay positive, try to keep the team together, I think that’s something I did the whole season. And, yeah, it was challenging. I think I learned a lot from last year. Obviously, you get a different perspective than when you’re just winning like I had in the past. So I have a lot greater appreciation for winning, for one. And then just being able to overcome some of those challenges, face all of them, and then now going to a new year with a lot of confidence, good team around us, great staff — I’m really excited.”
Lawrence believes 2022 is finally going to be different for the Jaguars as they enter the season with much better leadership from new HC Doug Pederson on down.
“I think this season is going to be a lot different just because we have from myself better leadership, but also around the team,” he said. “So I think it’s going to be a much different year.”
Titans RB Derrick Henry and fourth-round RB Hassan Haskins complimented each other and are looking forward to working with each other in 2022.
“I was excited when we got him,” Henry said, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. “Hassan is a beast. I was able to catch his game vs. Ohio State when he went off. Seeing him in person, he is a big dude, and he’s a solid dude. Seeing him [at practice], I can tell everything is coming natural to him. I just told him: ‘Don’t try to get too overwhelmed, just take it day by day.”
“He’s big. I thought I was pretty big but he’s a large guy, I’m not going to lie,” Haskins said, via Mickey Ryan of 104.5 The Zone. “It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that. He’s so big and so fast, it’s ridiculous. I definitely watch him, all his moves. Just seeing how he is, how he handles himself. He’s a super-cool dude… I just want to keep picking his brain and keep getting better.”
Haskins will start off as a backup to Henry but could be in for a larger workload if Henry is injured again like last season.
“In college, I wasn’t starting right away — I had to work my way,” Haskins added. “Now, I have to do the same thing — I have to keep working each day. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be a couple of years, but I am going to keep working and get better to have a role on this team.”