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Former first-rounder Jerry Hughes trying to escape “bust” label

Jerry Hughes AP

Under the previous regime, Colts pass rusher Jerry Hughes was nothing short of a bust.

But thanks to a new general manager, a new coach and a new defense, the former first-round pick has a  new chance to prove himself a player.

“He sure looks like it to me,” new Colts GM Ryan Grigson told Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t know the Jerry Hughes people are down on.

“I saw him in college and really liked what I saw. The only exposure I have to Jerry Hughes has been all good, what I saw in college and here. He’s done everything [the coaches] have asked. He’s great in the [linebackers] room. He’s making strides every day.”

Hughes was the 31st overall pick in 2010, but since then, he’s only played in 24 games, with 15 tackles and one sack.

Because of the signing bonus that came with his rookie deal, he’d actually cost the Colts more against the salary cap to cut than keep, so they’re going to give him another shot.

The hope is that playing him as an outside linebacker in coach Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 system will better allow him to make plays than he did with his hand down in the 4-3. But Grigson was emphatic they wouldn’t judge him on what happened the last two years.

“Everyone on this team now, and from the day I came in, and with Chuck, truly, genuinely, 100 percent true, had a clean slate. Period. We don’t want to know anything about the past,” Grigson said. “That’s everybody, players, employees, everybody in this building. I don’t want to hear anything about before. I want everybody to believe what I said: this is about moving forward. It’s a new era.”

While former Colts boss Bill Polian is well-regarded for a reason, some of his latter drafts with the Colts leave much to be desired. Burning high picks on under-performers such as Hughes, Anthony Gonzalez and Tony Ugoh takes some of the shine off an otherwise excellent resume.

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8 Responses to “Former first-rounder Jerry Hughes trying to escape “bust” label”
  1. jhart615 says: Jun 19, 2012 10:41 AM

    Nice pick Colts!

  2. detroitrollin22 says: Jun 19, 2012 11:07 AM

    I think Hughes will have a solid season in the 3-4 defense.

    32 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF

  3. turdfurgerson68 says: Jun 19, 2012 11:48 AM

    Hard to critizie Bill Polian as all GM’s pick duds every so often.

    Even the greatest coach/GM in modern NFL history, Bill Belichick has made some poor decisions.

    (Let the Beli’cheat’ comments begin…)

  4. peytonsneck18 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:03 PM

    I think coach Pags will get the most out od Jerry in the 3-4D, hes a OLB not a DE….go colts!!!!

  5. benacci says: Jun 19, 2012 12:03 PM

    You cant knock Gonzo for poor performance, no one can predict injuries and the effects they have on a player. His first 2 years he had decent numbers.

  6. nepaseahawk says: Jun 19, 2012 12:39 PM

    I love when you guys predict peoples season stats….uhhhhm 34 tackles and aaaaah 4..no 5…no I think 4.5 sacks and ummmm lets see….1 forced fumble

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 19, 2012 1:20 PM

    Jerry ran round and round, trying to pin the “BUST” label on one of the other prospects, but he wasn’t quick enough, agile enough, or clever enough to catch up to them.

  8. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Jun 19, 2012 11:06 PM

    The scouting reports on Hughes when he was drafted seem to say he’d excel at being a OLB in a 3-4.

    The Colts may have tried to put a square peg in a round hole by trying to convert him into a 4-3 Cover 2 DE.

    This was a pick Na-Polian took a lot of flack for, but I think this first rounder might work out for us after all in our new defense.

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