How do you not like a guy like Jordan Senn? Coming into the 2008 draft, those national media types who had wrote of him projected him as a strong safety who had little chance of making an NFL roster. Not only did he make one of the NFL's best teams, but he did it at outside linebacker (his more natural position), beating out better known prospects like Ramon Guzman, Terna Nande, Kyle Shotwell, Victor Worsley and Brandon Archer.
Once he made the team, he became a reliable and sometimes spectacular performer on special teams. On defense, his rookie season was promising, and he played better and more often than the Colts' vaunted third-round pick Philip Wheeler.
If that's not enough, keep in mind that this guy graduated with a 3.86 grade point average and two Academic All-American awards. And, after his football career is over, Senn hopes to save lives as a firefighter or EMT.
ColtPlay caught up with Senn, and asked him a few questions.
CP: You put up some big numbers at PSU, and had some nice workouts; what other NFL teams were interested in you? I read somewhere that the Colts were your first choice, why?
Senn: A few other teams showed some interest prior to the draft last year. The teams my agent and/or I spoke with were the Seahawks (where I took a visit), the Chiefs and the Bills. The Colts were my first choice for a number of reasons. One of the big reasons for my choosing to go to take the invite to Indianapolis was because of the amazing things I had heard about Coach Dungy, both on and off the field. Obviously he has been a very successful coach, but I think how he did it is what really interested me. All I heard about him was that he was an amazing man, who wanted not just good football player on his team, but good men. That was something that really stuck out in my mind. I wanted to go somewhere where I felt that I would be around a lot of good role models that could mentor me and help me develop into the player that I want to be. Another reason for The Colts being my choice was because I felt I fit in well to the defensive scheme and that they had a track record of free agent guys coming in, earning respect and eventually becoming big contributors on the team. Which was and is a major goal of mine.
CP: Did you find the Colts’ defense difficult to pick up? Did you work out at any defensive positions other than OLB (I know lots of draft “experts” thought you’d wind up at SS)?
Senn: The defense wasn't too difficult to pick up, but I'm definitely still learning the small details that it takes to be a starter. With anything new, I think it takes repetition to become efficient and productive. Coming out of college last year I wasn't sure what position teams were going to see as a good fit for me. I had played safety basically all my life until my junior season of college where I moved to SS/WLB, so I didn't really know where I'd fit in. And of course with me being undersized I didn't really know what to expect.
CP: You’re best known to Colts fans for your work on special teams; how is it different from defense?
Senn: In terms of mindset I would say that special teams doesn't differ from defense all that much. Anytime I'm on the field it's all about getting my job done and having what a lot of people call "want to." Just the desire to be the one making the play and/or doing what is needed to make it possible for someone else to make the play. Physically special teams can bring about some serious collisions, but that's what the games all about in my eyes.
CP: Have the coaches talked to you about possibly competing for a starting spot this year or next?
Senn: We have yet to meet with the coaching staff since the day after the San Diego game, so I have yet to speak with them about next year. I feel like we're all competing for a starting spot. If you don't approach the offseason like you're going to be starting then you're just selling yourself short. I think about it everyday as I train. Thats what I'm training for and thats my goal. If I don't earn the starting spot, it won't be because I didn't work like I was the starter. It will be because I'm not better than the guy ahead of me.
CP: Do you think the new coaching staff will bring many changes to the defense or your position?
Senn: As for the new staff I can't comment on if there will be many changes or not, since we have yet to meet as a team.
CP: The Colts have a reputation for letting OLBs leave in free agency, is that a concern for you?
Senn: I try not to focus on the things I can't control. As long as I stay focused on my own performance, things will work out the way they are meant to.
CP: As a former running back, do you miss playing offense? Any talk of you playing fullback?
Senn: Honestly it's been such a long time since I played offense, that I can't say I really miss it. There's never been any talk of me playing any fullback, if that was something I was asked to do I would love the challenge.
CP: What was the most memorable experience in your rookie season?
Senn: That's a hard question to answer. There were a lot of memorable experiences, one that stands out is the pregame national anthem in San Diego for the playoff game. I could feel the energy from the crowd rushing through my body. When the national anthem finished there was a fly by and that rush was pretty amazing. The other that stands out is the preseason game at home where I started on defense and was announced as we ran out onto the field. It was a special moment for me and something that I still drives me during the offseason.