When the Indianapolis Colts hired Chris Ballard earlier this offseason, they surely couldn’t have known that they would wind up drafting a player with similar ambitions.
Enter fifth round pick Anthony Walker, who eventually has hopes of becoming an NFL general manager.
"Just wanted to be around the game of football and be a part of the team and actually make some decisions," Walker said yesterday, according to the Anderson Herald-Bulletin’s George Bremer. "That's why I've been kind of watching that lately, and that's what I want to do."
We shouldn’t rule out Walker, who recently finished school at Northwestern, for that job in the future, but for now he’s focused on his NFL career. Because of NFL rules he wasn’t allowed to participate in the Colts’ OTAs until his classes were finished, but he arrived in Indianapolis last Thursday and participated in his fourth OTA practice on Tuesday. So when it’s all said and done, he’ll have participated in more than half of the OTAs and doesn’t feel behind.
Part of that is because while he was finishing up at Northwestern, he was very focused on studying the playbook and learning as much as he could. Bremer noted that Walker would watch videos of practice on his iPad while he was away, with the videos narrated by coaches on the phone. That helped Walker stay up to speed, as did studying the playbook as much as possible - he only had one class, so it provided more study time for the playbook.
“Not really,” Walker said when asked if he feels behind. “I’ve been literally going over practice film with Coach Herm [Herrmann] every day, every day that I missed. I’ve been in my playbook and everything. Maybe a couple reps here and there that I probably would have got earlier, but that’s just going with the flow of the game. It’s been a good transition.”
With Walker now in the mix at inside linebacker the competition is really starting to heat up, and he’s a very interesting player to add to that competition.
“He’s a between the tackles guy and probably a little bit faster than you give him credit than his timed speed,” Chuck Pagano said yesterday. “He’s a quick reactor – good key and diagnose. He anticipates things well, sees things well and gets a jump on things so he looks a little bit faster than maybe a timed 40 speed.”
It’s possible that he’ll wind up playing a significant role on the defense sooner rather than later, and his focus is on having as good of an NFL career as possible. And after that? He’ll be coming for Chris Ballard’s job.