ColtPower: With 20 players injured over the past couple of weeks, what's the mood of the team been like?
Gerome Sapp: "Surprisingly, the mood of the
team is still really high. In preseason, you've got a lot of guys, so while 20
guys is a lot, you still may have 3 to 4 guys at every position. So what that
means to the younger guys and the guys with less experience is that this is my
time to get some more action so the coaches can see what I can do and so I can
build my confidence up. Sometimes we joke around and it's like 'Man, we
don't have anybody practicing' and they get tired some times. But ultimately
for a lot of guys they take that as a chance to get better and to show everybody
what they have. So the mood is higher than people would expect."
CP: Where are you getting reps and where do you see yourself fitting into the 2005 Colts efforts?
Gerome: "Right now I'm getting reps at the #2 spot, taking reps at both strong safety and free safety since I know both of those positions. I guess my role going into the season as of now would be as a backup, but it's a long season and things happen. So I'm sure I'll actually play a lot this season. But that's my role right now, backing both Joe [Jefferson] and Bob [Sanders] up. On special teams, I'm starting on all the teams this year as I did last year...it's going to be a big year for me there, and then I'll step in as needed on defense and do a good job."
CP: Are you more comfortable at one safety spot than the other?
Gerome: "Right now it's about equal. I guess I'm so used to having to go in and switch up at times that I really don't care which one I'm at."
CP: Some people say there is little difference between strong safety and free safety in the Colts scheme, do you agree?
Gerome: "Yes, there's little difference. They are kind of interchangeable, but in different defenses...you may be doing some of the same things, but you may be doing them a bit differently because you're playing on the other side of the ball, you're playing next to a different linebacker and blocking schemes change. It's more of a mental switchover than a physical switchover. There's little difference, but the differences that are there are really key though."
CP: What's the main reason the Colts secondary will be better this year?
Gerome: "Just the fact that most of the guys that have been here are back this year. You can't really bond, you can't really learn and grow as a unit when guys are shuffled in and out. We have the core of what we had last year and guys really know each other. If the safety's not able to get the corner's attention out on the field, the corner automatically knows how that safety's going to help him. Or the safety knows how that corner's going to play that receiver so he can help him the best way possible. I think we're starting to build bonds like that with one another."
"And with the addition of Marlin [Jackson] to the secondary we have the physical play that we need. Nick Harper and Donald Strickland are physical too, you just bring more because I think Marlin's going to be playing on nickel, too. To have a physical force like that, at a corner or nickel inside...it's huge. I just think we're going to be a lot more physical this year."
CP: Who's the toughest receiver you've faced?
Gerome: "Probably Hines Ward. One, he can catch, and two, which is a rarity at all levels of football, he's a receiver who can block. And he not only doesn't mind blocking, he loves blocking. A lot of his backs have had huge runs down the field because of his blocks. He'll come in and crack a linebacker -- and he's going to knock that linebacker on his back. You really don't get many receivers willing and able to do that. When a receiver can do all of that, it's like having another guy on the field."
CP: What's your most memorable moment as a pro so far?
Gerome: "The game against San Diego last year when Peyton threw his 49th touchdown pass on the last drive. It was kind of a simple pass, they do it all the time in practice, but the way he threw it before Stokley even turned, I was like, 'Man, that guys a genius.' He's a great quarterback and football player. There was a lot riding on that game. We actually had to step up and play that game. It wasn't an easy cakewalk like some of our games last year. And I think both the offense and defense stepped up which was a rarity that both sides really had to step up and play."
CP: What else would you like ColtPower fans to know about Gerome Sapp?
Gerome: "I'd like them to know I'm not
just a football player, not just a helmet and shoulder pads. I'm a really laid
back type of guy. If I see you on the street, I'll probably be the one to
initiate conversation with you. There's a lot of dualities in my life,
actually. Football is one side of me – but I read a lot. I try to keep up on
financial news -- that was my major. I love working with kids and I love dogs. I
love to read, I love knowledge. That was one of the hardest things about coming
out of college was not being in an academic environment and learning on a
day-to-day basis. So that's just given me more incentive to go out and read.
There's more to me than meets the eye as with a lot of my teammates."
CP: So what have you been reading lately?
Gerome: "I'm really into Dan Brown right
now. I read Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code during the offseason. And now
I'm reading Deception Point. The way he puts together story lines is