Laskowski Switching to Safety

Linebacker Chris Laskowski will be making a run at the 2006 roster at a new position.

Chris Laskowski's rookie season was filled with ups and downs. After signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, Laskowski suffered a slight shoulder separation on the opening kickoff of the team's first preseason game in Tokyo.

Despite that blow, he put together a solid preseason, especially on special teams. But then he aggravated the shoulder again. Then, in a move that surprised us at ColtPower, he was released in the final round of cuts prior to the start of the regular season.

Some thought he'd be signed to the practice squad, but based on team needs at the time, Laskowski wasn't selected as a member of that initial group. So he went back home to Melbourne, Florida.

But about ten weeks later -- in mid-November -- he got a call from the Colts and was told to pack his bags and head back north to Indy. He finished out the season as a member of the Colts practice squad.

At 5'9 and 210 pounds, one thing working against him was he wasn't as big as the other linebackers. Cato June is 6'0 and weighs in at 227. Gary Brackett is 5'11 and 235. But his speed and his ability to hit were a definite asset to the team, especially on special teams.

There was speculation that he was a bit of a "tweener" for the linebacker position at the pro level, perhaps projecting better as a safety. And if you compare his physical size to Mike Doss, who is 5'10 and 207, or Bob Sanders at 5'8 and 206 pounds, it's easy to see which group Laskowski pairs up with more naturally from a physical stature point of view.

During this offseason, Laskowski received word that he'll be reporting as a safety this year, not a linebacker.
And he's excited.

Laskowski recently told ColtPower that his first priority is to get into better running shape for the position since he'll be covering a bigger area of the field at his new position.

"I'm going to get into shape to where I can run all day," he said.

He played safety in high school, so the position isn't new to him. And while he'll need to dust off his coverage skills a bit, he knows that he is primarily competing for a special teams position while providing a depth option at safety this year.

A twist to the story that adds a layer of complexity for Laskowski is that he just started running again a couple of weeks ago. Immediately after the 2005 season wound down for the Colts, he had sports hernia surgery that required him to rest for about a month while he healed. He just started jogging again towards the end of February.

Laskowski will be joining Mike Doss, Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano, Dexter Reid, Brandon Lynch, and most likely veteran restricted free agent Gerome Sapp on the depth chart at safety.

Sapp, a special teams star for the Colts, is a restricted free agent who was offered a one-year tender by the Colts. If another team offers a better deal, and the Colts decide not to match it, Sapp's new team would have to give up a 6th-round pick in this year's draft to secure his services for this season.

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