Colts Hot Prospect Q&A: LB Justin London

Justin London talked to ColtPower's Ed Thompson about the Colts' interest in him, being called a "field general" at his position, and his extensive experience in the Cover 2 defense.

Question: What are you hearing that the pro scouts like about the way you play football? Justin London: I'm hearing they say I'm a very explosive football player. Tackle to tackle I get to the ball very quickly. They also like the fact that I'm emotional when I play the game, I call myself a leader out there on the field as well as my knowledge of the game.

Q: Let's talk about that emotion because sometimes it can be a double-edged sword. For some players it can be great, other times it can lead players to play haphazardly. How do you use yours to your advantage?

JL: It can definitely be a double-edged sword. I try to use it to my advantage by playing within myself. Even though I'm an emotional player I just play the game the way I know how to play it. I try not to do too much even though I want it so bad. You have to play within a scheme and what you're taught from your coaches.

Q: I know, especially your freshman year, you got some good special teams experience under your belt. Which special teams units do you really feel you could contribute to at the pro level right away?

JL: As a linebacker, I feel I could play on any special teams unit and I should. I really wouldn't care which, but as far as what I feel I've been good at in the past would be the defensive ones, whether it is punt or kickoff. I've also had some good experience on punt returns, which is something I love to do…as well as kickoffs.

Q: Do you feel you'd be just as effective in a 3-4 as you are in a 4-3?

JL: I think so. It would be a transition, just because I've been in a 4-3 the past four years. But, I feel that once I caught on I'd be able to play in it and be just as effective as I am in a 4-3.

Q: You seem to be a natural out there as far as being a field general from the middle linebacker position and I saw a comment where someone remarked "it's almost like having an extra coach on the field." How do you react to that type of comment?

JL: I'm definitely flattered by that. I would say I'm blessed. I love the game, I feel I can trust my eyes and trust what I see as soon as the ball is snapped and that is definitely a big plus for me and my game.

Q: You were the team's leading tackle in 2003. You had the high ankle sprain in 2004 that limited you a bit. What happened on the play when you injured yourself and did you know right away that it was going to be quite that bad?

JL: Actually, I was coming up into the hole to make a play. It was a running play and I was coming up into the hole and as I was stepping into the hole an offensive lineman had kind of tossed a defensive lineman down and they both came down on my right ankle. It caused a sprain and I knew it was more serious than any sprain I had ever had, but I still remained very optimistic that it would be ok. Maybe I was a little overoptimistic and I tried to get back out there too quick and that definitely cost me.

Q: How is it doing now?

JL: Right now it's doing great. It feels better than it has since last summer, so it's been great these past few weeks being able to work out and not worry about it and just get back to my old self.

Q: Have you been having any conversations with teams to give them that reassurance that it's coming along well or have you been able to show that in workouts?

JL: I believe so. Everyone I've talked to from the Chargers to the Rams to the Jaguars, I feel like I've done a good job of reassuring them that the ankle fine. In workouts I been showing the strength and explosiveness of my right leg and that it's as good as my other leg and that I'm back and that it's back to 100 percent. So, I feel like I've done a good job with it so far.

Q: I've also heard you've drawn some interest from the Colts...

JL: Yes, I've talked to them more than others as well. My agent has been talking to them…

Q: The Colts run the Cover 2, is that a scheme that you're familiar with?

JL: Definitely. That's what I've been in since my sophomore season. It would be a very natural transition to be able to come into a cover 2 defense. I would be excited about that. Whenever you can ease the transition period and go into a system very similar to your own, this would be great.

Q: You obviously know about Tony Dungy and his reputation. How exciting would it be to play for a coach like that?

JL: It would be very exciting. Just his focus, knowledge of the game and how he leads out there and the confidence he shows in himself…it would be awesome to play for him.

Q: Can you imagine yourself going from UCLA to a team like the Colts who year after year are knocking on the door to a Super Bowl. Could you imagine yourself getting to that level that quick?

JL: Oh, definitely. Whenever I'm not working out or in school I'm thinking about the opportunity to get to a Super Bowl or Pro Bowl and I think about what it would be like to get into those situations. I could definitely see myself out there.


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