Colt Scout: Safety Scott Ware

The Colts added former USC safety Scott Ware to their practice squad as they continued to deal with depth problems at the position. Jerry Langton fills you in on the newest Colt...

Scott Ware

Numbers: 6011/213/4.72 (NFL Pro Day)

2006 preseason stats: 1 pass deflection with Philadelphia

2005 stats: 32 tackles, 19 assists, 1-1 tackles for loss, 1-30-0 interceptions, 2 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, 1-0-0 fumble recovery with Southern Cal

The player: On a Trojans team studded with stars, Ware always stood out. It's not that he was their best player, but he was the guy responsible for the most bone-jarring and highlight-reel worthy hits. Say all you will about his backfield partner Darnell Bing, it was Ware who really packed the big-time lumber. Whether jamming a lane, blitzing or in pursuit, Ware can deliver jarring, intimidating blows in the mold of Doug Plank or (dare I even say it) Chuck Cecil. And he's plenty instinctive Ñ you'll never see him chasing the back on play action or frozen by a pump fake. He has a quick analytical mind that helps him in coverage. So why did he go undrafted and get cut by the Eagles after two preseason games? Well, the NFL just doesn't have a lot of room for safeties with 4.72 forties and stiff hips no matter what else is on their resumes. While Ware may have the perfect head and heart for the game, he doesn't have the body Ñ at least for this era when most safeties are more like the corners of 15 years ago. While he's smooth, even graceful, in his drops, he's not great moving laterally, especially in anticipation. He's easily outdistanced by all but a few fullbacks on long routes unless he leave a giant cushion and, although he's a solid fundamental tackler, he's one juke away from giving the other team six on any play because of his lack of catch-up speed. Still, Ware's astute play could make him a decent part-time contributor as a Cover-2 safety or special-teams contributor and he has perhaps even better potential as a weakside linebacker prospect.

How he fits: With Mike Doss out, Bob Sanders as reliable as a 20-year-old Alfa Romeo and Antoine Bethea beginning to show signs of Long-season wear-and-tear, the Colts were desperate for a little safety depth. If you scan the horizon, you'll probably agree that Ware is the best and most suitable guy out there, but he would probably only play in case of dire emergency. More intriguing, though, is the idea that Ware, who has a lot in common with Cato June but is a harder hitter, could have a future as a linebacker. Perhaps a few practice squad reps at the position and a spring in Europe could prove his worth.

Reminds me of: While most of the safeties he reminds me of retired years ago, ware does have a striking similarity to Greg Blue, the former Georgia free safety who plays occasionally for the Vikings and may also eventually find himself a linebacker.

Harry How/Getty Images

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