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Chuck Pagano: Colts' Bjoern Werner made 'huge jump'

One key storyline for the Indianapolis Colts entering training camp was finding a player to supplement Robert Mathis' production while the vet serves his four-game suspension.

The preferred choice for the Colts would be second-year outside linebacker Bjoern Werner evolving into the pass-rushing role.

So far, so good.

"He's made a huge jump," coach Chuck Pagano said, per The Indianapolis Star. "From a terminology standpoint, scheme standpoint, he's not thinking now. He's able to play extremely fast.

"We know he's got ability. The things that you're seeing, we're seeing the same thing. But again, it's all a byproduct of the time he put in in the offseason."

Watching Werner's lone start during his rookie season on NFL Game Rewind, the linebacker looked lost at times in coverage and hesitant rushing the passer.

The Colts believe the young player's offseason work will pay off. Mathis said Werner is "going to shine" in 2014.

"Leaps and bounds," Mathis said of Werner's improvement. "He knows what he's doing. He can play fast and there is more reaction than thinking. That's what defense is. Defense is just reaction, reacting to what the offense gives you."

The Colts need Werner to do more than play fast. They need him to produce big time in Year 2, especially the four games Mathis is out.

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