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Jerrell Freeman's impact on the Indianapolis Colts' defense shows up in a number of ways.
He's vocal on the field. As a quick and powerful inside linebacker, he's equally capable of sacking a quarterback or intercepting a pass. He's living proof that work and determination do, indeed, pay off, and his play at Kansas City earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Freeman, the former Canadian Football League standout, has emerged as a leader on par with Robert Mathis and Antoine Bethea in the Colts' defense. He vows no letting up as the Colts finish the regular season against the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. today in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here's quick look at Freeman:
Ht: 6-2; Wt: 232; Age: 27; College: Mary Hardin-Baylor; How acquired by Colts: Signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
Fast facts: Recorded an unusual hat trick in the win over Kansas City last week with an interception, a sack and a forced fumble. Another interception was changed to a fumble, so he also had a fumble recovery...Ten tackles and two forced fumbles in win over Houston on Dec. 15. …Thirteen tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery vs. Titans on Dec. 1. …Has 118 tackles this season after recording 145 last season.
Freeman on being named AFC Defensive Player of the Week: “It's a great feeling. But like I said before, that honor's not just about me. It took a lot of guys doing their job. I just made the play when it came to me.”
Freeman on making so many big plays at Kansas City: “Like I said, you want to make the plays when they come to you and I had the opportunity to make a few plays. I got help from a legend (Robert Mathis) on the first one and a couple other ones were just tight coverage and the blitz that was called. But everybody works together. We got to work as a unit out there, so it was definitely more than just me.”
Freeman on his progress from the CFL to today: “It's been pretty fast. A pretty quick turnaround. But it's just dedication, trying to be the best that you can be wherever you're trying to be. It's a credit to our coaching staff for getting me up to speed, especially when I know, first-year guys went down and I had to be in that role. I just try to get better every time I go out there on that field.”
Freeman on Colts coach Chuck Pagano's comment that the game plan has been simplified: “Regardless if it's simplified or not, I know what I'm supposed to be doing. We're professionals out there. But we were definitely flying around out there and having a lot of fun. It was attention to detail on a lot of things. Get a stop, get into predictable situations and get off the field.”
Freeman on what a three-game winning streak would mean entering the playoffs: “It would mean a lot. Like I said, you're trying to get hot. This is the best time to get hot and roll into the playoffs. Like I said, win one more.”