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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Marlin Jackson - Colts Corner May Get Starting Job

This shows that the Colts' 2005 draft effort's paying off. Jackson's the first round pick; the Michigan DB was selected to challenge his secondary mates and improve the defense.

Rather than move to safety, Colts' top 2005 draft pick might supplant David

By Mike Chappell

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Marlin Jackson appears to be on the move, but not from cornerback to safety. Instead, his next stop could be in the starting lineup, at right corner.

Rather than switching positions, as was contemplated earlier this year, the Indianapolis Colts' 2005 first-round draft pick is working his way up the depth chart during training camp at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

A nickel back throughout his rookie season, starting just one game, Jackson has been getting more work as the right cornerback with the No. 1 unit.

He and incumbent Jason David have been splitting repetitions. Jackson was the starter during 11-on-11 work at the end of Friday morning's practice; in the afternoon they were back to alternating.

Jackson declined to predict he'll supplant David for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener. But it's clear that's his goal.
"In my mind, yeah, it can happen," Jackson said.

"I'll just say I want to be on the field. I'm champing at the bit to be on the field so much more."

Jackson appeared in 15 regular-season games as a rookie, with 52 tackles and one interception. David, a fourth-round draft pick in 2004, has started the past two seasons. He drew criticism for giving up some long receptions as a rookie but was solid last year with 41 tackles and two interceptions.

Coach Tony Dungy downplayed Jackson's increased work with the No. 1 unit.

"Marlin's doing fine," he said. "He obviously knows a lot more about our defense this year. That's going to help him.


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