Things are starting to come together for second-year safety Jayron Kearse as he looks to capitalize on his first full offseason.
“Things have definitely slowed down after hitting the playbook and trying to become a more knowledgeable football player,” Kearse said in a recent interview with Zone Coverage.
Despite being just a rookie and a seventh-round pick, Kearse was thrust into battle last year in Philadelphia after Andrew Sendejo went down with an injury. This move showed how much confidence the coaching staff already had in Kearse and allowed him to gain valuable reps against live action for the first time in his young career.
While the outcome was a mixed bag against the Eagles, Kearse noted just how much he was able to learn and understand after the experience, specifically the importance of being ready and prepared when his number is called.
“That was a great experience to be on the field,” Kearse said, “but now I know I need to approach every week the same whether I’m the backup or the starter because you could always end up playing a lot of football.”
Kearse continues to hold the backup spot behind Sendejo and Harrison Smith thus far in camp, something that seems to be all but set in stone at this point. However, given his early playing time last year along with his unique playing size and stature for the position (measuring in at over 6-foot-4), Kearse seems to be in the good graces of Mike Zimmer and the coaching staff. This is great news for Kearse supporters as things were unclear heading into camp just exactly where he would rank in a muddled back-up group with Anthony Harris, Antone Exum and Jack Tocho.
What was supposed to be a barn-burner battle for the backup safety position now seems to be one of the more mundane storylines heading into the team’s first preseason game next week. Once a wild-card projected by some to be cut, Kearse seems to have all but solidified his role with the team in the short term.
But everyone knows if you want to be a legitimate player in the NFL it takes more than just a bag of talent and skills to do the trick. To seal the deal you must possess one helluva nickname, something Kearse seems to already have in the bag.
“Sendejo and Harry, they call me ‘The Crane,’ so we’ve been riding with that, and hopefully I can give the fans a lot of ‘The Crane’ this year,” Kearse said with the biggest smile of camp thus far.