Colts CB JuJu Brents leaning on veteran Kenny Moore this offseason

A player’s second NFL season is often when we see the biggest jump, and the Colts are banking heavily on cornerback JuJu Brents making that leap.

This offseason, to help facilitate what hopefully becomes a Year 2 jump, Brents has relied heavily on fellow cornerback Kenny Moore.

“You just piggyback and learn from all the vets, for real,” said Brents after Wednesday’s practice. “The one guy I did just follow behind was K-Mo. Just trying to figure out his daily routines, even like off the field. How he goes about his daily stuff, taking care of his body. That’s big for me. Just continuing to learn how to be a pro in that aspect.”

Brents, unfortunately, dealt with injuries throughout his rookie season. He was limited to just nine games, eight of which were starts. In those games, Brents allowed a completion rate of 66.7 percent, 14.2 yards per catch, and recorded one interception, along with five pass breakups.

Making matters more difficult for Brents was that he was playing catchup from the start. Wrist surgery following the NFL Combine kept him out of OTAs and forced him to miss a portion of training camp.

Although Brents kept his nose in the playbook while sidelined, there is no replacing those on-field reps that take place during practice.

“That part is challenging,” said Gus Bradley about Brents’ missed time last offseason. “There’s still a little bit where we’re looking at him, and you can see that he’s had some experienced play, and now when you’re going through this phase of it, you’re looking back at it, and you’re saying, ‘boy, let’s start over with him here, and let’s get him back to the fundamentals and the basics.’

“It’s not so much the technique at the line of scrimmage, it’s more what are the formations, the motions, the jets, the things like that, that I think for JuJu, that’s going to be the learning curve. He missed a lot of that, even in walkthroughs and training camp.”

In addition to picking the brain of Moore and other veterans like DeForest Buckner and Quenton Nelson, Brents has focused on his offseason diet and been extremely intentional with everything he does to make sure he is able to stay healthy over the course of the season.

Outside of Moore, who will be lined up in the slot, Bradley called the battle for the Colts’ two starting boundary cornerback positions ‘wide open.’ Competing with Brents will be Dallis Flowers, who is returning from an Achilles injury, Jaylon Jones, Darrell Baker, and Jaylin Simpson.

Although there are unknowns at cornerback, a position group that gave up too many big plays last season, internally, the Colts appear bullish about this unit, given that the only outside additions made were in the fifth and sixth-rounds of the draft.

Ballard mentioned that the experience gained last season by young players like Brents, along with the return of Flowers, should result in improved play in 2024.

Now healthy, along with the help of Moore and others, Brents has been able to fully attack this offseason, something he was unable to do a year ago and a factor that should be a catalyst behind a leap in development that so many successful NFL players make.

“Last year, I feel like I was getting pretty comfortable,” added Brents, “just getting those experiences early on. Like even now, this year, like I said, just continuing to carry on the habit. This offseason, having these reps, which are vital, like I said, they’re like game reps the way I’ve been approaching them. So just having those reps are important, it’s big to carry on into this upcoming year.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire