A learning experience for rookie Rock Ya-Sin


A referee throws a flag on Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin in Indianapolis’ 15-13 win over Denver (WXIN October 27, 2019).

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Colts’ defense stepped up Sunday when it was needed the most, holding the Broncos scoreless on their last six possessions.

“We know how good we can be,” said linebacker Darius Leonard. “Even though we played sloppy today, we found a way to get the job done.”

After collecting his thoughts, Leonard added, “A lotta penalties.”

No discussion of today’s penalties is complete without including Rock Ya-Sin, as the Colts’ rookie saw five flags thrown his way.

“I feel like I gotta look in the mirror and own some of the mistakes I had, giving up some balls and fouling guys,” explained Ya-Sin. “Gotta keep my hands down. Gotta continue to get better.”

In a tough day, Ya-Sin toughed it out without changing his style.

“That’s what you can’t do,” says Ya-Sin, “cause if you change up your game now, instead of giving up fouls, you’re giving up touchdowns.”

“He was just like, ‘Of course I’m gonna keep playing (my game),'” added quarterback Jacoby Brissett. “Who cares about the penalty calls. I mean, how many penalties did he have, and we still won the game?”

With both Pierre Desir and Quincy Wilson inactive, the Colts’ coaching staff was certainly asking more of Ya-Sin than they have in the past in this week’s game. Few players can understand Ya-Sin’s position better than another member of the secondary, Malik Hooker.

“When you’re a first or second round pick,” says Hooker, “you go out there and have a bad game one time, it’s like the world (says), ‘Aw, he sucks. He wasn’t worth that pick.’

“If you get mad at yourself, you’re just throwing more dirt on the pile. That’s what I kept telling him. You gotta forget that.”

While Ya-Sin forgets the disappointments, coach Frank Reich remembers his successes.

“You just learn in your rookie year,” explains Reich. “He’s been playing great football. So he’ll learn from this and get better.”

“I’ve seen Rock go against the best on our team plenty of times and win matchups and make crazy plays,” adds Hooker.

“It happens. It’s the NFL. You play bad one week, the best thing is, you get to play again next Sunday.”


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