Indianapolis Colts defensive nose tackle Josh Chapman qualifies his opinion only slightly with the fact he's a rookie.
This is his first run to the NFL, so perhaps he's optimistic because he doesn't know any better. However, he has been around a championship team at the University of Alabama.
He likes what he sees with the new-look Colts.
“We have a lot of great players and a chance to do something special,” Chapman said Monday during a Colts Fan Fest stop in Fort Wayne. “I'm going to go out there and compete and let everything handle itself. I've been on the field and from my eyes and my point of view, we're clicking together. Everybody sees the big picture of what we want to do.”
Chapman said everyone has taken to the direction of Colts coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, whether they've been around the Colts for a while (Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, Antoine Bethea) or are new to Indianapolis.
Pagano and Manusky are working to change the Colts defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Chapman played nose tackle in the 3-4 system in college.
“Guys know how to adapt and adjust,” Chapman said. “You can only deal with the hand you're dealt. I feel we're coming along the right way. The 3-4 defense is a fun defense. If everything is done right, it can be a great defense.”
Asked if he has his sights set on the starting nose tackle job, Chapman smiled and gave a good rookie response.
“I'm just trying to compete for a job,” he said.
Chapman underwent knee surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament after the college season last winter, and says it is progressing well.
“Everything's going right on schedule,” he said. “I'm getting my strength back. I'm getting back to myself and feeling pretty good.”
Chapman and other Colts rookies are in Aurora, Ohio, the rest of the week at the NFL's rookie symposium.
He said the Colts rookies have developed a good rapport. It's likely a number of them will be playing important roles, starting with quarterback Andrew Luck and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
“Even though we're all competing for jobs, I feel like we click,” Chapman said. “Our player development coordinator David Thornton has done a great job getting us together and engaging with us and helping us learn more about the NFL all the way around.”