It’s funny everybody wants to talk about this red jersey, but it really was a reminder to him (because) the first day he came out he was diving all over the place,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said. “He practiced the same way today as the last couple weeks, but it was more of, I finally said now we’ll take it off. It was a reminder to him to be smart on what he was doing and protect himself in certain situations to make sure he’s in football shape. So we finally cut the cord today.”
Verrett was pleased to be back wearing the same navy blue jersey as his defensive teammates on Monday.
“It means everything to me,” he said. “I’m just trying to get back to where I was. I’m just trying to get back up to pace. That’s my goal; to treat every day like it’s game day and go hard in the rehab. Hopefully I’ll be out there ready to play.”
Overall, McCoy is a big fan of the rookie, evidenced by his response when asked how Verrett’s looked in camp.
“Outstanding,” he said. “But he’s got a long way to go. I mean, he’s made plenty of mistakes too, but there’s a reason why we took him where we picked him. You can see the talent that he has out here, but now it’s a matter of going into a game, playing full speed, making the checks and understanding what certain calls mean on the run. The next time he gets out there it’s going to be full speed. So when you’re playing the game for the first time, it’s a matter of executing the way you do out here on the practice field but when it counts for real. He’s practiced as hard as anyone else.”
While he’s happy to no longer be wearing the red kit, Verrett didn’t let it stop him from competing as he saw fit.
“The jersey just is what it is,” he said. “I just try to go out there and compete, try to get better and learn from the older guys…. I’ve been visualizing myself being out there. I definitely enjoy it. It’s a dream come true being out there on that football field. I’m just ready for my shot.”