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NFL SUNDAY NIGHT SPOTLIGHT

Colts' Jerraud Powers now covers his idols

As he prepares for his assignment of covering Randy Moss, the rookie cornerback remembers getting a jersey of the receiver when he was younger.

November 14, 2009

At various times tonight, Indianapolis rookie cornerback Jerraud Powers will find himself covering New England star Randy Moss.

But a decade ago, it was more like Moss covered Powers.

"I was 10 years old and I got his jersey for Christmas, his Vikings jersey . . . " said Powers, 22, who starts on the right side. "When he first came in the league he was making all those big-time catches over four and five defenders and all of that. I was a big fan of his growing up."

Powers has no concerns he'll be able to focus on the task at hand when the Colts play the Patriots in the latest chapter of the NFL's rivalry of the decade. Indianapolis is starting rookies at both corners -- third-round pick Powers and undrafted free agent Jacob Lacey -- and they will be tested early and often by Tom Brady.

Powers knows that one lapse in concentration can spell doom.

"Just watching film, I've seen too many times where Tom might escape one guy, escape two guys, and you think Randy's covered," he said. "All of a sudden he takes off going in a completely different direction and Tom finds him in the end zone."

Boiling this game down to Brady versus two rookie corners is wildly oversimplifying things, but it's one of many matchups to watch. And it's just another milestone for Powers, whom his coaches and teammates consider much savvier than the typical rookie.

"I didn't think I'd get to this point where I'm now starting for the Colts and facing Randy this weekend," he said. "It's another great challenge.

"It's sort of the same feeling I had when we were playing Jacksonville and going against Torry Holt. I was just like, 'Dang, I remember watching this guy in the Super Bowl back when I was in junior high.' It's the same feeling, going against another Hall of Fame guy. It's another great opportunity."

-- Sam Farmer

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