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First round pick Jeff Gladney saw his first major action last Sunday against the Colts. The rookie played 82 percent of the defensive snaps with mixed results on the field. Let’s dive into the plays that involved Gladney the most. 

The Situation: 4:14 left in the first quarter, third-and-4. 

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Gladney is matched up on the outside against Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver, bursts off the line, pushes his body into Gladney to create separation to the inside track on the slant, and then gains an easy first down. 

Gladney is at the bottom of the screen. 

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The Situation: 6:44 in the second quarter, third-and-7. 

This play against T.Y. Hilton was probably Gladney’s best coverage of the day. Despite Hilton being a savvy route runner, Gladney stays locked on Hilton’s outside hip. Phillip Rivers’ pass lands outside implying that Hilton was running a corner route but Gladney’s coverage doesn’t give it a chance to be caught. 

Gladney is at the top of the screen. 

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The Situation: 3:55 in the second quarter, third-and-5. 

This one can be a strike against coaching. Gladney is asked to go one-on-one with tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who is split out wide. Gladney, who weighs in at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, does his best to jam the much bigger Alie-Cox. Gladney stands little chance against the 6-foot-5, 267-pound tight end. Alie-Cox gains the position on a comeback route for a first down. 

Gladney is at the right of the screen. 

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The Situation: 0:41 in the second quarter, second-and-10. 

Minnesota appears to be in zone coverage on this play. Gladney bumps Hilton on his route and then reacts quickly to Rivers finding Jonathan Taylor in the flat. Gladney squares Taylor up in the open field and makes a solid tackle to keep him inbounds. 

Gladney is at the top of the screen. 

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The Situation: 15:00 in the third quarter, first-and-10. 

On this play, Gladney comes down to attack the run. Taylor finds no hole in the middle and attempts to bounce it outside. Gladney sets the edge and makes the tackle. 

Gladney is at the right of the screen. 

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The Situation: 14:02 in the fourth quarter, first-and-goal.

Colts’ Frank Reich draws up a very nice concept to attack an inexperienced cornerback in the red zone. Gladney lines up on Hilton here, but Hilton has no intention of running a route. Hilton goes to set a pick on Mike Hughes. Zach Pascal then becomes open, and Gladney doesn’t recognize the development quick enough as Pascal scores pretty easily. It’s more a good play by Indianapolis than it is a bad play by Gladney. 

Gladney is at the bottom of the screen. 

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The Situation: 11:51 in the fourth quarter, second-and-11.

Hilton’s experience wins against Gladney on this play. Hilton gets deep into his route, then uses his hands and bottom to gain advantage on Gladney. Hilton forced Gladney to miss a tackle as well in a sequence Gladney will want to forget. 

Gladney is at the bottom of the screen. 

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Overall, Gladney’s first go-around as a primary defender was a tough day. However, it wasn’t all bad for the first round pick and hopefully it is all up from here for Gladney. 

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Brady Vernon is a recent graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree through Gonzaga University. He is an avid sports fan with aspirations of being a NFL Beat Reporter or a role in a NFL front office. Follow him on Twitter @BradyVernon