Henry Anderson relishes Jets’ victory over his former Colts teammates

New York Jets defensive end Henry Anderson doesn’t harbor any outward ill will to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts.

Still, contributing to a 42-34 victory over his ex-employer and some of his old pals was a sweet proposition.

"Obviously, [I had] a little chip on my shoulder playing those guys after getting traded," Anderson told amNewYork while promoting the newly-released video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4." "[It was] definitely fun to get the win, and it was good to see some of those guys that I had become friends with over the years there after the game."

Anderson, 27, played his first three NFL seasons in Indianapolis after the franchise selected in him out of Stanford in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was traded to the Jets on April 28, during the final day of this year’s draft, in exchange for a seventh-round pick. The move allowed Anderson to continue to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme; the Colts moved to a 4-3 formation ahead of this season.

Although Anderson certainly was pleased with Sunday’s result, he admitted it was strange playing against his friends and former teammates.

"It was kind of awkward going against some of my buddies on the offensive line in a game situation," he said. "We were talking here and there; nothing bad. I said ‘Hi’ to Andrew [Luck] early in the game. I got to catch up with a few of them afterwards."

Anderson is off to a strong start to his Jets career. He tallied just three total sacks in 29 games over three seasons with the Colts. He has 2.5 already this year, although he hasn’t brought down the opposing quarterback during the team’s current two-game win streak. 

Don’t think for a second Anderson was trying to go easy on his former teammate Luck on Sunday.

"I wanted to [sack Luck] pretty bad, but he did a good job getting rid of the ball. I thought we had some good pressure. We didn’t have any sacks, but I thought we had good pressure throughout the game. But, yeah, it would have been nice to get a sack on him."

The Jets’ pass rush entered the season with low expectations after failing to bring in any established edge rushers. However, the team currently is a modest 18th in the NFL with 14 sacks, tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ vaunted defense.

Anderson, tied for second on the team in that category, credits the coaching staff for its work on the pass rush. As for his individual results, he noted that he "trained probably harder than I have since I’ve been in the league this offseason" and worked to improve his "quickness and power off the line."

"Even in games where I’m not getting sacks, I feel I’m getting good pressure and getting in the quarterback’s face," Anderson said.

An avid gamer, Anderson got the call he had been traded while in the middle of a Xbox One session playing "PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds," a popular battle royale game. He and some teammates have been playing the new Blackout battle royale mode in "Black Ops 4" in their free time since its Oct. 12 release.

"A lot of the guys on my team have ‘Call of Duty,’ and we’ll squad up after we get home from practice," Anderson said, noting he often plays with fellow defensive lineman and team sack leader Leonard Williams as well as punter Lachlan Edwards.

Athletes’ gaming habits have entered the spotlight this year with the rise of mega-popular battle royale game "Fortnite." Earlier this month, it was reported the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks established a "Fortnite" ban this season.

The Jets have no such policy in place, Anderson said, pointing out gaming his a harmless way for he and his teammates to unwind after practice.

"They’d probably rather have us playing video games that going out causing trouble and getting into trouble," he said.