The Indianapolis Colts have designated its franchise tag on punter Pat McAfee.
“It’s an honor to know that I’ll be a member of the Indianapolis Colts for at least another year,” said McAfee. “I love the city, I love the team, and I love being a member of the community. I obviously hope to work out a long-term deal to stay here forever, but one more guaranteed year is awesome. Go Colts.
McAfee enters his fifth NFL season after being selected by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft (222nd overall). In his career (63 games), he has totaled 290 punts for a franchise record 45.5 average while adding a long kick of 66 yards, which he set in 2010. McAfee has also pinned 89 punts inside the 20-yard line as well as contributing with 123 touchbacks on kickoffs.
In 2012, McAfee set franchise single season records for punting average (48.2), net punting average (40.3), 50.0-yard average games (five) and tied the mark for punts inside the 20-yard line (26). He also established a team record for kickoff touchbacks (45) in a single season.
As a rookie in 2009, McAfee was named to the PFW/PFWA and The Sporting News NFL All-Rookie Teams.
Tags: Colts, pat mcafee
Posted in Colts Blog
Former NFL center Jeff Saturday will officially retire as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. The 14-year veteran who spent 13 seasons with the Colts will make his retirement official at a press conference on Thursday, March 7, at noon at the team’s Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Watch it streaming on Colts.com/live.
“The years I spent with the Colts were truly remarkable and I am honored to be able to retire as a member of one of the classiest organizations in the NFL,” said Saturday. “I also want to thank Green Bay for the opportunity to compete as a member of the Packers last season. During my time in Indianapolis, I made tremendous relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and staff within the organization. It was also a pleasure playing for Mr. Irsay who is a wonderful owner. He gave tremendous support for my wife and I in all of our community endeavors. There were so many successful seasons that I was part of, but nothing tops our Super Bowl championship during the 2006 season. I’ll never forget the support of Colts fans and the City of Indianapolis during my time here. My wife and I love this community and have established our roots here. We’re looking forward to the next chapter in Indianapolis.”
Saturday started 202-of-211 contests in his NFL career with the Colts and Packers. His 13 seasons in Indianapolis rank tied for the third most in franchise history, while his 197 games played is currently tied for fourth in team annals. Saturday was named to three Associated Press NFL All-Pro teams and was selected to five Pro Bowls. He celebrated a Super Bowl XLI Championship during the 2006 campaign.
Saturday was part of an offensive line that assisted the Colts in generating 5,000-plus net yard seasons from 1999-2010. In 2010, the offensive line allowed 16.0 sacks, tied for the fewest in the NFL. It also marked the fifth time the club ranked first in the category with Saturday in the lineup (2004-2006, 2009-2010). The offensive line helped quarterback Peyton Manning become the only NFL quarterback with 13 consecutive seasons with 25-plus touchdown passes and 3,000-plus passing yards. Saturday and Manning also surpassed Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton and center Mick Tingelhoff for the most starts by a quarterback-center duo in NFL history with 170. The team’s record during those starts was 120-50.
Saturday was also an instrumental figure for the NFL Players Association during the 2011 collective bargaining agreement negotiations. He worked diligently with other members of the NFLPA and the NFL to end a lockout prior to the start of the season.
Tags: Colts, Jeff Saturday
Posted in Colts Blog
I saw with a bit of interest that Bob Knight has a new book that will be released soon. The title refers to the “Power of Negative Thinking” being an approach to achieve positive results.
Coach Knight always has been an intriguing individual with a persona that extends far past Indiana.
Seeing excerpts today made me think back about 13 years ago when Bill Polian and Jim Mora invited him to speak to the team one day after spring practice concluded.
This was right after the news of the Neil Reed incident became public, so I whisked Knight in while reporters had their heads turned, and I held him from sight until the media had departed practice.
We sometimes announced when we would have a guest at practice, but we did not do so in this instance. Keeping things under wraps can help maintain the appropriate practice atmosphere, plus it can allow a visitor to engage with our people without distractions.
I had met Coach Knight previously, but not to the extent he could have remembered. Having a few moments with him was fun.
Being an alum of LSU, we talked about two significant wins he had over the Tigers in tournament play, one in 1981 in the Final Four and another in the regionals in 1987 in Cincinnati.
When it was time to get him onto the field, I figured I would stand close enough to the action so I could hear his comments. Why not?
Polian greeted Knight warmly and Jim did, too, when practice was over. We had a team with young veterans at this point, so a talk from a coaching legend could be interesting.
I was wrong. It was fantastic.
Jim introduced Knight to the players and almost on cue, they took a knee. That in itself was interesting since that only occurs in Hollywood, not after a normal practice.
He spoke about 15 minutes. Knight’s voice was the only sound, and he told the team that spring was the time of year when champions are forged. They are not formed as late as training camp and certainly not during the season.
Like Ali, he harped on the real work being done away from the bright lights. He talked about fundamentals, work ethic and integrity. You could imagine his very first Indiana team had heard this message, along with all those that followed.
His best remark was the mental approach a player had to take in being successful. Knight said, “Mental is to physical as four is to one.”
Again, I am sure he had used that line on countless occasions, but it was timeless. It seemed very original in our setting.
When Knight ended, players and coaches alike introduced themselves and thanked him for his time and comments.
He was around us for maybe 90 minutes, but those were impactful moments.
I don’t know that I will get the book, but I always find Coach Knight an interesting person. I’m not sure many Colts fans knew he met with the team, and his words in the early 2000s certainly did not impede our play on the field.
Tags: Bill Polian, Bob Knight, Jim Mora
Posted in Colts Blog
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano joined the ‘The Ride with JMV’ on 1070 The Fan this past Wednesday for an extremely informative interview. Here is a podcast of Pagano’s interview with a few of the highlights below.
On how his family is finding life in Indianapolis:
Coach Pagano has called Indianapolis home for a little over a year now and his family is more than grateful to how they have been received by the local community.
“It’s second to none,” Pagano said of Indianapolis “We’ve lived through 28 years of coaching, 24 years of marriage, moved my family all over the place. We’ve been back and forth across this country a couple of times to say the least. This is by far and away the very best place that we’ve ever lived. You won’t find finer people anywhere in America than the people right here in Indianapolis, in the state of Indiana.”
Now that the Colts are making their ways through the offseason, Pagano has had a chance to head downtown and watch one of the NBA’s best teams.
“Aren’t they unbelievable,” Pagano said of the Pacers. “Coach (Frank) Vogel does a great job and I told him after the game ‘that’s the way we want to play defense.’
In the week following the Colts’ playoff loss to the Ravens, Pagano and his family took in the Pacers/Knicks game and when the head coach was showed on the jumbotron a standing ovation followed from those in attendance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“Having been here for such a short time and going through what we had to go through and for them to embrace myself and my family and do what they did for me, during my absence and during my illness, you can’t put a price tag on it. I’ll never be able to repay them other than to get that Lombardi (Trophy) back here in Indy.”
On the play of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck:
This time last season, the talk surrounding the Colts was who would be under center come early September.
Andrew Luck answered that question with an authoritative rookie season.
Luck set rookie records for wins by a No. 1 pick (11), passing yards (4,374), attempts (627) and 300-yard passing games (6).
Those stats are fine for the record books but Pagano knows what really drives his quarterback.
“He wouldn’t know any of those numbers,” Pagano said of Luck. “That’s the best thing about him. He wouldn’t be able to tell you any of those stats because it’s the last thing that he thinks about.”
“His whole mindset is how many game’s can we win. How many Lombardi’s can we win? That’s it.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Frank Vogel
Posted in Colts Blog