About the only thing that kicker Adam Vinatieri and linebacker Jerrell Freeman have in common outside of being Colts teammates is their brief history of playing football outside of the United States.
Vinatieri played in Amsterdam in 1995 before embarking on a 17-year NFL career filled with 24 game-winning field goals.
Freeman spent the last three seasons playing in the Canadian Football League and now is beginning his journey from a little college to the NFL.
On Sunday, Freeman got to witness first hand Vinatieri in his element.
With the game on the line and the clock winding down, Freeman watched in awe as Vinatieri delivered the first ever NFL win Freeman has experienced.
“I was just talking to him and said, ‘Man, I’ve seen it on TV and now I just saw it in real life,’ Freeman said of Vinatieri’s game-winning kick.
“He’s been in this league for about 35-40 years so I’m glad I was able to see that and I’m definitely glad he’s on my team.”
Freeman and many of his Colts teammates tease Vinatieri about his longevity in the league but none will underestimate what No. 4 means to the team.
With three field goals on Sunday, Vinatieri now has 390 career field goals and has scored a point in 132 consecutive games.
Four years ago against the Vikings, Vinatieri drilled a 47-yard game-winning field goal giving the Colts their first win of the 2008 season.
He was once again up to his old tricks on Sunday and for many of the Colts, it was a chance to see a potential Hall-of-Famer at his best.
“I didn’t have to see that today to know that I have confidence in him, knowing that he has three (Super Bowl) rings doing what he does is enough,” outside linebacker Justin Hickman said.
“He’s the ice man. He’s got ice in his veins. I knew he was going to go out there and knock it down.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Jerrell Freeman, Justin Hickman
Posted in Colts Blog
Chuck Pagano heads into his first home game as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts pleased with where his team is at less than 48 hours away from kickoff.
The Colts wrapped up practice on Friday morning and one final walk-through is all that stands between the Vikings and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“I felt like we had an excellent week of practice in preparation for this ballgame. I thought the guys came in and did a nice job of putting the last ballgame behind them and then moving forward,” Pagano said.
“We had three great days of practice. We’ve got our mock game tomorrow and then get ready to tee it up on Sunday.”
Pagano addressed some injury news heading into Sunday’s contest and announced that outside linebacker Dwight Freeney will miss the Vikings game due to an ankle injury.
The team will count on a trio of outside linebackers in Mario Addison, Justin Hickman and Jerry Hughes in Freeney’s absence.
“Someone’s going to step up and fill in,” Pagano said. “You’ve got a player of (Freeney’s) caliber that’s not on the field, that always hurts. That’s like not having Pat (Angerer). We’d all love to have Pat Angerer out there every snap. But injuries happen, so it’s next man up.”
At the wide receiver position, Austin Collie (concussion) not practice on Thursday and is questionable heading into the Vikings.
Rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is back from a shoulder injury and is expected to play on Sunday.
Along with Hilton, it looks like the Colts might get some good news along the injury front in regards to offensive tackle Winston Justice (concussion).
“(Justice) went the last two days, he’s still questionable, but anticipating,” Pagano said. “He’s been getting better every day, feeling great out there. So anticipate him being ready and able to go. We’ll list him as questionable, but he’s looked good the last couple days.”
With the injury situation aside, the Colts can count on having the home crowd behind them on Sunday.
The Colts were 2-0 in the preseason at Lucas Oil Stadium and ever since taking the job in January, Pagano hasn’t shied away from talking about the importance of protecting your home turf.
“You’ve got to take advantage of home field,” Pagano said. “I told them early on, you win your home games and split on the road you’re probably going to make the playoffs every year. There may be an exception here or there, but you’ve got to win your home games.”
“We’ve got a great fan base, great venue in Lucas Oil to play in. It’s paramount that we go out, start fast, play extremely well and get a win.”
Tags: austin collie, chuck pagano, Dwight Freeney, Jerry Hughes, Justin Hickman, Mario Addison, T.Y. Hilton, winston justice
Posted in Colts Blog