Colts' young team hopes magical run continues in playoffs
INDIANAPOLIS — The playoffs can't start soon enough for Donnie Avery.
Five years after being the first receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, he will finally make his postseason debut at Baltimore.
It's about time.
“It's great. It's like starting the season all over again,” the Colts receiver said Friday. “It's got my juices flowing again.”
The veterans who have been there say the playoffs are exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time.
And this week, Avery isn't the only one in the Colts' locker room going through this for the first time. Of the 53 players on this year's roster, 28 have never played in an NFL playoff game.
Perhaps that should be expected from a team that has relied on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, piled up more combined rushing and receiving yards by rookies than any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and endured a thorough housecleaning project after last year's 2-14 debacle. More than a half-dozen key players from the Colts' 2009 Super Bowl team, including Peyton Manning, were let go.
But the truth is only nine rookies are on that first-timer list as the surprising Colts (11-5) visit AFC North champion Baltimore (10-6) in Sunday's wild-card game.
“It's a special moment. I've never been to the playoffs being in Miami. My brother, Vernon Davis of San Francisco, he went to this first playoffs last year. He said it's a great feeling, a great experience,” Vontae Davis said. “I asked him for any tips, and he just said ‘play harder.' ”
What the Colts have done best is find ways to win.
“It's another week, we know the stakes are higher,” Pagano said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Bears bench QB Cutler, turn to Clausen
- NFL notebook: Raiders owner plans sweeping changes to fix franchise
- NFL notebook: Browns give boot to struggling kicker Cundiff