Sometimes you worry whether someone is stopping to smell the roses when they smell rosiest.
New York Giants punter and Terre Haute native Steve Weatherford is definitely not someone you worry about reveling in the moment.
Weatherford was a force of nature during Tuesday’s Super Bowl XLVI Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium. He had his camera and was filming, he was Tweeting, he took a TV camera crew’s camera and did some of his own interviews, and at the end of Media Day, he jumped into the stands and signed autographs.
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone in Terre Haute. Weatherford is beloved for his outgoing nature and willingness to make the community feel a part of his success. He proved it again when he and teammates Lawrence Tynes and Zak DeOssie rode to Terre Haute after Media Day to appear at Terre Haute North to an adoring crowd at Terre Haute North … traveling from Indianapolis by police escort, no less.
Weatherford is fiercely loyal to the two teammates with which he works closest. Tynes is the Giants’ kicker and DeOssie the long snapper.
“I’m with those guys all day, everyday. I hold the success of Lawrence Tynes’ job in my hands. If I’m not good, he’s not good and I take that very seriously,” Weatherford said. “Aside from work, those are great guys. I’ve been on teams where I got along with the kicker and snapper, but we weren’t best friends. That’s not the case here. We bring that successful relationship on the field.”
The feeling that Tynes and DeOssie have for Weatherford is reciprocated. And while they love his wild side, they also make pains to note that Weatherford is also the consummate professional. Tynes and DeOssie know as well as anyone that Weatherford would not be playing in his sixth NFL season if not for his work ethic and commitment to his profession.
“He came here with a tenacity to be the best at what he can do. He’s always working as hard he can. He’s consistent with his routines and everything. Mainly, he’s confident. As a punter, a holder and a specialist, you have to be confident,” DeOssie said.
The most obvious example of Weatherford’s commitment is his physique. Few, if any, punters have ever had a photo spread devoted to them in Men’s Fitness Magazine, but Weatherford was in the December issue of the magazine.
“I take my fitness seriously. I went to play this game as long as I can. Being in shape, taking care of body and eating right will improve my longevity in the National Football League. That’s why I do it,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford’s physique gets him noticed among his colleagues. And elicits a good-natured snide comment or two.
“I asked him to get me a signed copy of his spread in Men’s Fitness, but he still hasn’t,” said New England’s Zoltan Mesko, Weatherford’s opposite number with the Patriots.
Weatherford’s conditioning is no joke to his teammates. He is one of the strongest members of the Giants. Given how unusual it is for a punter to be as ripped as Weatherford is, he has the respect from teammates who can see the evidence of the time and commitment he puts in.
“He’s three percent body fat. Pound for pound, he’s the strongest guy on the team. He takes a lot of pride in his conditioning and lifting. He doesn’t take any flak. He’s one of the guys. That whole kicker-punter thing? That’s from the 80s,” Tynes said.
Though they’ve only worked together for a season, Tynes is loyal to Weatherford. He noted that their families have become close and he’s developed a near-instant bond.
“Our professional relationship is very workmanlike. We’re yin and yang, but it works. He’s a bit of wild child and I’m a little bit more calm and reserved. He’s a lot of fun to work with,” Tynes said.
Tynes said the best example of Weatherford’s wild child side was displayed for all of the cameras to see in the NFC Championship Game. Weatherford’s jubilant jaunt across the Candlestick Park gridiron after Tynes booted the Giants into the Super Bowl is as indelible image for Tynes as it was for everyone else.
“You saw him running off the field with his ‘beep, beep,’ ” said Tynes, referring to profanity that Weatherford slipped out in celebratory glee. “That picture is one of my favorites I’ve ever seen in this game. The joy he showed after that kick, for a guy who has been in the championship four times and lost three, it goes to show that grown men in uniforms play a game, but the best part is when you’re running around celebrating.”
But Weatherford can’t celebrate a thing unless he puts his work in. And it all cycles back around to that.
“He’s a professional. He knows how to turn on [his cutup side] and when to turn it off. He loves heavy metal and he loves to have fun, but when it’s time to work, he knows it’s time,” DeOssie said.
It’s Weatherford’s time. He’s having fun, but come Sunday, there’s no doubt he’ll be prepared and ready to play.
Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (812) 231-4272. Please follow Golden on Twitter @TribStarTodd.
Sometimes you worry whether someone is stopping to smell the roses when they smell rosiest.
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Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
A year ago, the Indianapolis Colts received high marks for the impact players the team added through the NFL draft.
Of the 10 players selected, five ended up either starting or seeing extensive playing time (quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and running back Vick Ballard) during the Colts’ 11-5 season.
While this year’s class may not rival that group in terms of name recognition and flash, it may produce just as many major contributors once the 2013 season gets underway.
Colts in wait-and-see mode for tonight’s NFL draft
As the 2013 NFL draft gets underway tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Indianapolis Colts are continuing their wait-and-see stance in regard to the first-round pick.
The draft begins at 8 p.m. — televised by the NFL Network and ESPN — with the Kansas City Chiefs making the night’s first selection. Teams will have 10 minutes to make their decisions during the first round. Indianapolis will have the 24th overall pick in the first round.
There will be only one round tonight. The second and third rounds are scheduled for Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with seven minutes allotted per pick in the second round and five minutes allowed in the third. The final four rounds are slated to begin at noon Saturday with four minutes between selections.
As it stands now, Indianapolis does not have a second-round pick. It was traded to Miami last fall in exchange for veteran cornerback Vontae Davis. But second-year general manager Ryan Grigson has nut ruled out the possibility of trading down from the first round if the Colts aren’t satisfied with the players available.
Colts sign Matt Hasselbeck to back up Luck
The Indianapolis Colts’ roster moves just keep coming.
While the Colts haven’t yet added that big-name wide receiver that team owner Jim Irsay hinted at in tweets over the weekend, Indianapolis has addressed one area on offense.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had agreed Monday night to be the Colts’ primary back-up to second-year starter Andrew Luck. He officially signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Matt Hasselbeck,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a prepared statement. “His body of work, intangibles, and extensive league experience speak for themselves. Those factors, plus his familiarity with our offensive scheme, will make him a great asset to our team and its vision as we move forward.”
Colts introduce free-agent signees
What the Indianapolis Colts accomplished last season — posting an 11-5 record and earning an AFC wild-card berth with a young team plus having that kind of success without its head coach on the sidelines for 12 games — didn’t go unnoticed by players around the NFL.
That was especially true for the five veteran free agents who were added to the Colts’ roster Tuesday. Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (Detroit), cornerback Greg Toler (Arizona), outside linebacker Erik Walden (Green Bay), offensive guard Donald Thomas (New England) and linebacker Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta) admitted as much Wednesday.
“I felt like this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career. I really liked what I saw was happening with the program here and the way things have taken shape. I feel like we have a really great team here and it’s on the rise. I really wanted to be a part of that,” Thomas said during a teleconference interview with the Colts’ media.
Indianapolis franchises punter McAfee
A week ago, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it was a priority that the team retain the services of punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee, an unrestricted free agent who’s contract is due to expire March 12, was designated as the Colts’ franchise player Friday. The move allows Indianapolis extra time to work out a long-term deal for the team’s special-teams ace.
“He’s huge. He’s a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we’ve reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed,” Pagano said during the National Football Scouting Combine. “We saw what he did for us last year. He’s a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks.
Colts' Pagano back to full work schedule at combine
Back and ready to go.
That’s the attitude Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is taking during the National Football Scouting Combine, which completed its second day of operations Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a wide-ranging press conference at the combine, Pagano confirmed that he is back to a full work regimen after missing 12 games last fall as he battled a rare form of leukemia.
After undergoing cancer treatments that featured heavy doses of chemotherapy, the second-year head coach was able to return to the sidelines for Indianapolis’ final regular-season home game against Houston and for the team’s AFC wild-card matchup with eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.
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Andrew Luck made one thing clear this week.
He doesn’t regard Sunday’s game at Reliant Stadium with the Houston Texans as a chance to go back to his home town and talk about old times.
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Former Illinois star Meyers Leonard living the NBA dream
One thing is for certain. Meyers Leonard of the Portland Trail Blazers doesn’t need 40 minutes to incite a crowd with a posterizing slam dunk or a big shot block.
At just 20 years of age, the former Robinson, Ill., standout who took his talents to Champaign for two years is getting his feet wet at the highest level of basketball.
Close to 300 fans, many of whom watched Leonard take the Maroons to the 2010 IHSA Class 2A state championship, rode on charter buses to watch him battle the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis last week.
Update: Ravens dismiss former South standout Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator
Former Terre Haute South High School football and basketball standout Cam Cameron was fired Monday as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, who have lost two straight and are still striving for consistency in the running and passing game.
Leonard has moment for highlight reel, but Pacers come away with victory
One night after pulling even with the Chicago Bulls for first place in the NBA’s Central Division, the Indiana Pacers at least maintained that advantage thanks to another big game from Paul George.
Titans to sport new look vs. Colts
Even though the Indianapolis Colts won the first meeting with the Tennessee Titans, interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians doesn’t think it will help his team Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Lions present many challenges for Colts
Finding a way to stop, or at least slow down, the Detroit Lions’ fast-paced offense is the primary goal of Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
Wild card looking mighty doable right now: Colts improve to 7-4 with win
Don't look now, but the upstart Indianapolis Colts have jumped to the front
of class when it comes to securing one of the two available wild-card berths
in the upcoming AFC playoffs.
‘Resilient’ label fits Colts
If there is a word that best describes the 2012 Indianapolis Colts, it just might be “resilient.”
Do-or-die Bills next for Colts
Indianapolis Colts interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is quite aware that the Buffalo Bills are coming into Sunday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium (1 p.m. kickoff, CBS Sports) facing a do-or-die situation in regard to the postseason.
How will the Colts rebound vs. the Bills?
The big question for the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare for Sunday's home game with Buffalo is a pretty simple one.
Colts healthy entering key road game
If all goes well during today’s short walk-through practice, it appears the Indianapolis Colts will be in pretty good health heading into Sunday’s nationally televised (4:25 p.m., CBS Sports) road game with the New England Patriots.
Colts, Patriots renew rivalry for 10th straight year
Once again, Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., it’s the Indianapolis Colts playing the New England Patriots.
Times have changed
A lot has changed for the Indianapolis Colts since a 22-17 home loss to Jacksonville on Sept. 23.
For starters, that’s the only game the 1-7 Jaguars have won this season. Indianapolis, meanwhile, has posted wins in four of its last five games and is rolling along with a 5-3 record.
Many Colts point to that loss in the third week of the season. Indianapolis led 14-3 at the half and were ahead 14-13 after three quarters of play.
In fact, the Colts led 17-16 with 0:45 remaining in the game. That’s when Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert connected with speedy wide receiver Cecil Shorts III on an 80-yard pass play that resulted in the final margin of victory.
Colts not carried away with success
The Indianapolis Colts have surprised many fans and media around the NFL by getting off to a 4-3 start this season.
Not pretty, but Colts take win
Strictly from an aesthetic point of view, the Indianapolis Colts’ 17-13 National Football League win over the Cleveland Browns wasn’t very attractive.
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Colts wish linebackers could play more at same time
If the Indianapolis Colts could get both of their starting outside linebackers — Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis — on the field together for more than four quarters this season, it would be interesting to see how quickly the team’s defensive unit could continue its development.
Pagano gives Colts 4 days off
With a bye this weekend, the Indianapolis Colts went through a short week of practice before taking a long four-day weekend.
Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano put the Colts through workouts Tuesday and Wednesday before allowing the team to scatter across the country.
Players are due back Sunday evening as Pagano and his coaching staff hope to hit the ground running heading into Indianapolis’ Oct. 7 home game with Green Bay.
Tentative agreement reached on NFL referees' contract
The NFL and the referees’ union reached a tentative contract agreement at midnight today, ending an impasse that began in June when the league locked out the officials and used replacements instead.
“Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night” for the Cleveland-Baltimore game, Commissioner Roger Goodell said after a day of marathon negotiations.
With Goodell at the table, the sides concluded two days of talks with the announcement of a tentative eight-year deal, which must be ratified by 51 percent of the union’s 121 members. They plan to vote Friday.
Colts receiver Collie will miss season with knee injury
Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee.
Wide receiver Avery starting to feel at home with Colts
Count Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians as two of Donnie Avery’s biggest supporters.
The Colts’ wide receiver, who has struggled with knee issues the last two seasons after being the first receiver selected in the 2008 NFL draft, opened a lot of eyes in last Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Avery hauled in nine passes for 111 yards in the victory, his first big performance since joining the team as an unrestricted free agent last March.
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