INDIANAPOLIS – One has to wonder if “Enter Sandman” is frequently blasted over the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center loudspeakers.
When that song is cued up in the sports world the thought of Mariano Rivera, Major League Baseball’s greatest closer, enters one mind.
In Colts world, Ryan Grigson isn’t running out of any bullpen to the Metallica hit but he’s still accomplishing the same task that the former Yankees great did for 19 MLB seasons.
Grigson has successfully closed the door on numerous free agents over the past three offseasons with the Colts recruiting pitch attracting numerous veterans.
Those around the NFL are certainly taken notice.
Text from a rival GM yesterday: “Ryan Grigson is bringing Nicks in? No way he leaves.” Colts GM considered a closer for free agents.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2014
There was D’Qwell Jackson, who visited the AFC Champion Denver Broncos yet, when the ink dried, the Colts received his services.
“One thing that attracted me here was the fact that I feel like it’s a family environment,” Jackson, who is looking for his first playoff experience in eight NFL seasons, said.
“Everyone is on the same page and everyone has the same goals in mind and that’s whatever needs to be done to win the Super Bowl.”
From a strictly quantity standpoint, the Colts were quiet in March compared to most teams.
Rumors of free agent visitors to Indianapolis the past month didn’t rival those of other playoff contenders and that’s just fine with Grigson.
“We’re in our own little world over here with our own vision of the future with our own set of circumstances and things we’re trying to work through positionally and needs we’re trying to address,” Grigson says.
The recruiting pitch delivered by Grigson extends throughout the Colts building.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano is the recipient of high praise from virtually every new Colts signee.
It’s Grigson and Pagano spearheading the movement, with contributions from many others to complete the deal.
“As a team, free agency is as much of a team environment as anything,” Grigson says. “With Chuck and even my assistant, all of the scouts, it’s a team effort when we bring guys into the building. We really attack it like a team and at the end of the day, we stick to our plan and our vision.”
That vision is built for sustained success.
The foundation was laid three years ago with a 2012 draft class that set NFL records in their first professional season.
Pieces have been added each offseason and thanks to the attraction of a playoff team built for the future, the Colts have turned themselves into a respected, and feared, suitor by opposing teams.
“When your eyes are fixated on Super Bowl XLIX and you have that mindset, it’s about creating great competition at each spot so that when you make that cut down to 53, you have 53 guys that you feel most comfortable will get you to your destination,” Grigson says.
“I just know if you’re a true champion, you welcome that. It’s a good thing and it’s healthy. Hopefully this year we stay healthy and realize that goal.”