**Adam Terry: 'I'm Here to be a Football Player'
INDIANAPOLIS – As Adam Terry saw it, the decision was simple.
It was also a decision that greatly helped his confidence.
Terry, an offensive tackle who spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, early this off-season became a free agent, and as such, he said at the time he faced a relatively uncertain NFL future.
His time with Baltimore, his first team, was over.
And he said anytime you look for a new team, a new environment, "that's a little shaky."
Terry said he had choices in early February when the NFL's free-agency period began. But he also said this:
Once the Colts called, there wasn't much choice at all.
"It's a great opunity in a great organization," Terry said recently following a session of the Colts' 2010 organized team activities, four weeks of on-field, team-oriented activities scheduled to be held through June 11 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"When I hit the free agent market, there were quite a few teams calling. They (the Colts) were in the Super Bowl last year. It's a pretty easy decision, I went on my first visit, came here and I didn't leave."
Terry said that last part was true, literally.
"I came in, signed and started looking for a place to live," he said, smiling.
Terry (6-feet-8, 335 pounds), who played right tackle his last two seasons playing with Baltimore, was one of two off-season free-agent acquisitions for the Colts along the offensive line, with the other being offensive guard Andy Alleman.
The ongoing OTAs are about such players learning the Colts' system, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said recently.
"It's probably too early (to evaluate Terry and Alleman) right now," Caldwell said. "We're still making certain that they have all the information they need to be able to perform well at their position. They're certainly moving in the right direction. . . .
"I think we see some positives in what (they) bring to the table, and we fully anticipate that (they're) going to help us. I think particularly on our line, I think it's going to be a very good, solid competitive situation. It's like my old high school coach would always say, 'Cream will always rise to the top,' so we'll see what happens."
Terry said while his objective in the coming months is to earn a starting position, his focus also is to help the Colts improve along the offensive line no matter what his role.
"You're only one play away," he said. "That's what your mentality has to be. You look around the league: guys go down and guys step up. It's unfortunate that that occurs, but I've been in that situation where you go down and you can't get back up. Somebody else does the job."
Terry, who played collegiately at Syracuse University, originally was a second-round selection by the Ravens in the 2005 NFL Draft.
After playing sparingly as a rookie, he played in 16 games in 2006, 13 in 2007 and 12 in 2008, starting twice at left tackle in the Ravens' 13-3 AFC North Championship season in 2006 before moving to right tackle the following two seasons.
He started nine games at right tackle in 2007, then seven there in 2008.
He also played in all three Ravens post-season games in 2008 before missing this past season with a knee injury.
"You can't let it get you down because there's a lot of football ahead of me," Terry said. "That's how I'm approaching it here. I'm just here to compete and to try to earn a starting job."
Terry, who also played extensively as a tight end in 2008 when the Ravens were in unbalanced-line situations, said he considers himself a balanced lineman, one who can pass- and run-block effectively.
"I'm here to be a football player," he said. "I can run block and pass block. If I'm healthy, I can be a pretty good starting tackle. That's my mentality right now. I'm looking at that, to just meet my expectations, not meet anybody else's. Mine are a lot higher than anybody else's."
And Terry said while there were good times with the Ravens, he said joining the Colts has renewed his confidence, and his focus.
"I was with Baltimore, and when you leave, it's a little shaky," he said. "You're going to the free agent market, and you don't know what's going to happen. I guess it kind of solidified I was a good player with all the teams that called, then to be in this organization, it boosts your confidence and puts you in the right mindset going forward.
"You're not just competing for your job. You're going out and trying to win a World Championship."
That, Terry said, was obvious immediately when he visited the Colts, and he said a quick look around the facility made an important, career-altering decision a pleasant and easy one, too.
"Why here?" he said, smiling, referring to photos of recent Colts teams. "You look around the walls. You look down the hallways. You see the greatness aspect of the NFL right now. When I was in Baltimore, I don't think we ever won one game (against Indianapolis). If you can't beat them, join them."