Adam Vinatieri Prepping For Year 22 In The NFL

Intro: The 2017 season will be Adam Vinatieri’s 22nd year in the NFL. A deeper dive into Vinatieri’s historic NFL career that will end one day in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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INDIANAPOLIS – In the latest installment of Adam Vinatieri's ageless NFL journey consider this:

On Aug. 16, 1996, new Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson was born.

Some 16 days later, on Sept. 1, 1996, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri made his NFL debut.

Before Wilson began to crawl, Vinatieri was knocking home field goals for the New England Patriots.

Fast forward a little more than two decades.

Wilson is one of the most important rookies on the 2017 roster, with the chance to be in the starting lineup from Day One.

Vinatieri is still kicking, at the age of 44, entering his 22nd season in the NFL.

Coming off of 2016, Vinatieri was 27-of-31 on field goals, with 17 of those from at least 40 yards out.

Ask Vinny about his off-season work, and not much has changed over the years.

"I would say I've got a pretty good routine that we tweak a little bit if need be," Vinatieri says. "I wouldn't say it's set in stone, but we've got a pretty good understanding of what we need to do during the offseason, what I need to do during the offseason to be ready come game time. We've got a kicking progression that builds up until training camp and on."

While this is a contract year for Vinatieri, he probably needs two more seasons before he can stake claim to the top of the NFL kicking annals.

Vinny has made 530 career field goals, third on the all-time list. He's 35 behind No. 1 on the list, Morten Andersen. Vinny has made more than 31 field goals in a season only once in his career, so early 2018 is the more realistic target for that record.

Vinny has scored 2,378 career points, also third on the all-time list. He's 166 points behind Andersen's spot atop the list. Vinny's career-high for points in a single season is 140, so 2018 is also the more likely year for him to add this record to his resume.

This is a guy who, during his junior season at South Dakota State, supposedly lost his kicking job to a defensive lineman.

Back then, Quincy Wilson wasn't even on this earth.

He is now, and shares a locker room with the ice-water veined GOAT.

"Mentally, you've had a lot of experience, so you know what to expect," Vinny says of season No. 22. "You've been in every situation out there. Physically is where it starts to change a bit. You have to work harder to stay lean. You have to work harder to keep your muscle. You have to sleep and eat all the right stuff. You can't eat that cookie that's sitting on the table that your kid left behind, or at least not very often.

"The physical demand I think gets much more difficult. The mental side of it relatively stays the same."

Vinny seems to still be handling both just fine.

Adam Vinatieri was presented the Sagamore of the Wabash, the state's highest award, from Governor Eric Holcomb at the Statehouse on Monday afternoon.

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