INDIANAPOLIS – Last year, Ahmad Bradshaw's way to fire up the Lucas Oil Stadium faithful was relegated to towel twirling.
A padless Bradshaw vehemently twirled his towel at every opportunity, as he was a spectator for nearly all of his first season with the Colts.
Bradshaw didn't like that role.
He was a football player, not a cheerleader.
The eight-year veteran was bound and determined to return to the game he loved and in doing so bring Colts nation to their feet with his play on the field.
Bradshaw's uncertainty of whether or not he would ever play football again has turned into a touchdown-making 2014 campaign.
"At first, I wanted to be able to walk and play with my kids later in life. That was what the surgery was for," Bradshaw says of neck injury.
"Now, to get back out there, is just a pleasure. I love the game. I missed it last year and it's showing now just how much I care and how much I missed the game."
Bradshaw's production in 2014 has been some of the highest of his NFL career.
He came into this season with just three touchdowns in 139 career receptions.
It's been a receiving touchdown, spike filled, fest for Bradshaw this season with No. 44 being a constant threat in the red zone.
His six touchdowns in 31 receptions dwarf his previous years and Bradshaw is just three receiving scores away from the NFL record for a single season.
"Nobody would have guessed that he's playing to this level coming off of injury, especially having surgery on your neck," Chuck Pagano says of Bradshaw. "I think a lot of people had written him off to be honest with you and said that a guy like that can't come back playing the position he plays, and the way he plays the game.
"He's doing a tremendous job and he's great for our team, great for our locker room and great for our offense. Our guys feed off of his energy. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played."
The receiving background in Bradshaw dates back to high school.
At first, Bradshaw was a wide receiver with his cousin being the team's starting running back.
Early in his NFL career, Bradshaw was thought to be more of a scat back with the Giants behind the likes of Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward.
Getting Colts running backs more involved in the receiving department was something talked about all offseason long.
Andrew Luck hasn't been afraid to settle for his check downs, knowing great things can happen when guys like Bradshaw touch the ball.
"We all know he's a consummate football player, whether that's running, blocking, catching balls, whatever it is, being a decoy," Luck says of Bradshaw.
"He just seems to do it well and do it like a great pro."
Photo highlights from the Colts vs Steelers game in Pittsburgh.