Colts DT-Dan Muir Says He Has Right Focus This Offseason
INDIANAPOLIS – Daniel Muir took a simple approach to his first offseason with the Colts.
Muir, a third-year defensive tackle, said he didn't worry about who the Colts were drafting at his position, or about who the Colts were re-signing. Rather, he said he worried about something else:
"My focus, I'd say, is just getting better every day," Muir said during the Colts' recent offseason conditioning program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"One mistake I thought I made in my rookie season looking ahead to my second year was just thinking ahead too much. This year, what I've done well is keeping my attitude good, because I really enjoy this organization and the people around it.
"Secondly, I've just taken every day a day at a time and gotten as much done as I can do."
Muir, who joined the Colts off waivers from Green Bay shortly before the 2008 season, was part of a defensive tackle position this past season that was hit hard by injuries and departures.
The tackle position was hit early with the retirement of second-year veteran Quinn Pitcock, then second-year veteran Ed Johnson – a 16-game starter the season before – was released after the season opener.
Muir, who played three games with Green Bay as a rookie, spent the first five games inactive while dealing with an injury, played two games, then after five more games inactive played an extensive role in the final four games.
He finished the season with four tackles and a pass defensed.
Whereas last season Muir had about three days to learn the Colts' defense, this season he has had an entire offseason.
The difference, he said, is all the difference there is.
"It's a big difference," he said. "Coming in, it's a different system. I was in Green Bay, and it's a totally different system. Trying to learn everything on the go makes it difficult. I was definitely up to the challenge, but it makes it difficult. Now, being able to have a whole offseason, you have more time for film work, and more time to get in your playbook and study everything and really learn the system like you want to learn it and be able to come in and perform.
"It makes a huge difference. I just try to take it a day at a time and really focus on what I can do better today. That's really how I've been taking it and it's really been helping me."
Muir said another difference he is experiencing this offseason is a knowledge that in a sense he controls his fate. The Colts have a reputation around the NFL of giving undrafted free agents ample opunity to make the roster, and Muir said that approach extends to his situation – a waiver-wire acquisition at a position with several drafted players.
"They'll give you an opportunity to compete," Muir said. "That's what a lot of guys want. A good football player doesn't want anything given to him. You just want an opportunity to compete. One thing I can say here is they're going to give you that opportunity to compete. If you do well, they'll give you a chance to get on the field, and that's what you want."
The Colts during the 2009 NFL Draft selected defensive tackle Fili Moala from Southern California in the second round and defensive tackle Terrance Taylor from Michigan in the fourth round. They re-signed Johnson several days later, and Colts President Bill Polian and Head Coach Jim Caldwell each said after the draft there was thought given to getting bigger on the interior defensive line.
Muir's thoughts on that? Well, that couldn't be more perfect, he said.
"I was happy," Muir (6-feet-2, 312 pounds) said. "You sit back and you watch last year's film. Being a big guy, you pride yourself in stopping the run so the smaller guys can come in right after you and make plays and get sacks. When you see teams running on us last year, it makes you grit your teeth and say, 'Man, we have to do something.'
"Just to hear that they were bringing in big guys and that they were going to put everything on the big guys to stop the run I got excited, because that's what I pride myself on doing."