ECSTATIC TO BE BACK

Colts safety Matt Giordano, one of the team's top special teams players, re-signed with the team shortly before the 2009 NFL Draft. The return of the 2005 fourth-round draft selection gives the Colts unusual depth at the safety position.

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Colts S Matt Giordano Gives Colts Added Depth at Strong Position

INDIANAPOLIS – To Matt Giordano, the offseason was far from simple.

Yes, there was the process of waiting to see if he would re-sign with the Colts, which for the fifth-year safety wasn't easy.

But he said the toughest part may have come weeks after the season.

That was when he watched the Super Bowl.

"It was hard watching the Super Bowl last year, because we beat Pittsburgh (the Super Bowl XLIII champion)," Giordano said recently during the Colts' offseason conditioning program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

"That was a game and a team that we played well. It was a tough game. We played well through the whole game."

If watching the Super Bowl were tough, the next few weeks were, too.

Giordano, a fourth-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, became an unrestricted free agent after last season, and after briefly testing the free-agent market, he re-signed with the Colts shortly before the April 2009 NFL Draft.

It was, Giordano said, a difficult process, but an easy decision. It was also a logical one.

"My wife and I were ecstatic to be back," Giordano said. "It was great to come back. I played four seasons here with the Colts. They drafted me and it's always good to come back and be loyal to the team that trusted you first."

Giordano's return further solidified an already-deep safety group, a unit that includes a pair of Pro Bowl selections – Bob Sanders (2005, 2007) and Antoine Bethea (2007) – as well as third-year veteran Melvin Bullitt, who started nine games last season.

Giordano, who has started six of 55 games in four seasons, has three career interceptions, and along with second-year veteran Jamie Silva, he gives the Colts unusual depth at the spot.

"We saw our depth last season," Giordano said of a secondary that set an NFL record for fewest touchdowns allowed in a season (six) despite at times also being without starting corners Kelvin Hayden (six games) and Marlin Jackson (nine games). "We saw it at safety, and we saw it at corner, and there shouldn't be any worry, because we're all experienced. We are very experienced, and we should be a very solid group this year.

"These past few seasons we have established ourselves. Everybody is talented in their own ways, but we work well together. No matter who is in the game, we can execute together and that's what counts."

Re-signing Giordano not only gave the Colts needed depth at the safety position, it marked the return of one of their top special teams players. Defensive tackle Darrell Reid and Giordano formed the core of the Indianapolis leadership group on special teams last season, and with Reid signing with the Denver Broncos, Giordano is the most experienced key returner on the unit.

Giordano in four seasons has 34 special teams tackles, and last season he had 26 tackles on defense and 13 on special teams.

"When we found out we were going to be back, I kind of thought, 'You know, I need to step up and be more of a leader this year – not just by actions, but by being more vocal,'" Giordano said. "It's one thing to be vocal, but I have to be a leader on and off the field and with the details – being on time to meetings and everything like that.'

And while special teams is imant, Giordano said it's not his sole focus. As important, he said, is continuing to improve as a safety – and of course, improving his viewing experience early next February.

"You can't be satisfied," Giordano said. "Things you're somewhat good at you have to continue to improve. The things I feel like were more weaknesses, I put extra time in this year to make sure they're my strengths. I'd say it's going to be a great year if I improve on the things I've set out to improve on, and also if I expand my role as a special teams player, but mostly it will be a successful year if we're hoisting that Super Bowl trophy one more time."

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