For Adam Vinatieri, 'Kicks Are Made In The Offseason'

Intro: Fresh off signing a new two-year deal, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri remains steadfast in his offseason approach as he enters his 21st year in the NFL in 2016.


INDIANAPOLIS — For 20 seasons, Adam Vinatieri's results in regular season and postseason play have spoken for themselves.

And while some may marvel at the kicker's consistent — not to mention clutch — performances over the years, particularly as he gets deeper into his 40s, Vinatieri knows there's a method to his madness, and it begins each offseason.

Keeping the mind, and his right leg, fresh has been a task every year for Vinatieri, whether it's been 1996 or 2016.

"You approach them the same every year," Vinatieri told recently. "You know, the older you get, the more you pay attention to the little things in your body and making sure you're doing all the right stuff: making different lists of goals and things you want to achieve, keeping your weight in check and doing all the little things. But, you know, it's kind of business as usual."

Vinatieri said he still gets excited "about the start of a new season and a few new faces on the team, but the mission and the goal is always the same.

"So I think, for me, being around, making sure the guys see us here — see me here — and knowing how important it is to me, it goes a long way," he said.

Vinatieri showed no signs of slowing down last season, converting 25-of-27 of his field goal attempts (92.6 percent), including 7-of-8 from 20-29 yards, 6-of-6 from 30-39 yards, 8-of-8 from 40-49 yards and 4-of-5 from 50-plus yards.

He also adjusted well to the league's longer PATs from the 15-yard line, hitting 32-of-35 of those attempts.

He was awarded this offseason with a reported two-year deal, meaning he'll be 46 by the time his current contract ends after the conclusion of the 2017 regular season.

Highlights from Vinatieri's 2015 season!

At that point, only two players who have played in an NFL game would've been older: George Blanda (who retired in 1975 at the age of 48) and Morten Andersen (who retired in 2007 at the age of 47). Blanda was a 1981 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and Andersen was a finalist this year.

But to get to that point — or even beyond — Vinatieri knows staying productive will be key. He's certainly confident — he more than did his part last season and his 55-yard field goal in 2015 tied for the second-longest of his career — and wants to have another top-notch offseason in order to be at his best come Week 1.

"I feel like kicks are made in the offseason," he said. "You work hard at your craft to be the best you can to go into the season as healthy and as strong as you can because it's a long year; it's a long season."

Vinatieri's special teams coordinator, Tom McMahon, said he did a silent fist pump when he learned of the kicker's contract extension in March.

The kicking game will continue to be one less thing to worry about, yes, but it also meant the team was keeping together its core special teams guys: Vinatieri, punter Pat McAfee and long snapper Matt Overton.

"You know, he's special, and, to me, he's getting better as he goes," McMahon said of Vinatieri. "So very, very excited to have Adam back, and with those three guys, they're what leads us — with Patrick (McAfee) and Matt (Overton) — and we've just gotta keep building on them."

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