Ex-Notre Dame, Roncalli DT Kuntz Working Out With Colts This Weekend
INDIANAPOLIS – What Pat Kuntz mainly wanted was an opunity.
Kuntz, a defensive tackle from the University of Notre Dame and one of 13 collegiate free agents signed this past week participating in the Colts' three-day, rookie mini-camp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this weekend, said he wanted an NFL team with which he could fit.
He wanted the right philosophy. He wanted the right scheme.
He wanted the right feel.
Kuntz said he looked for all of that when he went unselected in the 2009 NFL Draft last weekend, and he said he found it with the Colts.
That he happened to find it with his hometown team . . .
Well, he said that was just a bonus.
"I figured I would settle somewhere," Kuntz, who attended Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, said Friday, the first of three days of practice at the Colts' rookie minicamp.
"It just so happened I settled in my hometown, so it couldn't be better."
Kuntz (6-feet-2, 276 pounds), who started his last 23 games for the Irish, had 95 career tackles in college with 11 tackles for losses, four sacks and a fumble recovery. He also had an interception and 10 passes defensed, registering eight tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks as senior.
"He's a tough, hard-nosed guy," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "He's put together. We really anticipate that he's going to be able to show improvement and get a little bit better."
The Colts selected two defensive tackles in the draft, Fili Moala of Southern California in the second round and Terrance Taylor of Michigan in the fourth round. Moala and Taylor are each more than 300 pounds, and Caldwell and Colts President Bill Polian each said there was a thought in the draft to get bigger on the defensive front.
And while Kuntz isn't quite a 300-pounder, Caldwell said he fits the Colts' philosophy of defensive tackles that can be a powerful, run-stopping forces.
"He fits within what we do in terms of our system," Caldwell said. "We were looking for a guy that can stand up and stop that run and be a force. We think he has some potential."
Kuntz said that was his idea, too – that once he realized he wasn't going to be drafted, he wanted to sign with the team whose scheme best fit his style.
The Colts, he said, were that team.
"I was looking more at the scheme I'd fit in best best, personnel-wise," Kuntz said. "It ended up being a coincidence that I happened to live here, too."
And while the Colts' emphasized size on draft day, Kuntz said the Colts' history of favoring quick, athletic players at his position appealed to him.
"It's a really aggressive scheme," Kuntz said. "I liked the fact that smaller guys have had success in this system with this team. They like guys who like to shoot gaps, get up field and make plays. It was between here and a couple of other teams, but this was really the best place I could possibly be.
"They had shown an interest in me. I already knew that prior to the draft, so it was just a good fit."
Once signed, Kuntz set about the task facing each of the 21 rookies in the mincamp: getting acclimated to the Colts' system and professional football in general.
"It's exciting, a new step in my life's journey," Kuntz said. "It's real exciting being the young guy again trying to learn the new ropes."
Which is an attitude that Kuntz said may be appropriate this weekend – but not for long.
"I saw Peyton (Manning) in the locker room, which was kind of shocking," Kuntz said. "You get used to it. I have to remind myself he may be my teammate. I can't be in awe that much."