IN HONOR OF MOM

How important are mothers around the Colts? How important is Mother's Day? Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell and several Colts players said recently that around the Colts, both are very, very important.

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Mother's Day Not an Afterthought to Colts Players, Coaches

INDIANAPOLIS – He thought a moment, but only a moment.

And when Austin Collie began to speak about what his mother – and Mother's Day – means to him, the Colts' rookie wide receiver spoke clearly, with proud, pointed words.

Collie left no question.

Yeah, he's in the NFL now. But mom's a big reason why.

"My mother, I guess you could say, is my guardian," Collie said during the Colts' recent three-day rookie minicamp. "She's one who is extremely selfless, always in the service of her family, always making sure everyone is well off. She worries about herself last."

Collie, a wide receiver from Brigham Young University and one of eight players selection by the Colts in the recent NFL Draft, echoed the thoughts of Colts rookies, veterans and coaches alike.

Days come and go, and it's even true of holidays.

But Mother's Day isn't one you let slip past.

"Mothers have been the backbone of our society, civic leaders, educators, homemakers, core trailblazers, problem-solvers, and they possess an incomparable healing touch that has comforted many," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said.

How important is Mother's Day?

"It means a lot," Colts defensive end Marcus Howard said. "I'm just happy and blessed to have a mom like her. I wouldn't want any other mom in the world."

Howard, a second-year veteran, was a fourth-round selection in last season's NFL Draft. He played collegiately at the University of Georgia and who grew up in Huger, S.C., said his family "didn't have much" growing up.

But Howard said that didn't keep his mother from providing.

"But she always did what she could for me," Howard said. "I'm just happy to have her. I never pass up Mother's Day. Maybe when I was younger, but as I got older and started to realize how much I love her, I always give her a call or do something for her."

Such was the response in recent weeks when Colts players were asked about Mother's Day.

They're in the NFL, living on their own. Often, they've been away from home four, six, eight years.

But Mom still matters. A lot.

"She's a great mom," Collie said of his mother, "probably the best there is."

Cornelius Lewis, who signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2009 NFL Draft, spent the first weekend of May in Indianapolis at the Colts' rookie camp. Rookies had to leave town after the rookie camp not to return until mid-May.

Lewis said because of the time off he planned to spend time with his mother in Jacksonville, Fla.

"It means a lot to me, Mother's Day," Lewis said. "She raised me, mostly by herself. It was a single parent home and it was me and my older brothers.

"I used to celebrate Mother's and Father's Day with her."

Michael Coe, a fifth-round selection by the Colts in the 2007 NFL Draft, is entering his third NFL season, and has been away from home more than a half decade. Yet, Mother's Day is still a big deal.

A real big deal.

"It means a lot," Coe said. "My grandmothers are both single moms, and with my dad being a pro athlete and coaching, I stayed with my mom and gramdmothers most of my life. My mom's real inspirational. When I think about the sacrifices they made for my brothers and sisters, I just think my grandmothers – both of them are just amazing women.

"My grandmother – one had 11 kids and the other one had six. They held it together and made it a great family environment. I look up to people like that and I think the world of my grandmothers – so wise, and they were the head of the family."

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