Advertising

Indianapolis Colts All-35 Season Team: First Team

35-season-team-pocket

INDIANAPOLIS — In honor of 35 seasons of Colts football in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Colts invited fans and media members to join the celebration by voting for the Indianapolis Colts All-35 Teams, presented by Ticketmaster.

Here are the First Team selections (for the Second Team, click here):

OFFENSE

QB: Peyton Manning (1998-2011): One of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, Manning excelled from the time the Colts selected him with the No. 1-overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He produced the stats — he holds the club seasonal and career records in completions, attempts and touchdowns — but Manning also was a winner, leading the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI and, from 2000-09, leading Indy to 115 regular season wins, the most in a decade by any NFL club. A four-time Associated Press MVP selection during his time in Indy and 2017 Colts Ring of Honor inductee, Manning's jersey No. 18 is the first to be retired in Indianapolis Colts history.

RB: Edgerrin James (1999-2005): One of the top all-around running backs in NFL history, Edgerrin James showed from the start he could excel as a runner, receiver and as a pass protector. Selected with the No. 4-overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, James would claim NFL rushing titles in each of his first two seasons, and after a brutal knee injury six games into his third season, he came back to post 1,500-yard performances in both 2004 and 2005. James, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL All-Decade Team (2000-09), holds franchise career records in rushing attempts (2,188), rushing yards (9,226), 100-yard rushing games (49) and rushing touchdowns (64), and also set club records for rushing yards in a season (1,709 in 2000) and in a game (219).

WR: Marvin Harrison (1996-2008): A 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Harrison's precise route running and dangerous speed made him one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. An eight-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL receptions and receiving yards leader, Harrison would retire following the 2008 season not only holding franchise career records for receptions (1,102), receiving yards (14,580), receiving touchdowns (128) and 100-yard receiving games (59), but he ranks third in NFL history in receptions, fifth in touchdowns and seventh in yards. A 2011 Colts Ring of Honor inductee and member of the NFL All-Decade Team (2000-09), Harrison was also a key member of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship team.

WR: Reggie Wayne (2001-14): One of the most beloved players in Colts franchise history, Wayne dazzled the Indy fanbase — and terrorized opposing defenses — for 14 seasons. The Colts' first-round (30th-overall) pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, Wayne, who played in 211 games (197 starts), the most in franchise history, totaled 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns, ranking 10th in NFL history in receptions and yards and tied for 23rd in touchdowns. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and First-Team All Pro in 2010, Wayne, whose memorable 53-yard touchdown reception helped lead the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI, will be inducted into the Colts' Ring of Honor on Nov. 18.

TE: Dallas Clark (2003-11): With the likes of Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne already established in Indy, Clark brought a totally different flavor to the Colts' offense upon being selected in the first round (24th overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft. Clark could do it all as a receiver, leading to mismatches all over the field each and every week, and by the time his career in Indy was finished following the 2011 season, he had set franchise records for receptions (427) and receiving touchdowns (46) by a tight end. He gained legendary status for his standout performance during the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship run, as Clark's 317 receiving yards over four playoff games were the most of any tight end in NFL postseason history.

TE: Jack Doyle (2013-present): Doyle went undrafted in 2013, but after spending the offseason with the Tennessee Titans, the Colts were happy to give the Indianapolis native a shot on their roster. Since that time, Doyle has seemingly taken advantage of every role handed his way, whether as a special teams standout, as a solid run blocker and, eventually, as the team's most dependable target in the pass game. All that hard work paid off for Doyle in 2017, when he was named to his first-career Pro Bowl after setting single-season career highs in receptions (80) and receiving yards (690), while also adding four touchdowns. Doyle remains a trusted target for quarterback Andrew Luck in 2018, and fought back from a significant hip injury to haul in the eventual game-winning touchdown catch Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders.

C: Jeff Saturday (1999-11): The embodiment of hard work, Saturday was the glue of the greatest offensive attack the NFL has ever seen. A five-time Pro Bowl selection with the Colts and two-time First Team All-Pro pick, Saturday spent 13 seasons in Indy and was a huge part of a team that produced 115 wins from 2000-09, an NFL record for wins by a team in a single decade, and also captured the championship in Super Bowl XLI. Saturday, who was inducted into the Colts' Ring of Honor in 2015, also started 170 games with Peyton Manning as a quarterback-center duo, which is the most in NFL history. The duo posted a 120-50 record in those games.

G: Ryan Lilja (2004-09): Claimed off waivers by the Colts just before the start of the 2004 season, Lilja would become a mainstay at left guard during the greatest run in team history. A Super Bowl XLI champion, Lilja played in 66 games with 59 starts during his five-year career with the Colts.

G: Jake Scott (2004-07): Just like Lilja on the left side, Scott became a solid run and pass blocker at the right guard position for the Colts during a very successful four-year period from 2004-07. Taken by the Colts in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft, Scott made an instant impact, being named to the NFL All-Rookie Team, and would go on to play in 60 games with 57 starts in all with the Colts, winning the title in Super Bowl XLI.

T: Tarik Glenn (1997-2006): Taken in the first round (19th overall) by the Colts in the 1997 NFL Draft, Glenn would eventually develop into one of the league's top left tackles, protecting Peyton Manning's blindside week after week, year after year. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, the dependable Glenn, who started out at right guard his rookie season before eventually moving over to left tackle, started all 154 games he played in his 10-year career, all with the Colts, and rode off into the sunset a champion following Indy's victory in Super Bowl XLI.

T: Anthony Castonzo (2011-present): Castonzo has certainly developed into the ever-so-dependable left tackle the Colts were hoping to acquire when they selected him in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. Since that time, Castonzo has started all 108 games in which he has played, and he has effectively protected the blindside of quarterback Andrew Luck, who threw for the most passing yards (12,957) in the first three seasons of a quarterback's career in NFL history. After battling through a hamstring injury to start the 2018 season, Castonzo has returned to form in recent weeks, as the Colts entered their bye week having not allowed a sack in three straight games, and having collected 200 or more rushing yards in two straight weeks, which hadn't been done by a Colts team since 1985.

DEFENSE

DL: Dwight Freeney (2002-12): Labeled as "undersized" by many experts coming out of Syracuse, the Colts weren't afraid at all to select Freeney with the 11th-overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft — and, boy, did that decision pay off. Over the course of his career in Indianapolis, Freeney racked up 298 tackles, 107.5 sacks, 46 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), 17 passes defensed and forced one safety. He had seven double-digit sack seasons, including a career-best 16 in 2004, which led the league. A three-time First-Team All-Pro selection during his time with the Colts, and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Freeney was also a member of Indy's Super Bowl XLI championship team.

DL: Robert Mathis (2003-16): A fifth-round pick by the Colts in the 2003 NFL Draft, Mathis came into the league with a huge chip on his shoulder — that never went away. Teaming with Dwight Freeney off the edge as one of the most feared pass-rushing duos in league history, Mathis not only logged 123 sacks during his 14-year Colts career — the most in franchise history — but his 47 strip sacks are the most in NFL history. Mathis, the AFC's Defensive Player in the Year in 2013 when he led the league with 19.5 sacks, was a six-time Pro Bowler, 2013 First Team All-Pro selection and a key member of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship team.

DL: Tony Siragusa (1990-96): Signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in 1990, Siragusa would become a solid playmaker within the interior of the Indy defensive line. During his seven-year career with the Colts, Siragusa would play in 96 games, starting 78, and collect 405 total tackles, 16.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

DL: Jon Hand (1986-94): A monster of a man at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, Hand was taken by the Colts with the fourth-overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, and immediately contributed 82 tackles, 5.0 sacks and an interception that year, earning NFL All-Rookie Team honors. Hand continued to make plays for the Colts' defense during his nine-year career, all in Indy, collecting 539 tackles, 35.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and seven fumble recoveries.

LB: Gary Brackett (2003-11): Brackett, a walk-on for Rutgers' football team, faced a similar path into the NFL, when the Colts signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Making his mark on special teams his first two seasons, Brackett took over a starting job at linebacker in 2005 and promptly had 127 tackles, three interceptions and a sack. A team captain for much of his nine-year career, all with the Colts, Brackett — a member of the Super Bowl XLI championship team — racked up 707 tackles (21 for a loss), 4.0 sacks, 12 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries (two returned for touchdowns).

LB: Jeff Herrod (1988-1996, ‘98): Herrod hoped to just earn a roster spot after being selected by the Colts in the ninth round of the 1988 NFL Draft, but by just his second season, he had turned into Indy's most consistent playmaker on defense. From 1990 to 1994, Herrod averaged almost 140 tackles and three sacks per season, and, in his 10 years with the Colts, he collected 1,149 tackles, 14.5 sacks, five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown).

LB: Duane Bickett (1985-93): The Colts' first-round (fifth-overall) pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, Bickett made a huge impact from the start, earning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after posting 141 tackles, 6.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries during the '85 season. He'd go on to play nine seasons with the Colts and was an absolute stat-stuffer, earning 1,052 tackles, 50.0 sacks, nine interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 14 fumble recoveries during his time in Indy.

CB: Marlin Jackson (2005-09): Jackson, the Colts' first-round (29th-overall) pick, will always be known for his game-sealing interception of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, but the Michigan product put in a solid five-year run in Indy as both a cornerback and a safety from 2005 through 2009. Another key member of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship team, Jackson racked up 284 total tackles (seven for a loss), 0.5 sacks, four interceptions, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries with the team.

CB: Eugene Daniel (1984-96): Daniel, the team's eighth-round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft, would go on to play more games (198) than anybody in Colts franchise history not named Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning or John Unitas. He broke out as a rookie with six interceptions, and then followed that up the next season with eight picks, and sits third in Colts history with 35 total interceptions — three which he returned for touchdowns. Daniel also had 744 tackles, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries during his 13 seasons in Indy.

S: Bob Sanders (2004-10): One of the league's most feared — and hardest-hitting — safeties, Sanders added an element of toughness and playmaking ability to the back end of a Colts defense that already featured the likes of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis up front. Selected in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft, Sanders, a two-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, would be named the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after collecting 96 tackles (six for a loss), 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery. A key member of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship team, Sanders had 302 total tackles (10 for a loss), 3.5 sacks, six interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries during his eight-year career, all in Indy.

S: Antoine Bethea (2006-13): Despite being selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Antoine Bethea would become an instant starter at strong safety for the Colts, and by just his second season, he was selected to his first of two Pro Bowls in Indy. Another key member of the Super Bowl XLI championship team, Bethea would play and start 123 games during his eight seasons with the Colts, collecting 806 tackles (16 for a loss), 3.5 sacks, 14 interceptions, 47 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Adam Vinatieri (2006-present): Vinatieri was already a well-established kicker by the time he signed with the Colts as a free agent in 2006, but it has been during his time in Indy that he's become the greatest kicker in NFL history. Still going strong into his 23rd NFL season in 2018, Vinatieri, 45, has played in 185 games with the Colts, and has connected on 310-of-358 (86.6 percent) of his field goal attempts and 462-of-472 (97.9 percent) of his extra-point tries during his 13 years in Indy. A 2014 first Team All-Pro Pro Bowl selection after leading the league in field goal percentage (96.8), Vinatieri this season surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen as the NFL's all-time leader in scoring and made field goals.

P: Pat McAfee (2009-16): A standout kicker during his college career at West Virginia, the Colts selected McAfee in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft to instead be their punter, and eight seasons later, he would retire having put in the six best individual punting seasons in team history. The franchise's record holder for punting average (46.4 yards per punt) and net average (39.8), McAfee, a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the best kickoff specialists in the league, was named First Team All-Pro in 2014 when he punted 69 times for 3,221 yards (46.7 average) and a career-best 42.8 net average.

Related Content

Advertising