INDIANAPOLIS — "Colts Life" has been all around the country bringing Indianapolis Colts fans into the living rooms of their favorite players. But Colts Productions didn't exactly have to rack up the mileage for its latest episode.
That's because the subject of tonight's episode is none other than the hometown kid himself, tight end Jack Doyle.
The product of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis is entering his eighth season with the Colts in 2020, and has developed quite the career for himself after going undrafted out of Western Kentucky back in 2013. A two-time Pro Bowler, Doyle has caught 331 career passes for 2,176 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he's just as solid a blocker in the run game as he is a chain-mover in the pass game.
But that's all the on-field stuff you already knew; this "Colts Life" episode is a terrific chance to get to know the usually-reserved Doyle and his family life off the field.
You can catch the entire episode right here, with some highlights below:
» Meet Doyle's family, which includes his wife, Casie, and their two sons: Ronan (3 1/2) and Henry (10 months). Not surprisingly, with three boys ruling the roost, sports remain a constant presence in the house. "My favorite thing is definitely our family basketball games. We play on the Little Tikes hoop upstairs," Doyle said as a slow-motion montage of Ronan dunking the ball plays. "And it is a ton of fun. It's a ton of fun." Casie, meanwhile, says the games can get "pretty heated;" we'd imagine that won't be changing anytime soon.
» Doyle said he "grew up an Irish Catholic kid on the east side of Indianapolis," and had an ideal childhood. "Just grew up doing every sport I could," he said. "Had a great group of friends, great parents who would give anything just to get me here or there. And sisters — I grew up with three sisters, so that was a fun dynamic not having a brother. So, yeah, it was a great childhood, and grew up with great friends where we could ride our bikes to each others' house all the time. So yeah, it was the best." Also, this episode is a treasure trove of Jack Doyle childhood photos, so enjoy.
» Once Doyle got to Western Kentucky, he quickly made himself a name with his play on the football field. But that meant nothing when he first met Casie, who initially wasn't too receptive to Doyle inserting himself into her conversations while they were out one night in college.
"I was kind of probably rude, for a lack of a better way to put it, and cut him off," Casie said with a smile. "And his best friend came up to me and was like, 'Woah, woah, woah.' He said, 'Do you know who this is?' And he's like, 'This is Jack Doyle.' I said, 'Well, I don't know who Jack Doyle is, and I don't care,' and I walked away."
Luckily for Doyle, Casie reconsidered her stance later on and he was able to put his number in her flip phone.
» While Doyle had a decorated playing career at Western Kentucky, leaving as the greatest tight end in school history, he wasn't too optimistic about his prospects of being selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. As he watched on the final day with his friends and family at his college apartment, it got down to the very last pick of the draft, which belonged to the Indianapolis Colts.
"We're kind of anticipating that we're not going to see his name, and then Indianapolis, ironically, had the last pick, Mr. Irrelevant," Casie recalled. "We were kind of sitting there, like, not expecting it to be him, but a part of us was like, 'How cool would this be?'"
The Colts didn't end up selecting Doyle, however, electing to go with another tight end, Justice Cunningham.
» Doyle initially signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent. Casie said they were literally on their way to sign their lease to their apartment in Nashville when they learned Jack had been waived by the Titans, but picked up by the Colts. They packed back into Doyle's "little Chevy S-10" pickup truck and headed north on I-65 back home to Indy.
"We got to Indy, and I did immediately feel better because we went straight to his parents' house," Casie recalled. "I mean, how many people can get that call and then go hang out at their in-laws and kind of process everything? And I saw how excited his parents and family was … and then seven, eight years later, here we are. And I still appreciate it more and more now."
» You also get a great sense for Doyle's role as a father. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seems to take a pretty laid-back approach to parenting, but the lessons learned on the football field certainly have translated to the home, and vice versa.
"I think I've learned patience a lot," Doyle said. "Chris (Ballard) has a great saying; he's like, you know, 'You have a process. If things aren't working out, you don't change the process. You know the process works, you just dig deeper into that process,' and that's one thing I've learned with kids, I guess, is kind of sticking with consistency with them when you're raising 'em and trying to teach 'em things, and trying to get them to eat their vegetables or, you know, silly things like that. So it's fun. It's made me a better person, and then, in turn, that makes me a better football player."
"It's funny, because as a dad, Jack's not a perfectionist. He's a very laid-back guy," Casie added. "But, you know, in football he can be a perfectionist, and he'll sit there when he's watching film and just critique himself in so many ways. And I love when Ronan comes and watches film with him because I think it's good for him; he kind of checks back into reality when Ronan's there, and it's a good reminder that it's never gonna be perfect, but like he said, you've gotta enjoy the game at all times, just like you've gotta enjoy being a parent at all times."
» On the field, Doyle has become a dependable leader and playmaker for the Colts. He had a career year in 2017, logging 80 receptions for 690 yards and four touchdowns and earning his first Pro Bowl selection, and he made a return trip to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after logging 43 receptions for 448 yards and four scores.
Doyle's on-field performance is impressive, but it's what he tries to instill in his teammates that seems to have left an even bigger impression.
"I want to be relied on. I want to be trusted," Doyle said. "I think that's the definition of a good teammate, is a guy you can trust and a guy you know has your back. And I've picked up a lot of leadership techniques from different guys through the years, and the best way to communicate with a guy and get your point across without coming off a certain way, that is something that I feel like I do well, and doing it in a way that you don't come off like you're better than them or anything like that, but you're pushing them to get better."
Head coach Frank Reich sang Doyle's praises for everything he brings to the table.
"You know, we talk about getting better every day, but it's not just about getting yourself better; it's about getting your teammates better. And that's the kind of player Jack is," Reich said. "He's not only a great player himself, but everyone in that locker room would tell you that he elevates everybody's game. He's always finding a way to make other players better, No. 1 by the standard he sets for himself, but No. 2 just his knowledge of the game and his love for his teammates, to push them and to help them, especially the younger players, learn the offense, how we're going to fit up a block, what we're trying to do in the passing game. I mean, this guy's unbelievable."