WESTFIELD, Ind. — Jeff Saturday was a part of a lot — a lot — of successful plays in his time with the Indianapolis Colts.
With the likes of Peyton Manning running the show — and with weapons like Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark and so many others — success, on the offensive side of the ball, might've seemed like a given during that era of Indianapolis Colts football.
But had those key players not utilized training camp to form such a close-knit unit year in and year out, Saturday said, the plays called during the season wouldn't have mattered nearly as much.
That was Saturday's message on Tuesday to the Colts, as the former great center, as well as another former great offensive linemen in Ryan Diem, came out to the team's training camp practice at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.
"It ain't about scheme, it ain't about what plays you got," Saturday — who anchored the Colts' offensive line from 1999 through 2011 — told the Colts after Tuesday's practice. "It's about how much you trust each other. And this is the time to build that."
Saturday, who went undrafted back in 1998 and was signed the next year by the Colts, developed himself into a six-time Pro Bowl and two-time First-Team All-Pro selection during his time in Indy, but his designation as a Super Bowl champion is his most prized accolade.
As he reflects on his career, he told the current Colts players that, "When you got through the dogfight, it wasn't about what play they called, it wasn't about any of that, it was the guy next to you that you trusted and believed was going to get it done."
"It's going to be the same for this team," Saturday said. "I'm so fired up to watch you guys this year."
Colts head coach Frank Reich said getting the opportunity to have the Colts' franchise greats like Saturday and Diem come in and rub off on the current team was a priority from the first day he took the job.
Accordingly, Reich was more than happy to step aside and let Saturday do the talking after Tuesday's practice.
"From day one, sitting down with (general manager) Chris (Ballard), there is definitely a commitment to getting our kind of player, Colts players, high-character, tough, tough, tough, tough, team-first, those three things," Reich said. "I don't think you can underestimate how important that is. I've seen it for 30 years. We just gotta be committed to those kind of players on this roster."