Colts Wide Receiver Sam Giguere Continuing NFL Transition
INDIANAPOLIS – As Sam Giguere sees it, the circumstances are right.
Giguere, a second-year veteran competing for a roster spot at the Colts' wide receiver position, said after two seasons around the team, he knows the offense, and knows the organization enough to have something of a comfort level.
That, he said, makes the objective pretty clear:
Perform in training camp. Do it again in the preseason.
Then, find a way to earn a roster spot.
"I feel really comfortable this year – knowing the plays, knowing the playbook really well, knowing the guys, the routine and the schedule," Giguere said during the Colts' 2010 organized team activities, which concluded recently at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"That makes it really comfortable for me."
Giguere has worked toward that – and toward earning a solid spot in the rotation and on special teams – each of the past two seasons.
And he has done so while overcoming some difficult circumstances.
Giguere (5-feet-11, 215 pounds), who played collegiately at Sherbrooke (Can.) College, originally signed with the Colts as a rookie free agent shortly after the 2008 NFL Draft, foregoing a chance to play in the Canadian Football League.
Giguere, a two-time All-Star selection at Sherbrooke, caught 94 passes for 1,950 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons. Shortly thereafter, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made him the No. 8 overall selection of the 2008 CFL Draft.
Instead, Giguere opted to join the Colts, spending much of 2008 and 2009 on the practice squad before moving to the active roster for the 2009 regular-season finale and the post-season.
While he was inactive in the post-season, he played extensively in the regular-season finale against Buffalo, returning five kickoffs for a 24.4-yard average.
"It was really imant after an injury to get back out there and see that I could get the job done, and that I could compete on the field," said Giguere. "It was good to see that I was as good, and that I could make plays out there, against starters in the NFL."
Giguere said it was something else, too – a sign that as far as he had come, he had a long way to go.
"It was a big boost confidence-wise, but also it was kind of a wakeup call," he said. "I saw that I had to improve a lot. Even though the weather conditions were bad (in Buffalo), I could still see I had a lot of progress to get done. I'll keep working hard this year, and hopefully, I'll be able to get better and accomplish that."
Giguere, after drawing praise from Colts officials throughout his first season and from then first-year Head Coach Jim Caldwell during 2009 OTAs, sustained an injury last off-season. He missed much of training camp, and was released shortly before the season before being re-signed to the practice squad.
"Coach says the most important ability is availability," Giguere said. "My focus is just to be able to stay on the field. My leg feels great this year and I feel like I'm in great shape, too. It's just a matter of knowing what to do on the field and executing it."
And while Giguere said earning a spot as a receiver is a goal, special teams remains a priority.
Giguere has worked extensively throughout his time with the Colts as a kickoff returner, and that not only was where he earned his most extensive regular-season playing time last season, but a place where he said he hopes to contribute next season.
"It's really, really important," Giguere said. "It's a priority for me. I want to return kicks this year, so I've been working on that, catching kickoffs and working on my own a little bit. Every time we have a special teams period, I try to focus on the task at hand and get better and better if I need to."
Giguere said if he has a theme entering 2010 training camp, that's it – and not just on special teams. He said he feels as if he improved steadily throughout his tenure with the club, but said just because that's true doesn't mean there aren't ways to continue his development. Much of his first two off-seasons was spent learning how to transition from Canadian college football to the NFL, and with that process basically complete, he said now is the time to turn his newfound comfort into a contributing role.
"I feel like I'm making strides," Giguere said. "I obviously still have a lot of room to grow and to improve, but I feel good. Last year, I was making progress, too, and I think this year it's a matter of staying healthy and working hard. Hopefully, it will be good until training camp.
"My goal this year is just to compete and get better and earn a spot."