INDIANAPOLIS --- Playing in the divisional round of the playoffs is a rare opportunity for an NFL player. Only 25% of NFL teams make it this far if you just go by the straight math on it.
This opportunity is not lost on some of the players in the locker room, especially some rookies and other players who joined the active roster in the middle of the season:
Return Specialist Josh Cribbs (signed November 18th, 10th NFL year, 1st season in playoffs)
"It definitely was hard (waiting to get signed). NFL usually stand for 'Not For Long', so once you're out you tend to be out. I started thinking of other opportunities to make income (Cribbs was an analyst in Cleveland on local TV this year breaking down the Browns). I still kept training, kept hope alive. I'm here today. My greatest asset is taking full advantage of my opportunity."
Cribbs says he was training twice a week when he signed and probably would have dropped to one day a week if he didn't get signed. If he wasn't return kicks right now in the NFL playoffs, then Cribbs says he'd be a stay-at-home daddy.
"I'd be at home with the kids, sending them back and forth. I'd be the at-home mom, while my wife is out running her business. I would be at home with the kids sending them back and forth to school"
Running Back Michael Hill (signed Tuesday, after finishing the regular season on Washington's practice squad)
"It was an awesome feeling. That's for sure. I was here earlier this year for a week. I saw how special it was in the locker room and with the coaching staff. I wanted to be a part of it. Being able to come in here, I know I'm going to give my full effort in the meeting rooms, because I know these guys have given it their all this whole year. I'm going to make sure I do my part."
Rookie Linebacker Andrew Jackson
"I think about it all the time," said Jackson, when asked about going from playing games at a smaller school like Western Kentucky to now playing in the NFL postseason. "Right now it's just, I wouldn't say pressure, but we all kind of understand it's a one win season. You have to take every game step by step. It's kind of different, but it's all good. Competing at a higher level, at a faster pace."
"Honestly, I didn't think I would be this close to my old school in Bowling Green. It's a blessing though. I'm happy to be here."
2nd-Year TE & Indianapolis Native Jack Doyle
"All of them, since I can remember," Doyle said when asked how many of the Colts playoff games he'd watch growing up. "I remember watching the Jim Harbaugh game when I was probably five, the AFC Championship Game against the Steelers. Obviously, I grew up a huge Colts, huge Pacers (fan). It's definitely cool being back here, being a part of this."