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Poised Professional Ryan Kelly Tours Colts Complex

Intro: On Friday afternoon, the Colts welcomed center Ryan Kelly to his new home. What did Kelly have to say on Friday?


INDIANAPOLIS – The son of an assistant police chief and certified public accountant has pro already written all over him.

Friday was another example of it, as Kelly toured the place he will call home for years to come.

After Kelly sat down with the likes of Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano and even met some of his fellow linemen (before a text and call from Andrew Luck would follow), it was time for No. 78 to face the media.

Poised throughout, Kelly gave his thoughts on what his objective will be when the real work begins next week.

"On and off the field, I think one of the biggest things is can guys trust you?" a suited up Kelly said on Friday afternoon at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

"I think at center, the four guys, the two to the right, the two to the left, those guys have to trust that you're going to be on your game week in and week out. I learned that at a college level, and I think it can translate at an NFL level as well. Your guys in the locker room have to be able to trust you to do the right things on and off the field. The quarterback is the same way. The coaches are the same way. I don't think I'd be here if I had red flags like that. It's going to be a challenge, but I think hard work ultimately guys can coincide with that. That's one of the things I was raised with. That's one of the things I learned at Alabama. Doing that, putting my head down and working hard, doing the best job that I can, being confident at the line of scrimmage and then I think the locker room will ultimately lead to leadership."

How Kelly handled his business in three years as a starter at Alabama ended with another National Championship, and the Rimington Award, awarded to college football's top center.

It was at the Rimignton Award ceremony where Kelly was introduced to Jeff Saturday, who resides in the Colts Ring of Honor.

With Saturday and Peyton Manning teaming up for more than 170 starts, the most in NFL history for a quarterback/center duo, no one needs to tell Kelly what such a combination can do for an entire team.

"It just goes to show you how much emphasis the staff puts on having a great quarterback-center relationship," Kelly, the 18th overall pick, said inside the Colts facility. "I think playing at Alabama has helped me come to terms and understand just how special that relationship has to be.

"The center really runs and brings all four of those guys together. His points a lot of the times are running that offense and I think the offensive line is such a huge part. You look at the teams who have been really great at any level of football, they've had really great offensive lines so I think that the coaching staff has put a lot of trust in me, obviously done their homework and it's not going to be easy but just like everything in life if you want something bad enough in life you're going to work for it and that's what I'm going to do."

Kelly's work in the classroom as an undergrad is evident in his degree in business management and a Masters in marketing.

Pop in Kelly's film or listen to him on Friday, and he's the ideal billboard for what a team wants from a position of leadership.

On Friday, the bright lights of the NFL were shining on Kelly.

They weren't glowing quite like the faces of mother (Ann), father (Dave) and brother (Mike) though.

"I don't know you could write a script any better," Dave Kelly said of his son joining the Colts.

"It's a surreal moment. It's just an unbelievable experience and I'm proud of him."

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