INDIANAPOLIS —Taking advantage of second chances has been the theme of the Indianapolis Colts' offseason thus far.
Last month, the team had reached an agreement with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to be its next head coach, but he made the decision to stay with the Patriots just hours before he was set to be introduced in Indianapolis.
The result? The Colts, a few days later, hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and they haven't looked back.
Ryan Grant is the latest example of this theme.
Last week, Grant agreed to terms on a reported four-year free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens, but then the team said he did not pass a required physical, according to general manager Ozzie Newsome. This was despite the fact Grant had passed his season-ending physical with the Washington Redskins.
The result? The Colts jumped all over the opportunity to pursue an up-and-coming playmaker, as well as address a major offensive need.
Grant, who also made a free agent visit to the Oakland Raiders, signed with Indianapolis a few days later.
"It feels good," Grant said when asked how he felt to officially know where he'll be playing in 2018. "I'm thankful for the Colts organization for giving me this opportunity, and I'm just looking forward to the future."
Grant was a fifth-round pick by the Washington Redskins in the 2014 NFL Draft. His first three seasons in D.C. were spent playing behind the likes of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, but Grant earned the respect of head coach Jay Gruden by excelling at whatever was asked of him — working the defense in practices, playing well on special teams and being a solid blocker in the run game.
Last season, with Jackson and Garçon now on other teams, Grant stepped up into a much larger role, logging 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns, playing in all 16 games with seven starts.
Grant, who reportedly suffered an ankle injury in the Redskins' final game of the season, passed the team's exit physical, and thought last week he was going to be playing ball just up Interstate 95 in Baltimore. But that didn't end up being the case.
For his part, Grant said he had "a lot of thoughts" going through his head when he learned he did not pass the Ravens' physical, but he's not going to dwell on the past — especially considering the fact he still landed a prime opportunity with the Colts.
"It is what it is," said Grant, who passed subsequent physicals with the Colts and the Raiders. "It happened the way it did, and I'm thankful that it went down the way it did."
That prime opportunity in Indy, meanwhile, means Grant could very well be the team's No. 2 or 3 wide receiver by the time the regular season rolls around.
The Colts, who have been in search of a consistent threat opposite top receiver T.Y. Hilton, believe they've got just that in Grant.
"I think getting Grant was good for us, you know, with the deal falling through," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said this week in an appearance on 1070 The Fan. "It gives us a reliable wideout that we think still has some uspide, and worst-case scenario, if Grant's your (No.) 3 (receiver), we're in great shape, and if he's our (No.) 2, we're fine."
Grant, meanwhile, is eager to get to work under first-year head coach Frank Reich, who was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, his former rival within the NFC East Division.
After seeing the Eagles' impressive offense at work up close from the opposite sideline, Grant wants to get his hands on the playbook and start working with his teammates as soon as possible.
"What they're telling me, I would be a great fit, but it's a new offense for me and the other guys," Grant said. "So, whenever we have to report for work, all of us, specifically myself, will have our heads in the playbook and just try to learn as much as possible to be comfortable with the playbook.
"If you look at the stats, the Eagles, they did some good things with their offense last year," Grant continued. "They were on the field a lot. They converted a lot of third downs. I think it's an awesome scheme and I think they will put me in position to be successful as well as the other receivers that are here."