INDIANAPOLIS –One of the mantras that Ryan Grigson's personnel department has lived by over the past two years is not leaving a stone unturned.
The proof is in players like Jerrell Freeman (Canadian Football League), Jeremy Kelley (CFL and the Arena Football League) and Dominique Jones (United and Indoor Football Leagues).
Add the Super 15 Rugby League to that list after Grigson and his staff went overseas to find new Colts outside linebacker Daniel Adongo.
The journey to find a player like Adongo began last fall and the diligence of finding the right guy can be a taxing process.
"A pro scout of ours, Jon Shaw, was kind of delegated the duty of like, 'Hey, this is your baby. Let's see what you can do with it, see if you can give me a cluster of guys that are worthwhile, the right age group, have the right traits, the right make up to actually even be able to even make the transition since it is a major one,'" Grigson said on Sunday afternoon.
While the basics of strapping on a helmet and pads are still foreign to Adongo, he does bring tremendous athletic ability and a work ethic that is valued by any NFL personnel department.
Adongo had never thrown a football before arriving to Anderson, but after watching him work out Grigson sees the oozing raw potential in the 257-pound outside linebacker.
"Once you start seeing him move around with those long limbs and you see the type of competitor and really the traits he has as a human being and as an athlete, you have something to work with," Grigson said.
"You basically have a lump of clay for these coaches to work with. Our linebacker coach (Jeff Fitzgerald) said 'He's truly a blank canvas.' It's not like he came from a small school, or he came from a guy that hadn't played since high school. We're talking about a guy that hasn't been able to learn any bad habits because he's never played."[
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Scouting international players isn't prevalent in the NFL according to Grigson.
Finding that perfect combination is not an easy task especially when each roster spot is so valuable to teams.
The Colts are hoping they've found that in Adongo knowing that if he is, than come December and January this rugby player could be impacting a playoff team.
"As a staff, we'd rather give the coaches something to work with than just a true camp body that we know is going to be cut in a week or two and is not going to help us get where we want to go," Grigson said.
"You have to really do some serious digging and digging and turning over some international rocks, so to speak, to find someone that at least has the body, the attributes and the traits that may transition or may not, so we're just taking a stab at it."