Colts WR Giguere Working to Make Adjustment to NFL
INDIANAPOLIS – Getting an opunity to play professional football was never a problem for Sam Giguere.
But Giguere didn't want to play just any kind of professional football. He wanted to play at the highest level. He wanted to play in the NFL.
Giguere, a wide receiver from Sherbrooke (Can.) College who signed with the Colts as a rookie free agent shortly after the 2008 NFL Draft, could be playing in the Canadian Football League, but he said he wanted a chance for something bigger, more difficult and more fulfilling.
He took his first step towards that chance last season. It's a chance towards which he's still working.
"I think I do have the potential to play at this level," Giguere said during the Colts' recent offseason conditioning program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"I think I have a lot of work to do still to be able to step on the field and contribute to the success of the team, but I certainly believe I can.
"It's up to me to now show the coaches I'm up to the level where I can step on the field."
Giguere, a two-time All-Star selection in the Quebec University Football League, caught 94 passes for 1,950 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons at Sherbrooke. He was declared eligible for the NFL and CFL Drafts when he completed his studies at Sherbrooke.
Shortly thereafter, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made him the No. 8 overall selection of the 2008 CFL Draft.
And that was great, Giguere said. It just wasn't his dream.
"In my mind, obviously the better level of competition is in the NFL," Giguere said. "That's what motivated me to come here and stay here – to play with the best and to see if I can compete against the best and be part of that."
Giguere in a little more than a year has established himself as a contender for a roster spot next season. When speaking of the wide receiver position during the team's recent mini-camp and organized team activities session, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell mentioned Giguere along with Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie as players with an opportunity to contribute at third receiver next season.
"I think I've learned a whole lot," Giguere said. "I've gotten a lot better. I do have some things to learn still, and I feel like there is plenty of room to get better, but hopefully after training camp I'll be at a point where I can contribute to the team. That's my goal. When training camp is over, I'm ready to be part of the team."
The work towards that has been tough, Giguere said, and the process of learning the Colts' system – not to mention transitioning from Canadian college football to the NFL – has been frustrating at times.
Giguere said knowing that it would be tough didn't always make it easier.
"It was kind of hard at one point, because you want to be on the field," Giguere said. "You want to be part of the team on game day. You don't want to just be part of the team during the week, so it was hard, but it is a process. I understood I wasn't going to be able to play right away.
"(Colts President) Bill Polian told me at the beginning not to hurry things up and to learn as much as possible."
And while reaching the NFL goal would be the biggest accomplishment of his career, he said the idea of working towards something – and having to do so – is hardly a new one.
"I've always had to work to be able to succeed," Giguere said. "It's not like when I first got a football in my hands I was amazing. I always had to work to get some success on the field. When I came here, I recognized it was a big step – probably a bigger step than what I had been accustomed. Going from high school to college – it wasn't that kind of step. It was an even bigger step. I recognized that and I thought that I had to take things slowly and get a lot better if I wanted to get on the field.
"From the college level in Canada, it's a big step to being able to play in the NFL. I think I'm still trying to get better and trying to get to that level where I can compete and help the team."