Super Bowl Focus Led Devin Funchess To Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS — Devin Funchess is just 24 years old, but he has already seen a lot in the first four seasons of his NFL career.

During his rookie season in 2015, he was a key playmaker for a Carolina Panthers team that went 15-1 in the regular season and advanced all the way to Super Bowl 50, where they would be bested by Von Miller, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, 24-10.

Funchess has been itching to get back to that big game ever since, which explains why he found himself in Indianapolis on Thursday morning.

The wide receiver officially became the Indianapolis Colts’ first outside free agency signing of 2019, putting pen to paper on a reported one-year deal to become the team’s newest offensive weapon.

“You can’t hear it, but it’s probably about a 10 right now,” Funchess told Colts.com’s Matt Taylor about his emotions, moments after officially joining the squad. “I mean, I’m excited. I’m joining a new team, a new chapter in my life, and just ready to go win a Super Bowl.”

And while a one-year deal might not be as lengthy as some of the other contracts being signed elsewhere this week during free agency, Funchess said he never considered the opportunity in Indy a “prove-it” type of situation in the first place.

The fit within head coach Frank Reich’s system, matched with the obvious trajectory of the franchise, were the main factors at play, Funchess said.

“I felt as if they were good for my skillset and they were ready to go to the next level,” Funchess told reporters in a conference call on Thursday. “My whole thing is if we go get a Super Bowl everything else will take care of itself. I don’t really care about proving anything to anybody. I just wanted to go to the best team that had the best chance of getting to the Super Bowl and that is why I picked here.”

Those two words, “Super Bowl,” came up a lot in Funchess’ various interviews on Thursday — nine times, to be exact.

And he could just be the type of piece the Colts were needing to get back to that level after finishing the 2018 season with a 10-6 record and advancing to the Divisional Round of the playoffs for the first time in four years.

A huge target at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Funchess, who played tight end his first two years at the University of Michigan before switching over to wide receiver, has the potential to be a matchup nightmare, much in the same way Eric Ebron was in his first season in Indianapolis in 2018.

A former second-round pick, Funchess certainly has produced his first four NFL seasons — he has 161 receptions for 2,233 yards and 21 touchdowns over 61 career games played — but he’s hoping to absolutely take off in the Colts’ system.

“Just versatility. Just being my size, speed and then the frame that I have; the wingspan is wide. So you’ve got a big target to throw it to,” Funchess said of what he feels he brings to the table. “I can run any route in the book, so let’s just go have fun.”

“Fun” is another common word for this Detroit native.

And “fun” and “winning” usually go together, so Funchess is ready to do what he can to provide both for the Indy offense in 2019.

“My whole thing is: they like to have fun. If you do that, then that means that you like to have fun, because you try to pull the best out of everybody,” Funchess said.

“So that’s why I’m ready to go win this Super Bowl. That’s why I came here. I had other places that I could’ve went, but I picked here because they were ready to go win the Super Bowl.”

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