McDonald and Colts in training for better things
Dewey McDonald has made his first-year impression.
Now the second-year member of the Indianapolis Colts wants to be thought of as a more trusted player who can do other things in a NFL game other than be on the Colts special teams.
Both McDonald and the Colts are in training camp readying for the 2015 season where the team’s goals include posting more wins than the 11 it had last season. The 11-5 record left Indianapolis in first place in the AFC South and gave the team a first-round bye in the playoffs.
But then a close loss along the playoff trail left the Colts shy of the coveted Super Bowl berth some thought possible if quarterback Andrew Luck could score 45 or more points in every game.
Indianapolis is again the critic’s choice to win the AFC South. Will there be a more potent ground attack and defense to help Luck plow through every opponent’s game plan that says, “Stop Luck (or least keep him from a record-setting performance, and we can outscore them)”.
McDonald was an undrafted rookie last season. The former Jefferson High three-sport standout had played one season at California of Pennsylvania after a much-decorated three year stint at Fairmont State. From the beginning of his college career at Fairmont, McDonald received post-season honors and acclaim from first the WVIAC and then the Mountain East.
In his one season at California, he was named a team captain and returned three intercepted passes for touchdowns.
California is an NCAA Division II school that plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The NFL doesn’t draft many players from Division II schools.
McDonald was placed on Indianapolis’s practice squad on September 1 last season. About a month later on September 29, he was placed on the active roster, and stayed there through the heaviest portion of the regular season and playoffs.
He was a special teams regular all along the way.
At Jefferson High, McDonald was a all-state football player, a regular starter on the basketball team and as a senior won two individual events at the state track and field meet.
As a defensive back in the NFL, he has to become even more trusted than he already is. The Colts know he has both a undergraduate degree and a masters degree and they value his intelligence as much as his physical ability.
The Colts list McDonald down a ways on their depth chart as training camp opens.
But professional football teams watch carefully for steady improvement in a young player’s career. If the team sees what it is looking for, it will quickly promote anybody. And everybody realizes injuries rip apart plans and depth charts after most pre-season games and the games that count in the standings beginning the second week in September.
McDonald and the Colts are trying to find the ways to move farther along the playoff trail . . . and reach the Super Bowl in the 25-year-old’s second season in the NFL.