Imagine growing up in Indianapolis, winning a state title in football, winning a state title in rugby, playing college football, going undrafted and then getting picked up by the hometown Colts.
Well, that’s Jack Doyle’s life in a nutshell.
“It was unreal,” the Colts tight end said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, referring to the Colts claiming him off waivers in 2013. “I didn’t believe it at first. I was super excited. Obviously my family has had way too much fun with it, as they should. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Doyle was used primarily as a run blocker in his first three seasons in Indy, catching 35 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns. After Coby Fleener signed with New Orleans in the offseason, however, Doyle was given a bigger role in the passing game. He has 13 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns in three games this season.
“Obviously I’ve gotten more plays and maybe the football has found me a little more, but it really hasn’t been much different to me, to be honest with you,” Doyle said. “You always try and prepare like you’re a starter. Coach Pagano is big on that, and I’ve always tried to do that since I’ve been here. I’ve just tried to make the plays when the ball comes my way and do the best I can blocking. At the end of the day, you’ll be satisfied with that if you’re giving it your all.”
Doyle had six catches for 65 yards in Indy’s come-from-behind 26-22 win over the Chargers this past Sunday. A loss for the Colts would have been disastrous; they would have lost each of their first two home games and started 0-3.
Only three percent of teams make the playoffs after starting 0-3.
“You definitely want to try to carry over that momentum from any win, but getting the first win kind of out of the way almost, you feel like you can start rolling some off now,” Doyle said. “You got to get over that hump. Hopefully we can carry the momentum heading over to London against Jacksonville.”
Indeed, the Colts (1-2) plays the Jags (0-3) in London this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The team flies out Thursday night and will arrive Friday.
As for catching passes from Andrew Luck, it’s about as cool as it sounds – even if Luck isn’t the coolest or flashiest quarterback in the league.
“He’s a very normal guy,” Doyle said. “I guess people would be surprised by that, just how normal he is. That’s just the way he is. He doesn’t really care. He’s going to be himself, and that’s what you respect about him.”
Doyle is universally loved by his Colts teammates, who refer to him as “The Big Fundamental.” Some even call him Tim Duncan.
Gottlieb asked Doyle if he was okay with that.
“Well yeah, Tim Duncan’s the man,” Doyle said in a no-brainer tone. “How could I not be cool with that?”