Colts’ Mike Strachan looks ahead to second season


MIKE Strachan


Tribune Sports Reporter


HEADED into his second season with the Indianapolis Colts, Mike Strachan said his mindset is to continue his progression up the organisation’s depth chart.

The Colts recently completed mandatory minicamp and three sessions of offseason OTAs.

“My mindset is to take over. I want to be the person that they look to and rely on, I want to be there for my team, I want to be able to play a bigger role this year and I feel like I can do that,” Strachan said during his time at the Bahamas All-Pro Celebrity Weekend.

“With Matt Ryan and the new additions I feel like this team is on the road to greatness and we can get to a championship.”

The Colts will look to get Ryan - the team’s new 15-year-veteran quarterback - used to the fold.

“He’s someone we all look up to, it’s like having another coach,” Strachan said of the addition of the former league MVP to the locker. “It’s crazy because he’s a great leader, he knows the game inside and out and he teaches us. He’s been a certified veteran for years in the NFL so he’s somebody that I listen to and look up to.”

Colts head coach Frank Reich expressed similar sentiments from the first week of the offseason programme in April: “[Ryan] just has a fresh perspective and when we talked about the parts of the offene, I’m excited for how he’s going to help those young receivers. Every quarterback is an extended wide receiver coach. They have to be. They work with the receivers, their impact on the receivers is felt and I just think Matt has a particularly good perspective and a good way about him the way he’s going to connect with those young receivers to help them take the next step.”

Strachan, a seventh-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, began the season with appearances in the first two games of the regular season but played sparingly for the remainder of the campaign.

In week one of the regular season, he finished with two catches for 26 yards in the Colts’ 28-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Strachan was on the field for 18 snaps and was targeted three times - a higher rate than any other receiver in the lineup.

“Since the first day we hit the field and we had to show them what we can do. I caught the first pass and I said ‘ok, I’m ready for this.’ It was smooth, I looked good doing it, so that was a big moment,” he said.

“When I caught the first pass in the first game that was a big moment for me.”

Despite the challenges in his rookie campaign, he still considered it a season of milestones with the opportunity to represent the country. “Just being in the locker room everyday with a bunch of different guys from different backgrounds, different salaries, look at a guy like Matt Ryan - $150 million - that’s your friend now,” Strachan said.

“So it’s things like that that motivates me, seeing those guys, looking up to them and being able to work with them is touching.”

The highlight of his debut campaign in the NFL was a 27-17 week four win over the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Strachan played sparingly in his Colts’ first win of the season but said the experience of having his family in attendance was a “blessing.”

The Colts finished the season 9-8 and just missed the playoffs. Strachan totalled 10 receptions for 130 yards in three preseason games.

Overall, he had a Pro Football Focus grade of 73.0 this preseason, he was targeted 16 times, had six receiving first downs, no dropped passes, four contested catches, and was part of three explosive pass plays.

In his preseason debut, Strachan finished with three receptions for 57 yards in the Colts’ 21-18 win over Carolina Panthers.

In his second appearance, Strachan finished with two catches for 12 yards in the Colts’ 12-10 win over the Vikings, and 5 receptions for 61 yards in the Colts’ 27-17 win over the Detroit Lions.

The former University of Charleston wide receiver and Grand Bahama native was selected by the Colts with the first pick of the seventh round (229th overall).

He became the 3rd Bahamian born player to be drafted into the NFL following Ed Smith in 1973 (Denver Broncos - Round 13, pick 319) and Devard Darling in 2004 (Baltimore Ravens - Round 3, pick 82).


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