INDIANAPOLIS – Greetings from Colt Country, where some of the faithful have conveniently overlooked the outcome of the Super Bowl.
On the cab ride from the airport to downtown Wednesday, the driver’s take was that the Colts remain the best team in the league. When it was pointed out that they did lose to the Saints in the Super Bowl, he said that was just one game and the loss did not alter the “fact” that the Colts were the NFL’s best team.
It’s not just one man’s opinion. Similar sentiments were offered by the bellboy at the hotel and the barista at a nearby Seattle’s Best coffee outlet. And the city remains decked out in Colt colors, banners and other regalia.
On to the scouting combine – which is the reason some 600 coaches, scouts and front-office execs and more than 300 draft-eligible players are in town. I’ve already bumped into Ted Thompson, the Packers’ GM and who used to work for the Seahawks; and Randy Mueller, who had GM power without the title during Dennis Erickson’s tenure as Seahawks coach and now works for the Chargers. I walked to Lucas Oil Stadium this morning with Will Lewis, the Seahawks’ vice president of football operations.
Today, the offensive linemen are lifting this morning and will be made available to the 400 media representatives throughout the day.
Yesterday, the Seahawks used their franchise tag on Olindo Mare. This move gives him a nice pay bump – a one-year tender of $2.814 million, or the average salary of the top five kickers in the league.
Mare has been, well, money since the Seahawks signed him in 2008. Last season, he missed only two field-goal attempts and hit a club-record 21 in a row. The year before, he hit 24 of 27 – giving him a two-season percentage of .906 (48 of 53).
Yes, he will be 37 in June, but Mare obviously has plenty of leg left.