Jack Doyle will never forget the moment.
Not just any TD, but Doyle’s first in the NFL. In primetime. And better yet, in his hometown, with so many family and friends there to witness it and celebrate.
“It was good to get that first one out of the way, all that fun stuff, the family had fun with it,” the Indianapolis native and former Cathedral High School star said Thursday.
“Nice moment, everybody was happy for him,” said Matt Hasselbeck, backup quarterback and locker-room neighbor. “Jack’s just a guy who does everything right. Everyone is excited to see him make a big play.”
The special catch took a year and required a welcomed change of address. Undrafted out of Western Kentucky last year, Doyle signed with Tennessee but was among final roster cuts. The Colts claimed him before the 2013 regular season.
He played in 15 games as a rookie, used primarily as a blocker and on special teams. Doyle caught five passes for 19 yards and made three special-teams tackles in the regular season, then added a 7-yard reception and two special-teams stops in two playoff games.
Doyle scored just eight TDs in 42 college games, and had four scores his senior year at Cathedral, where he won a state championship in 2006. So it’s not like he’s had many trips to the end zone to compare to his latest.
He won’t revel in this one now, though, because the Colts lost 30-27 to Philadelphia. His team is 0-2, so he’s already focused on the next game Sunday at Jacksonville.
“You just want to get a loss out of the way,” he said, “and as soon as you’re back on the field, the better.”
But some day, Doyle looks forward to sharing with his children how he caught his first NFL touchdown pass from Luck. And then wide receiver Reggie Wayne made it even more special by retrieving the football for an appreciative teammate.
“I obviously grew up watching Reggie play and grew up a fan of Reggie,” Doyle said of the six-time Pro Bowl star. “For him to grab the ball, it just shows the type of person Reggie is, the classy move that it was.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.