Fletcher Taking Advantage of Clark's Absence

Bryan Fletcher was a recent guest on WIBC Radio's The Jersey Johnny Show, featuring ColtPower's John Cimasko.

John: Brian you quickly became a fan favorite last year during the preseason. Was it 33 or 34 touchdown passes you caught during preseason last year?

Bryan: (laughs) It was 3 or 4. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of some of the situations the coaches put me in...

John: Refresh my memory. Were any of those touchdown passes from Peyton Manning?

Bryan: One of them was from Peyton Manning. I don't know how I got in there with the first group...I think that was pivotal for me in still being around today. I think that was really an opportunity to show I can go out there with the first-team offense and against a first-team defense -- albeit preseason -- but I was still able to show that I could compete with those guys. I won a little bit of trust from Peyton Manning and the coaching staff...

John:...There's certainly some strong competition at the tight end spot, but the Colts do a lot of times carry four tight ends. I would say the opportunity is there for Bryan Fletcher going into this preseason.

Bryan: Oh, well definitely. The coaches pretty much told us that other than the first position -- obviously Dallas is starting -- the rest of the positions are open. So we definitely have four really, really good tight ends coming in. I look forward to my opportunity to be able to come in and produce.

John: You spent a lot of last season on the practice squad. For those of us who aren't exactly sure what the practice squad is for an NFL team, would you mind going into a little bit of detail as to what the practice squad is...?

Bryan: On the practice squad basically you do everything the team does. You're fully in practice with the team...you're basically the next in line at your position. Say we had three tight ends last year and I was on the practice squad. I was basically the fourth tight end and if someone got hurt, I would be brought up and signed to the active roster...Unfortunately you can only carry so many people on the active roster, so the league has allowed eight players to go at the level just beneath that. But you do everything, you go to all the meetings, you practice in full, all-out with the team. You do everything the same...you just don't play on Sunday.

John: So now the next logical step for a lot of guys -- and it has to be your next step I'm sure -- regular season active roster this year for Bryan Fletcher.

Bryan: I'm definitely looking forward to it. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback, but definitely the onus is on me to perform this preseason...Everything has been going great this offseason -- the summer school sessions and the minicamps we've been having. I've been building up a bit of a rapport with Peyton, I've had an opportunity to work with the first and second groups in Dallas' absence. So to be able to work with Peyton during this offseason has definitely been an advantage for me.

John:...if I were in your shoes -- but you seem very low key and you wouldn't do this -- but I would casually in conversation say, "Did I mention that I caught a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning?" (laughs) Do you throw that out to impress people, or no?

Bryan: (laughing) No, actually I haven't, but it sounds like something I might be interested in trying.

John: Well, I would carry the football around with me. I'd just put it on the table and just go, "Yeah, I caught this from Peyton Manning, it was a touchdown." I don't know...(laughs)

Bryan: Seriously, the ball disappeared after I caught it. They were trying to find it for me, but I couldn't find it. It was definitely something that I wanted to keep, and I was a bit disappointed that the ball disappeared, but it was a wonderful experience.

John: Well Brian, here's hoping that during the regular season this year, you're on the receiving end of some touchdown passes from Peyton Manning.

Brian: Yes, I'm definitely looking forward to it and I appreciate it...I had a great time on your show.

You can listen to Jersey Johnny talk about the Colts and sports from 6-8 pm Sunday nights. Click this link to his page at WIBC and bookmark it as you can listen to his broadcast through WIBC's website.

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