Dominic Rhodes: "I Can Take it the Distance"

Colts running back Dominic Rhodes is excited about the opportunity that lies ahead in 2006. ColtPower's Ed Thompson talked with him this week about what he's been told his role will be in 2006, what he learned from last season, the similarities and differences between him and Edgerrin James, and much more...

Question: Tell us about when you learned that the Colts were going to pay you the roster bonus and what that meant to you.

Dominic Rhodes: I learned about it a couple of weeks before Edge left. They had brought me in and talked to me to see where I was at, asked me if I wanted to be here. So I kind of knew what was going to happen. I went in there about five days before Edge signed with the Cardinals, and actually signed the contract for it (the roster bonus). And then I really knew that it was possibly going to be my team, and that's all I've been waiting on.

Q: Are you going to be playing out the final year of the existing contract, or is there a new deal on the table from the Colts at this point?

DR: Right now I'm just playing out the last year of my existing deal. After this year is over, I'll be an unrestricted free agent.

Q: You've got some obvious similarities to Edgerrin James. What do you think you do similar to Edge, and what are the things you do differently that will be a positive for the Colts in the running game this year?

DR:  I think what I do similar to him is we both make people miss real well. And that's always a good thing because you're not taking as many hits. The positive thing I do differently from Edge is that I'm always going downhill. I'm always hitting the hole real hard, and then when I get into the open field, I think I'm a little faster than Edge. So my "homerun" is probably a little better than his. I can take it the distance ... if I can get into the open field, I think I can take it to the house on any occasion.

Q: It had to be tough, knowing the talent you've got, to be sitting behind Edgerrin James and waiting for an opportunity like this. Was it starting to wear you down mentally or emotionally since you weren't getting as many opportunities to handle the ball?

DR: Last year was very tough on me -- mentally, emotionally, everything. I was having a tough time last year, especially with us winning the way we were. I just felt like a lot of my life has been wrapped up in football -- it always has been. It's just a part of my life in a way where I can just go out there and not think about anything else for sixty minutes -- and I've always been good at it. Last year was so hard for me, and I don't think I dealt with it well at all. I let it get to me a lot because I wasn't playing. We were having so much success, but I didn't feel like I was doing anything to help with that success. I didn't deal with it in a good way at all. I think I was hurting the team more than I was helping it last year because I wasn't being myself like I was the years before. I wasn't being that guy the gives a team energy from making plays on kickoff returns like I used to because I wasn't focused on doing what I needed to do. I was so wrapped up in not getting to play running back and getting out there and getting my chance. I just didn't handle it well at all.

Q: But it sounds like you learned an awful lot from that experience...

DR:  I really did. I learned to just be patient, that things are going to come when they're going to come. Regardless of what happened last year, I was still praying that I would get my opportunity, and it came. It took me being patient and waiting for my time, because it was obvious my time was going to come, and God was trying to make me learn from my experience. And that's all that's about, learning from life experiences and going on to become a better person and a better man.

Premium Members can click here for the rest of the interview and some exclusive audio. Find out what Dominic's been told his role will be, what to expect if the Colts draft a running back, and much more.

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