Andrus is Gaining Momentum, Settling in

Colts rookie kicker Shane Andrus already has an edge over the other rookies who attended minicamp last weekend. And he's made great strides in his kicking game, taking advantage of every opportunity since becoming a Colt.

Colts rookie kicker Shane Andrus had a big advantage over the more than twenty rookies that showed up for minicamp last weekend. He's already been working out at the Colts facility for close to five weeks, learning the ropes and getting to know his new teammates. 

The exciting prospect out of Murray State wasn't picked up by any team for the 2005 season following his senior year, so he was eligible to be signed by any team. After an impressive tryout with the Colts earlier this year where he consistently put kickoffs inside the 2-yard line and made nine out of ten field goal attempts, the Colts quickly signed him over three other kickers – including former Colt Martin Grammatica – who worked out that same day.

And now that he has professional trainers working with him, his kicking is even getting better.

"My kickoffs are real strong right now, my field goals are the best ever -- even better than at my workout, so I'm anxious to show everybody what I can do," he told ColtPower this week. "It's amazing once you get in the weight room working with the trainers – because I've never really been worked with to this level since I went to Murray State. I didn't get all the extras that I would have at a school like the University of Miami. A lot of the things they have me doing are brand new to me, so I'm getting a lot of good work in that's really helping me." 

Andrus, who already brought a booming foot to Indianapolis that has been surprising many people, is seeing even more distance and consistency in his kicks as a result of working with the Colts staff and special teams coach Russ Purnell. 

"I think that has to do with my improved flexibility. I've never really stretched like I have in the past month and a half," he explained. "I'm getting an extra three to four yards on my kickoffs.

"Saturday, inside at the minicamp, I was hitting them inside the two and into the end zone four of five times, so I was pretty happy with that. I can tell I'm progressively getting better."

Before the Colts signed former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, the team had Andrus, 2005 draft pick Dave Rayner out of Michigan State, and Jose Cortez set to battle for roster spots for the 2006 season. But with the addition of Vinatieri, that picture changed dramatically – and quickly. Rayner and Cortez were dispatched, leaving Vinatieri and Andrus as the two lone kickers. It was a real compliment to a rookie that had been overlooked by the NFL, but who had continued to work out on his own in gyms and on football fields last year – never giving up on his dream. 

"It meant a lot to get to stay and to get the opportunity to kick with Adam and learn from him throughout camp," Andrus said. "Kicking with that many others would have been a lot of competition, but working out alongside Adam is going to help me out a lot. Hopefully the Colts will keep that kickoff job open. I'm not sure, I haven't heard anything, but hopefully if I can prove myself in camp, that job will be mine. We'll see."

During our interview with Shane, he explained what he's doing to mix in with the rest of the team. And you can enjoy a really fun moment with him when he's asked about how he's doing competing against Peyton Manning every Tuesday and Thursday in this ColtPower Insiders Exclusive:

Next week we'll be publishing a Q&A feature with Shane exclusively for our Insiders where he'll talk about working with Adam Vinatieri, Hunter Smith and Justin Snow, rookie minicamp, and much more!

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