Shoved aside in New York by Tebowmania, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Drew Stanton is already embracing his new home.
Stanton, acquired by the Colts from the Jets in a trade after Tim Tebow arrived in New York, met with Colts quarterback coach Clyde Christensen this week. Stanton is ready to compete with, and mentor, the Colts' top pick in the draft, whether it's Stanford's Andrew Luck or Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
Most expect the Colts to take Luck, but Colts owner Jim Irsay told USA Today the pick is "still up in the air."
Stanton, 27, has four years in the league and some experience in this situation. He helped Detroit Lions rookie Matthew Stafford when Stafford broke into the league.
“Obviously, that first overall pick is going to be a quarterback,” Stanton said in a conference call Tuesday. “So, it's just a matter of getting in there, getting a good foundation laid down and trying to help that kid out whomever it is.”
Stafford said the fact the Colts are starting with a fresh coaching staff could be a help, since everyone – draft picks to 11-year veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne – will be starting on the same page.
“I think that allows us to all grow together as a core unit,” Stanton said. “I was part of that with (Lions coach) Jim Schwartz when he got to Detroit. Our offense was able to progress over three years. You look at the numbers Matthew was able to put up last year, throwing for over 5,000 yards. Our offense in Detroit, because of that communication factor, was so well-oiled, for lack of a better term.”
Stanton, who played for Michigan State in college, signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason, but requested a trade after they acquired Tebow. He had turned down some other offers for a possible No.2 role to take the Jets position which was obviously going to Tebow.
He has no qualms about joining a Colts team that will be picking its franchise quarterback in the draft.
“Whoever the No.1 pick is, people want them to be out there playing,” Stanton said. “But if it's not possible because of injury or maybe they're not ready, there are multiple factors, than I have to be able to be ready to go. That's the way I approach it.”
Stanton doesn't seem to mind the round-about way he arrived in Indianapolis. The trigger was former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos, leading to Tebow's trade to the Jets, leading to Stanton's trade to the Colts.
“The circumstances change every single day with the dynamics involved in this league,” Stanton said. “It was a domino effect or almost circular in the fact that everybody was flipping places and moving one over.”
Avery plans to study Wayne
The Colts' newest wide receiver, free-agent signee Donnie Avery, also spoke with the media on Tuesday. He said he is looking forward to playing with either Luck or Griffin.
He is also excited about working with Wayne, one of the best receivers of the last 10 years.
“It is exciting,” Avery said. “I experienced that my first year in St. Louis with Torry Holt. It was awesome. I am really not a vocalist. I really don't like to bother guys, especially guys of their nature. I just like to sit back and observe and pick up everything they do – how they carry themselves on the football field and how they recover from a drop or how they block or come out of their breaks and stuff. It's going to be awesome getting a first-hand look at that.”
Avery played two full seasons with the Rams, sat out with an injury and was a backup receiver for the Titans last season. He said he ran a 4.25 in the 40-yard dash coming into the league and feels he can show that type of speed again.
Avery considered the Jets, Vikings, Bears and Dolphins before choosing the Colts.
“They expressed the most interest out of five teams,” Avery said. “Coach Chuck (Pagano) called me four or five times and told me how he could get me back to my early years in the NFL, how I can look up to Reggie Wayne and the rest of the guys and how I can fit in this offense.''