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Harnish relieved to join Colts practice squad

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The former Norwell standout won't be changing his daily routine

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 3:36 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Chandler Harnish was called into Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson's office Tuesday afternoon. He knew what was coming.

Tuesday is the day of player movement, of cuts and signings.

Just as Harnish suspected, he was being waived from the Colts' active roster.

“Naturally you think about that as a third-string quarterback,” Harnish said. “A lot of NFL teams don't carry three. I never really stressed out about it, but I was always kind of prepared for this situation to come up.”

Harnish cleared waivers and the Colts signed him to their practice squad Wednesday afternoon.

After a day of waiting to see if any other teams would call, Harnish was back with the Colts. Nothing much has changed in his everyday routine. He still has the same locker and the same responsibilities in practice. The big change, of course, is his paycheck. A practice squad player makes about one-fourth the salary of a rookie player on the active roster.

“My goal coming in was to make the active roster, and I did that,” Harnish said. “My goal now is to get back on that active roster, so I'm just going to keep working.”

Harnish, a former Norwell High School standout, was drafted with the No.253rd and last pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. That spot earned him notoriety as “Mr. Irrelevant,” which he says he put to rest once he made the active roster initially.

“I typically never think about where I was drafted,” he said. “Once you're on the team, in the door, it's all the same playing field as far as rookies and players. People mention the Mr. Irrelevant thing but I've put that behind me and moved on. I just always continue to try and prove myself, to stay hungry and not get complacent.”

The Colts' No.1 pick, quarterback Andrew Luck, has taken every regular-season snap on offense. The Colts' No.2 quarterback, veteran Drew Stanton, has been called upon to help groom Luck for any NFL situations he faces as the new face of the franchise.

Luck, Stanton and Harnish spend a lot of time together in meetings and film sessions with quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The quarterbacks are a tight-knit group, Harnish said.

While Harnish was part of the 53-man roster since the end of the preseason, he was one of the designated inactive players for all five Colts' regular-season games. He knew as the Colts battled injuries, it was possible they would waive him to sign more pressing needs.

Harnish was signed to the practice squad after a day in limbo. “Relief would be a pretty good description” of the signing, he said.

“Now I feel I've got a place and a situation to work from,” Harnish said. “You don't want to keep moving around. You want a little certainty. Your paycheck decreases, but it's not about that at this point. It's about getting better as a football player and helping the Colts win games.”