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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Adam Vinatieri's Clutch Kick Experience Comes to the Colts

This is an awesome trade for the "We're not going to do much in free agency" Colts -- as GM Bill Polian said this year. If the Colts had Adam Vinatieri against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they may very well have been in the Super Bowl against the Seawhawks.

Wednesday, March 22

By John Oehser - Colts.com

Vinatieri’s Ability Under Pressure Key in Colts’ Decision
INDIANAPOLIS – At first, Bill Polian said, it didn’t seem likely.

Adam Vinatieri, after all, had been a member of the New England Patriots for 10 seasons. His clutch kicks made him a legend in the Boston area, inexorably linking him with that franchise’s success over the last half decade.

Then word came:

Vinatieri, one of the most reliable postseason kickers in NFL history, was almost certainly not going to re-sign with the Patriots. And Indianapolis was among the teams in which he was interested.

Vinatieri, 33, helped the Patriots win three of the last five Super Bowls, and his late-game heroics in the post-season have earned him a reputation as one of the NFL’s top big-game performers.

In the 2001 post-season, Vinatieri’s 45-yard field goal in a driving snowstorm helped the Patriots force overtime against the Oakland Raiders in an AFC Divisional Playoff. His 23-yard overtime field goal gave the Patriots the victory.

Vinatieri, the NFL’s leading scorer in 2004, is a career 81.9 percent field-goal kicker, having made 263 of 321 attempts. He also has handled kickoff duties throughout his career and has 61 career touchbacks.

“What you’re excited about is you have a guy who has been in those situations and you don’t have to guess how he’s going to respond,” Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said. “That’s really the biggest thing from our standpoint. Whether he’s from New England or anyplace else, you’re getting a Pro Bowl caliber guy, a guy who’s done what he’s done.

“The exciting thing for us is when you lose a really good player at any position and replace him with another player of the same caliber, that’s always fantastic.”

Former Saint's QB Aaron Brooks Now An Oakland Raider

Personally, this is a very exciting and dramatic development. It means that the Raiders are going to install an offense that takes advantage of his special tatents of mobility and arm strength. The Raiders have never had a quaterback quite like Aaron Brooks. If they can correct his tendency to throw off his back foot -- get him to set his feet before he throws -- he will be something to watch.

Raiders sign QB Brooks to two-year contract
NFL.com wire reports

ALAMEDA, Calif. (March 22, 2006) -- The Oakland Raiders found their replacement for Kerry Collins, signing quarterback Aaron Brooks to a two-year contract to compete for the starting job.

The 29-year-old Brooks was cut last week by New Orleans when the Saints signed Drew Brees, one of the most coveted free agents available this year.

After a disappointing 2005 season, Aaron Brooks will look to revive his career with Oakland.
Brooks started 13 games for New Orleans last season, completing 240 of 431 passes for 2,882 yards and 13 touchdowns against 17 interceptions.

"Oh, sweet," receiver Alvis Whitted said in a phone interview. "I'm glad that we do have a new quarterback. I'm sure he'll fit right in with what we're trying to get done here. I'm sure the coaches are excited. From what I've seen of him play, he's done some great things. He's very athletic, a mobile quarterback and very intelligent, too. He's a great fit for us, and we're happy to have him."

Brooks, who had started 82 straight games before being benched for the final three games of 2005, spent the past six seasons with the Saints after playing for Green Bay in his first NFL campaign in 1999.

Brooks, a fourth-round draft pick by the Packers out of Virginia, was one of few capable quarterbacks left on the market this offseason.

"Aaron gives us great depth at the quarterback position and provides us with a veteran presence," new Raiders coach Art Shell said.

Oakland parted ways with Collins on March 10 in an expected salary-cap move.

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