Dwight Freeney: The AFC Is Stacked

July 31, 2009 – 8:00 am by Michael Bean

The Indianapolis Colts re known for their precise aerial attack behind the stellar play of All World quarterback Peyton Manning. What they’re not really known for is their defensive prowess. To the Colts’ credit, they’ve been better than most think, particularly against the pass. The primary reason? The incredible pass rushing skills of All Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. Freeney, who had two down years in ’06 and ’07 for his standards, returned to full form in ’08. He recorded 10.5 sacks, forced four fumbles and was named to his fourth career Pro Bowl. Freeney joined KLACto talk about his offseason workout regiment, the unexpected loss of Steve McNair and how competitive he thinks the top of the AFC will be all season long.

On if he does anything out of the ordinary or interesting with his offseason workout routine

“I do a little bit of everything to be honest with you. I do a little MMA, I do a lot of hill work, running in sand dunes, running the stairs. You call it, I pretty much do it. I do whatever to try to keep it interesting and keep going.”

Freeney then commented on a number of the bigger offseason stories of 2009, beginning with the tragic death of Steve McNair:

“Obviously it’s tragic and very unexpected. I mean he was a great man, a great competitor. That’s what I remember him as. There’s only one like Steve McNair. He could run, make plays with his feet. He could be a pocket passer. And he was one of the toughest, if not the toughest, guy to bring down, especially during his better days in Tennessee. You kind of feared him when he came out on the field in the 4th quarter. You knew he was going to try to close us out.”

On the stacked AFC and how tough it will be with top flight teams like Pittsburgh, Tennessee, New England and San Diego all vying for the same goals as the Colts:

“Oh definitely. You hit it on the head. A lot of those teams are just rolling at the top with momentum. And then you got those teams where the window is closing, so you know it’s desperation time, but you know they’re going to come with their A game every week. So it’s really going to be tough and hopefully we’re around to say a little something in the playoffs.”

On if he thinks the Colts are flying under the radar with all the talk instead focused on either Favre/Vick/Cutler this offseason, or on other teams and stories like Tom Brady’s return to the Patriots, etc:

“I think we kind of are a little bit just because of the fact that we’ve been – I think it’s because we’re always there. It’s almost like we’re expected. It’s like alright, the Colts are going to be there, here they go again, but they’re not going to win the Super Bowl, maybe that one year was lucky. It was always kind of that deal. So you know, we’re just trying to go out there and prove everybody wrong. And whether they talk about us or not, that’s fine. We’re not worried about that. We’re worried about getting back to the playoffs and winning games, making it to the Super Bowl and then winning that.”

Listen here to Freeney on KLAC in Los Angeles

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