The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

November 27, 2013

Colts' McNary prepares for unlikely NFL debut


"Special teams, first and foremost, (he) can make a huge impact, I think, and help us," Pagano said. "We're adding a guy that's a great athlete. Strong, fast, physical football player (that will) match up well against this team. So the major contribution is there, and then whenever we can get him up to speed as far as defense goes, then we'll do it."

McNary said he's preparing to play both defense and special teams and that he didn't appreciate the level of commitment necessary to play the latter until he reached the NFL.

"You always kind of overlook special teams as a spectator, but as a player there is a lot that goes into it," he said. "It's really involved. It deserves just as much study and preparation as any other position."

The fact McNary is preparing to play professional football at all means he's already beaten long odds.

He wasn't recruited out of high school and considered walking away from the game. His family's military history ultimately drew him to West Point, and he decided to join Army's football team as a walk on.

McNary set the school record for sacks and drew the eyes of pro scouts, but his military commitment prevented him from being drafted. With his enlistment set to expire this summer, he attended a regional NFL Scouting Combine in Dallas and was signed by the Colts.

If and when he steps onto the field Sunday, his story will serve as an inspiration for others who face obstacles while chasing their dreams.

"It certainly can be, and I hope a lot of people see it that way," McNary said. "Don't place any limitations on yourself. Your potential is unlimited. It's just a matter of how much work you're willing to put in it, how much you're willing to sacrifice."

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