NFL Nation: Josh McNary

Examining the Indianapolis Colts' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
This is the safest position on the roster for the Colts. They plan to always keep a veteran backup if Luck ever goes down with an injury.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

The Colts will have a solid running combination if -- and we’re saying if until proven wrong -- Richardson can bounce back from a poor first season in Indianapolis and Bradshaw and Ballard can stay injury-free. Havili, a fullback, gets the edge over Mario Harvey, who switched from linebacker to fullback during offseason workouts.

RECEIVERS (5)

The final receiver spot will come down to Rogers and Griff Whalen. If the Colts want to play it safe, Whalen is the guy because he’s familiar with Luck and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Rogers has the size and speed the team likes. There’s also the possibility of the Colts keeping six receivers.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Allen, who missed all but one game in 2013, and Fleener have the potential to be one of the top tight end duos in the league. Doyle and Saunders are both familiar with the system after backing up Fleener in Allen’s absence last season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

There are plenty of questions surrounding the offensive line outside of tackles Castonzo and Cherilus. The one thing general manager Ryan Grigson wanted with this group is depth. The Colts have plenty of it.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)

Like the offensive line, the Colts want depth on the defensive line so they can constantly rotate in players, so come the fourth quarter they still have fresh legs to get after the opponent. Jones was the key offseason acquisition for the Colts. Chapman showed flashes last season; now he needs to do it every snap that he’s on the field.

LINEBACKERS (10)

All eyes will be on outside linebacker as the Colts look to find a replacement for Mathis, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. Werner gets the first crack at starting in Mathis’ spot. McNary is a player for whom Grigson has high expectations. It’ll be up to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on how he uses McNary.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)

It’s anybody’s guess how the secondary will perform. It’s anybody’s guess who will start alongside Landry at safety. It looked like it would be Howell for most of the offseason, but the Colts signed the veteran Adams in June. Can Toler finally remain healthy? Can Davis live up to his contract? So many questions with no answers at the moment.

SPECIALIST

This only changes if an injury occurs.

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Colts 

April, 10, 2014
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ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay posted his 2014 mock draft Insider earlier on Thursday.

As you’ve been reminded every time you hear the name “Trent Richardson,” the Indianapolis Colts do not have a first-round pick because of their trade with Cleveland to acquire the running back last September.

From Army to football field for McNary

November, 8, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary was all set to be stationed in Germany as part of his two-year active service commitment with the U.S. Army. Making a move like that would have ended any last hope of the former Army linebacker making a run at the NFL.

But for some reason, one McNary doesn’t know, his orders were canceled and he was stationed at Ft. Hood, an Army base in Killeen, Texas.

McNary, a lieutenant in the Army, heard last December that the super regional combine would be at Cowboys Stadium in April. He figured why not take a final shot at playing in the NFL.

[+] EnlargeJosh McNary
AP Photo/Michael ConroyJosh McNary made the Indianapolis Colts practice squad despite not having played in a football game since 2010.
“Initially I had wrote off NFL aspirations after college because I was serving the country,” McNary said.

The Army demands that its soldiers remain in shape, but football shape is a completely different thing. McNary worked out with a personal trainer from December until April to ensure he would be ready.

“I had continued to stay in shape throughout my time in the Army,” he said. “And in addition to that, I did real workouts, the kind of workouts that benefit me. Workouts that if I got another chance at playing in the NFL, I would still be in pretty good shape.”

McNary left the combine upset at his performance. He showed he stilll "had it" but he didn't believe he did enough to get the attention necessary. But his phone started ringing nonstop when he walked into work on April 10. One of the calls came from Ryan Grigson. The Colts general manager didn’t have a member of his front office call McNary, he wanted to personally make the call and extend an offer to McNary.

“The call came on my birthday,” the 25-year-old McNary said. “A couple teams were talking to me, but they wanted me to work out for them again and then they would make a decision from there. Ryan Grigson showed a lot of familiarity with me already. Everybody else wasn’t familiar with me. Mr. Grigson pointed out a lot of things in my play and in my character that took a lot of digging to get to. He showed a lot of faith in me.”

The Colts released a statement in April where Grigson said McNary’s “production speaks for itself, but his intangibles rival any stats.” McNary’s two-year commitment to the Army ended May 21.

Grigson had plenty of background information on McNary because he scouted the linebacker when he was part of the Philadelphia Eagles front office.

McNary had 49 tackles for a loss and 28 sacks in 46 games at Army. Teams shied away from him in the draft because they knew he had to serve his time in the Army.

“Nobody was really willing to give up a spot to somebody who they wouldn’t be able to use for a couple of years, especially with the chance of being deployed and shot at,” McNary said. "You can't fault them for thinking that way."

McNary did enough in training camp to earn a spot on the Colts practice squad. Making the practice squad was a significant move for McNary when you consider he hadn’t played in a game since Army beat Southern Methodist in the Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 30, 2010. He knows he wouldn't be with the Colts today had his orders gone through for him to be stationed in Germany.

McNary comes from a family with a lot of military ties. His father is a retired Marine captain. His paternal grandfather served in the Korean War. His maternal grandfather served in World War II and his uncle is a sergeant in the Army. And that’s why Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) carries a lot of weight with McNary.

“In my opinion it’s a time to memorialize all the guys that laid it on the line and sacrificed their time, energy, shed blood and some of them sacrificed their own lives for the good of this country,” he said.

Indianapolis Colts cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
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Most significant move: Defensive lineman Fili Moala didn’t play in the preseason because was he was still rehabbing a knee injury from late 2012, but that didn’t stop him from making the roster. Keeping Moala put an end to fellow defensive lineman Drake Nevis’ time with the Colts. Fullback Dominique Jones was cut, leaving the Colts with only one fullback on the roster, Stanley Havili.

A feel-good story: Linebacker Caesar Rayford kept hearing from NFL teams over the years that they liked what they saw out of him on video while he played in the Arena Football League. Rayford, however, never got an invite to a training camp from any of those teams. That changed this year when the Colts, led by general manager Ryan Grigson’s willingness to search anywhere for talent, invited Rayford to camp. Rayford didn’t disappoint, either. He had a team-high five sacks during the preseason. Rayford now has a spot on the 53-man roster. The 27-year-old rookie’s best bet to get on the field will likely be on special teams. He’ll take it after getting looked over for so many years while he played in the Canadian and Arena Football League.

What’s next: Grigson and his staff aren’t going to sit tight. They’ll continue to monitor which players -- especially offensive linemen and possibly fullback -- around the league were released, and don’t be surprised if the roster the Colts take into their season opener against Oakland on Sept. 8 is completely different than the current one. The Colts will likely add quarterback Chandler Harnish and linebacker Daniel Adongo to the practice squad if both players clear waivers. Adongo didn’t play in the preseason, but the Colts are intrigued by the former rugby player. Harnish was on the practice squad last season.

Colts cuts: LB: Daniel Adongo, Josh McNary, Monte Simmons, Shawn Loiseau. DB: Larry Asante, Marshay Green, Sheldon Price, Daxton Swanson. OL: Thomas Austin, Ben Ijalana, Bradley Sowell, Lee Ziemba, Emmett Cleary. DL: Lawrence Guy, Drake Nevis, Martin Tevaseu. QB: Chandler Harnish. FB: Robert Hughes. TE: Dominique Jones. WR: Jeremy Kelley, Jabin Sambrano, Lanear Sampson

Colts get down to mandatory 75 players

August, 27, 2013
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Sorry to disappoint you, but there wasn’t any suspense with the Indianapolis Colts' roster cut down.

The Colts got down to the mandatory 75 players on Tuesday when they waived injured receiver Nathan Palmer, placed rookie safety John Boyett on the reserve/non-football injury list and moved rookie linebacker Josh McNary, who was in the Army, to the exempt list.

McNary’s exemption is under the reserve/military rules where the player reported after June 1, 2013, and has not played in the preseason. He missed the first three games with a hamstring injury.

There could be some suspense when the Colts have to get their roster down to 53 players by the 6 p.m. ET deadline Saturday.
When the Colts activated linebacker Josh McNary from their reserve/military list to the 90-man active roster, they waived linebacker C.O. Prime to make room.

But later Tuesday they rescinded the waiver request on Prime, keeping him on their 90-man roster and instead put defensive tackle Brandon McKinney on injured-reserve.

It’s not yet clear if this is a result of the same knee injury suffered in camp last year, when he suffered a torn ACL.

McKinney has not practiced since the team started camp on Sunday.

McKinney got a two-year, $2 million contract from the Colts in 2012. He was one of two defensive veterans the Colts brought over from the defense Chuck Pagano coordinated in Baltimore before he was hired to replace Jim Caldwell. Safety Tom Zbikowski was released after the team signed LaRon Landry in free agency. Now McKinney is also gone, and it appears unlikely he will ever play a game for Indianapolis.

The team is reasonably deep in the interior line now, and will miss him less than it did last season, when he could have been the primary nose tackle. Now Josh Chapman looks to be the leaders for the most time, and veteran Aubrayo Franklin can be a run-stuffer. Martin Tevaseu is also listed as a nose tackle.

Ricky Jean Francois and rookie Montori Hughes will also be equipped to play inside in certain situations.
Free agent Josh McNary is a new member for the Indianapolis Colts, but he won’t have a chance to make his first impression for a while.

Indianapolis placed him on the team’s reserve/military list.

Currently commissioned in the United States Army, McNary will finish his active duty service prior to joining the team. The team doesn’t know when McNary will become available. It will be determined by the Army, of course.

McNary was a defensive end at Army, but the Colts will use him as a linebacker.

“Josh had an outstanding career at West Point,” general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. “His production speaks for itself, but his intangibles rival any stats. He is still fulfilling the commitment he made to serving our country, but we look forward to him wearing the horseshoe here in the near future.”

McNary is 6-foot and 251 pounds. He finished his collegiate career in 2010 as Army’s all-time leader in sacks (28.0) and tackles for loss (49). He also had 195 tackles (117 solo), nine passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

This is Grigson once again looking everywhere possible for a player. Any GM in the league could have had signed McNary and put him on the reserve list.

Grigson is the one who did, and if the Colts get something out of him it will qualify as a smart move.

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