Josh McNary finally in Colts uniform

Updated: July 31, 2013, 10:48 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

For the first time since the end of the 2011 college season, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary was in full pads Tuesday after serving a two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

Indy had hoped to get Army's career sacks leader during one of its spring minicamps after McNary fulfilled his service commitment. But the process took longer than expected, so McNary didn't make it to training camp until Monday evening. On Tuesday he passed his physical.

[+] EnlargeJosh McNary
AP Photo/Michael ConroyJosh McNary officially traded his Army uniform for a Colts uniform on Tuesday.

"I think the quote of the day was Mr. [Ryan] Grigson approaching me, telling me, 'It's just like riding a bike,'" McNary said, referring to the Colts' general manager. "He hit it right on the head. It just felt comfortable to be back out here. It felt natural, surprisingly. I was kind of concerned going into it, whether if I was going to be overly rusty. But it turned out to be pretty smooth, a smooth transition."

McNary's 28 sacks and 49 tackles for loss are both Army records, but he wasn't drafted largely because of his looming military commitment.

The 6-foot, 251-pound linebacker, who was a walk-on at Army, also holds West Point's single-season mark for sacks in a season (12.5) and a game (4.0). He finished his career at Army with 195 career tackles, nine passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including a 55-yard return for a touchdown in the 2010 win at SMU. He also was named the 2011 East-West Shrine Game's Pat Tillman Award winner -- an award that goes to a player who best represents character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service.

The Colts signed him in April after watching workout at a regional combine and put him on the reserve/military list. McNary, who was commissioned as a lieutenant while in the Army, had been working out at Fort Hood in Texas before joining the Colts.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano used McNary's camp debut as a moment of instruction for the other players on the Colts' roster.

'He made the parallel between the Army, and that team, and the team that we have here," McNary told reporters. "The fact that you kind of put this game into perspective, he called it a 'child's game.' He said that basically there's traits to be adopted and that team, in terms of everybody taking personal accountability and people being accountable for what they are supposed to be doing.

"It was inspiring."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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