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Gandy Sitting Tight

His approach is simple, even if it’s not always easy.  Dylan Gandy will wait.  And he will work.  As was the case last year, if he is called upon, he will be ready.  Gandy, an offensive guard/center entering his third season with the Colts, said his is not the ideal situation. Ideally, he would be starting, but he also said he knows his job, his role, and it’s one in which he said he can excel.”You play through it,” Gandy said to the team’s website during the Colts’ recent summer-school session, which ended in mid-June at the team’s training facility in Indianapolis.  “It’s one of those deals where nobody likes to watch.  Everybody likes to play and it was a lot of fun playing last year.  But I’ve just got to wait and sit tight and be ready.  “It’s a long season.  I just want to be able to help the team out wherever I can.”

Gandy, a fourth-round selection by the Colts in the 2005 NFL Draft, played his role in top-notch fashion last season, starting 11 games at left guard in place of starter Ryan Lilja, who missed much of the regular season with two knee injuries.  It was, as Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said, an ideal example of the Colts’ approach along the offensive line.  Gandy, who played collegiately at Texas Tech, can play center or guard. 

When Lilja could not play in the preseason last season, Gandy focused on guard.  And when Lilja couldn’t play in the regular season, Gandy spent much of the season there.  The pattern continued in the postseason.  The Colts’ philosophy on the line?  Next man in, meaning no matter what the players’ experience, the backup must go in and perform.   Gandy said he realizes the importance of the role, and said the way he played it last season is what’s expected around the Colts.

“(Offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd) and those guys, they expect a lot from their players,” Gandy said.  “That’s what we’re called on to do and we’re called on to know every position.  We’re expected to go in and we’re expected to do a good job.  “That’s how this team works.  You have to be ready.  My job is to make sure that I’m ready and not go in there and just do OK, but go in there and do a good job.  That’s what I try to prepare to do.”

What Gandy said he wants to accomplish this season is to continue to improve, and to continue to show coaches he is worthy of playing time.  That, he said, can be difficult in his situation.  “I’m not starting and I’m not a rookie, so I can get lost in the shuffle,” he said. “What I’m trying to focus on is just honing in on the little things, and honing in on the skills and trying to get everything better.”  And while Gandy said his situation is not ideal, he said he continues to believe that given the opportunity, his approach is one that will be effective – for him and for the Colts.

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