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Part 2 with Jacob Tamme: Catching up with a UK legend, potential Super Bowl champion

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FB 06_07 UK_GA 2362.jpgHere's part two of the Q and A with UK great and Indianapolis Colts tight end Jacob Tamme. The former Kentucky star will play in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints next Sunday in Miami.

Check out part one of the interview.

Cat Scratches: When people think about some of the premier franchises in the NFL today, one of the first organizations that come to mind is the Colts. Tell me about your experience with the Colts in your first two seasons.
Jacob Tamme: There's definitely a lot of nationwide respect for the franchise. Mr. (Bill) Polian, (president of the Colts) and (head coach) Mr. (Jim) Caldwell have done a great job of putting the right pieces together and now we have a chance to win the big one. It's a great group of guys and a lot of really good football players. Playing with this team has been a lot of fun.

CS: It appears to be a perfect fit for you in the sense that Kentucky was a high-octane offense during your playing days and then you basically moved on to the NFL's high-octane offense.
JT: Yeah, they have a lot of offensive weapons. They use the tight end in a lot of different ways, probably as many or more than any other team. It's a great fit and I've just been pleased to do my part and be a part of it and to hopefully help us come out on the winning side a whole lot this year. Hopefully we'll do it one more time.

CS: You have one of the all-time greats throwing you the pigskin in Peyton Manning. What's your relationship like with him?
JT: He's been great. He's everything that everybody thinks that he is. He's an amazing quarterback and he's a great leader. Being a part of an offense where you have a guy like that who pushes himself to the limit and prepares as hard as anybody maybe in the history of the league is great. He gets himself mentally and physically ready every single week. He challenges you to be the best player you can be. He's a perfect quarterback to play with and to be in an offense like this with.

CS: As you mentioned, the Colts utilize tight end Dallas Clark probably better than any other team. What has it been like to learn under one of the game's best pass-catching tight ends?
JT: Dallas has been great. He's a guy that I actually watched a little bit of film of when I was at Kentucky in trying to become a better tight end. To play with him and compete with him and learn from what he does, I couldn't really ask to be in a better spot to become a better football player. He has definitely helped with that by showing me the ropes a lot last year. He was a huge help to me as a rookie. He's a great friend and a great player."

CS: I know you still follow Kentucky and keep touch with everybody in Lexington. What were your thoughts on the retirement of Rich Brooks, a coach who meant a lot to you and your development?
JT: It was kind of bittersweet. He obviously poured his heart and soul into the program and cared about it very deeply and did an outstanding job. He gave me a chance to come to Kentucky so I was kind of sad to see him retire, but it's that time in his life. At the same time it's really exciting for Joker Phillips. I couldn't be more happy for him and I am excited for their future as a program. It's an exciting time. I think it's a perfect combination. I'm sure Joker will change a thing or two, but a big part of it is consistency where you won't have a huge switch. In a lot of ways it's similar to what we have here with coach (Tony) Dungy and coach Caldwell. Coach Caldwell didn't keep everything the exact same but there is still that consistency. What a great job that coach Brooks did. He certainly means a lot to me. I look forward to seeing him sometime pretty soon.

CS: Your class featured a lot of notable players that really changed the program and then went on to the NFL. Do you still keep up with those guys?
JT: One of the highlights of the year this year was playing against both Keenan (Burton) and Wesley (Woodyard). Both of those guys I was real close to at Kentucky. They are guys who care about the program and they were obviously instrumental in helping us turn the program around. I got some pictures with Keenan and Wes before and after the games and was able to catch up with them and have a conversation. What a neat moment to be able to sit there and hang out with the guys that I played with at Kentucky before and after an NFL game.

CS: What's the schedule like for the next week leading up to the Super Bowl?
JT: We leave for Miami on Sunday. We will try to keep the practice schedule as normal as possible with obviously having to use a different facility and everything.  There will be a lot of media obligations and things like that, although not too many for me (laughs). It's going to be fun. It's going to be a great week. I'm sure there will be some great chances to have fun with family and friends, and also we'll remember the number one thing which is to try and win the game. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to soak it up and try to remember it forever, so that's another reason to make sure you win the game. You want that to be the ultimate memory.

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1 Comment

Great article Eric! Glad to see that Tamme is still as classy as ever! It's so good to see him on Sundays, our beloved tight-end has been transformed into a wrecking ball dominating special teams play! With his positive attitude and work ethic, we should be seeing him for many years to come! GO BIG BLUE and GO COLTS!!

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  • Andrew : Great article Eric! Glad to see that Tamme is still as classy as ever! It's so good to see him read more