There is no magic formula or elixir to account for Adam Vinatieri’s Father Time-defying antics. Perhaps, reasoned coach Chuck Pagano, the Indianapolis Colts veteran placekicker came across the revitalizing spring sought by Ponce de Leon in 1513. “He’s obviously found the Fountain of Youth somewhere,” Pagano said. “I don’t know if that’s in Carmel or if he went to Florida.” Vinatieri smiled at the notion. At 40, he’s the NFL’s oldest player. But in his 18th season and after laying the foundation for likely induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he remains driven. “Never being satisfied is the real key to it,” Vinatieri said. “Always wanting more and more. More stats. More Super Bowl rings. “Whatever ‘more’ that might be, just keeping it going.” His resume already is crammed. • He has been on the active roster for six Super Bowls and owns four championship rings, including one with the Colts after the 2006 season. • Vinatieri is the most prolific scorer in postseason history (196 points) and ranks No. 9 in regular-season history (1,930 points) and No. 8 all-time with 428 field goals. • He has kicked 24 game-winning field goals in the final 2 minutes of regulation or in overtime. Still going strong with his 41st birthday approaching Dec. 28, Vinatieri has converted 15-of-17 field goals this season, including 3-of-5 on attempts of at least 50 yards. He has been true on 24 straight from inside 50, the NFL’s second-longest active streak behind Arizona’s Jay Feely (25). Andrew Luck, who turned 24 on Sept. 12, smiled when asked about Vinatieri’s ability to perform at such a high level at such an advanced age, at least in terms of the NFL. “That’s really old, man,” he said through a widening grin. “Surprised, but also knowing him, knowing how much of a professional he is, how well he takes care of his body, it’s also not surprising at the same time. But it’s amazing. It is.” Luck described Vinatieri as “your ultimate safety blanket.” Whenever the Colts offense gets within Vinatieri’s range — about the opponent’s 35-yard line — the mindset changes. Finishing a drive with a touchdown is the objective, but the Colts don’t want to do something that might jeopardize a high-percentage field goal attempt.
Vinatieri continues to succeed at highest level as he aims for 5th ring
Indianapolis Star | Oct 30