TERRE HAUTE — Dominic Rhodes is preparing himself for life after the National Football League.
“Over the last couple years, I’ve been really concentrating in the off-season on getting a real-estate company going and buying up houses,” he mentioned after training-camp practice ended Tuesday morning at Rose-Hulman.
“I have a passion for that. I love houses. I love to look at them. I love to see what I can do to the inside of them, making an old house become a beautiful house.”
At 29, Rhodes knows his career as a running back will last only a few more years.
But he’s not ready to dive into real estate full time yet.
Having re-signed with the Colts as a free agent in May after spending 2007 with the Oakland Raiders, Rhodes is best remembered for his 113-yard, one-touchdown performance in Super Bowl XLI when Indianapolis defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17.
Heading into Sunday’s preseason opener against the Washington Redskins, the 5-foot-9, 203-pound Rhodes is listed as No. 2 on the depth chart behind 2007 Pro Bowler Joseph Addai.
Trying to move up to No. 2 are Kenton Keith (last season’s No. 2), rookies Mike Hart and Chad Simpson and second-year player Clifton Dawson.
“It always matters to me,” Rhodes said of his position on the depth chart. “You’re always fighting to be the No. 1 guy or the guy next to the No. 1 guy, because you want to get those carries. You want to get those reps. You want to be on the field and make plays for the team.
“But in terms of helping this team out, all I want to do is every time they give me a shot, I just want to perform. I want to make plays. I just want to make sure that I make my presence felt every time I’m out there. And I think that’s what they brought me back for.”
Spectators attending Colts camp probably noticed Rhodes no longer wears uniform No. 33. That belongs to second-year safety Melvin Bullitt, so Rhodes is now No. 38.
“I tried during mini-camp [to get No. 33 from Bullitt],” Rhodes admitted. “We started talking about money and stuff like that. Then I got to the point where, you know, I never paid for that number. I just always got it and wore it. It’s a blessing I’ve had all these years that’s been good to me.”
Rhodes said he had worn No. 33 since he was 7, but he can live without it.
“It’s always in my heart,” he noted. “I’m always going to be ‘33’ at heart. If I’m able to get it later on, then I will. But if not, then I’ll just make 38 special.”
All appearances indicate Rhodes wants to make every moment special at camp this year. He’s one of the most approachable players for autograph-seeking fans after practice and he’s usually wearing a smile on his face.
“I definitely take this as a privilege, whether it’s being here with the Colts or just being in the NFL,” he explained. “We’re all blessed to be here with a great opportunity to take care of our families and just have fun. I play this game like I’m a kid still, because we are playing a kids game.
“I always take the opportunity to go sign [autographs] for the fans, because they’re the ones that provide us with all the excitement. I have fun with this game. Whether it’s a long, hard practice or not, I’ll still be laughing and smiling about it.”
Asked if he appreciates being in the NFL more than he did in his early 20s, Rhodes left no doubt about the answer.
“Most definitely,” he emphasized. “When I was younger, everything just came a little bit easier in terms of going out every day and running and doing all the things out there on the field. It wasn’t as hard on my body. Now that I’m getting up there, in my eighth season, I’m learning how to take care of myself better.
“I’m appreciating this game a little bit more, because I know that in a couple years it’s going to be time to start winding down and thinking about doing other things.”
Rhodes said he feels no bitterness about his unsuccessful season with the Raiders. In 10 games (two as a starter), he rushed for 302 yards and one TD on 75 carries as Oakland finished 4-12. Making matters worse, he sat out the first four games because of an NFL-imposed suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“It was hectic,” he reflected. “It was here and there. It was just a whole bunch of stuff. I kinda messed myself up by missing those four games because I would have been the starter and probably had a great year. It was a life experience, just another gray hair to add to the head.
“But everything happens for a reason. I’m back here with the Colts now and with a great organization.”
Rhodes acknowledged that he often monitored and kept in touch with former Colts teammates while he was with the Raiders.
“I tried to watch Joe [Addai] as much as possible and see what he was doing … and Reggie [Wayne] and Peyton [Manning] and Marv [Harrison]. All the guys that I knew, I tried to watch them and make sure they were all right and weren’t getting hurt. And every time somebody did get hurt, I texted them and asked them how they were doing, just to make sure they knew I was watching out for them.”
Addai and Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy like having the personable Rhodes as part of the team again.
“It seems like he never left,” Addai said Monday. “I’m just going into my third year and it’s going fast. Dom was only away for a couple months, so it seems like he never left really. With him being around, it makes the lockerroom a whole lot better. It feels good playing with somebody who has been in the league a while.”
“It’s been fun,” Dungy said. “He’s one of the guys that you enjoy being around. I think our players enjoy him and he’s looking forward to this year. It’s been good to have him.”
Running backs coach Gene Huey said Rhodes has been working hard in camp to earn his spot on the team.
“He needs to correct a few things, be a little more focused on execution,” Huey added. “But Dominic will be fine. That’s what we’re out here for. We’re here to get better during this camp. He, along with the rookies, are trying to get better.”
Huey also stressed that the depth chart behind Addai is not settled for anyone yet, including Rhodes.
“I don’t care how good he’s been or what he’s done in the past,” Huey said. “It’s a new year, a new season, new people.
“We’ve got some rookies who are working well. Mike Hart from Michigan is doing a good job. Cliff Dawson, who’s been here [one year], is doing a good job too. Those youngsters like Chad Simpson and Mike Hart are doing well on special teams. They’re trying hard to make the team.”
Not fazed by the presence of younger players at running back, Rhodes embraces the “what can you do for us now?” philosophy.
“That just keeps everybody hungry,” he said. “You know what I’m saying? It makes sure that every guy out there on the field is on his A-game and he’s concentrating. He’s making sure that the next guy [on the depth chart] isn’t doing anything better than him and that’s what competition is about.
“I mean, if you’re competitive, that brings out the best in you. If you’re not, you’ll fall back to the back of the pack.”
TERRE HAUTE — Dominic Rhodes is preparing himself for life after the National Football League.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
Many doubt Cincy runner scored on goal-line play
Did he make it or didn’t he?
Was Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis stopped on fourth down short of the end zone or did he make to the end zone without being touched?
Heavy snow appears in forecast for Colts
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrew Luck doesn’t have a history of playing a lot of football in the snow or in snowy conditions. But if weather forecasts for this weekend remain on track, Sunday’s AFC battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals may be severely tested by the weather.
- More Colts Headlines
- Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years