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The Indianapolis Colts have typically avoided spending big money on free agents under Chris Ballard.  

That’s partially why it was surprising to see them sign kicker Matt Gay to what was the largest free-agent contract for a kicker in NFL history when it was signed in the 2023 offseason. During his first season in Indianapolis, Gay showed off his big leg, becoming the first kicker in history to hit 4 50+ yard field goals in one game in the Colts Week 4 win over the Ravens, with the last one being the game winner. However, he also went through a bit of a slump, and finished the season having gone 33 of 41 for a field goal percentage of 80.5%, the lowest since his rookie season in Tampa Bay.  

During his appearance on the Wednesday edition of The Ride With JMV, Gay acknowledged that his first season wearing the Horseshoe didn’t live up to his standards. 

“I feel like last year, for me, a bit of a down year by my standards coming off some good years. Had a lot of kicks that were right there, and again that doesn’t matter, kicking’s black and white, it either went in or it didn’t. So I had a lot of kicks that hit the upright, or things like that, so definitely was not up to my standards last year. A lot that I can learn from, and looking forward to Year 2 to improve and come back better.” 

Kicking, more than anything, can be a mental challenge. Gay gave his thoughts about the difficulty of not getting too far into his own head, and how he stays focused when the pressure is on. 

“It comes and goes. There are years where I’ve looked back, and it was like, there was not a single thought to it. Where I wasn’t in my own way, and it was just kind of jog on, kick the ball, jog off. Then, it’s kind of one of those spiral things [that] you try to avoid, where one hits the upright, and then it’s like ‘Oh, why?’ and then you start thinking a little bit more, and then the next one you go out and start thinking a little bit more…if you can just avoid all that and stay out of your own way, not think too much…make sure you’re process orientated, you have your process, you have your steps, you have your rhythm. Then just not hanging over it too much, trying to keep the swing thoughts out of the head, and just kind of make it reactionary, and ‘see ball, kick ball’. When that snap goes, you can kind of just react to it, be an athlete and go get it. That’s when I’m [at] my best.” 

Listen to JMV’s full conversation with kicker Matt Gay of the Colts down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!  

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