21 carries, 113 yards, and 1 touchdown. Dominic Rhodes’ stat line in Super Bowl XLI back in February of 2007 was MVP caliber. And although the former Colts running back didn’t receive the award that day, he says he doesn’t think about whether or not he deserved to be awarded.
“It get’s brought up to me a lot…but really look back, think about how Joe (Addai) played, think about how the O-Line played.” Dominic then added that “Peyton gets a lot of MVP’s, it’s not a coincedence. My only thing is, I wish he would’ve given me the car. He can have the trophy, just give me the car. (laughs)”
Although Rhodes never said he was unhappy with his role with the Colts over the years, he did say that he believed he could have offered more had he been given more playing time. Rhodes, who was with the Colts for 3 different stints from 2001-2010, always shared time with either Edgerrin James or Joseph Addai. The one year he was the feature back, his rookie season, Rhodes set the record for most rushing yards in a season by an undrafted rookie at 1,104yds.
“Being the guy I am, I never would complain about my role, always just tried to go out and play hard…I always felt like I could definitely do more, contribute more, and I really feel like I could’ve put my name in the record books.”
When asked if he had any regrets, Dominic said the only regret he had was leaving after the Super Bowl year. Following the Super Bowl XLI win, Dominic left the Colts and signed a 2-year, $7.5M deal with the Oakland Raiders, before coming back to Indianapolis in 2008. Rhodes stated that he thinks had he stayed, Indianapolis could have made another Super Bowl run. Dominic attributed the decision to leave as one that was caused by “bad advice and being hard headed, youthful.”
While Rhodes didn’t directly come out and say that he was trying to make a return to the NFL, he sure left the door open. When asked if he was trying to make a return, Rhodes told me that “I can tell you right now that, I can definitely do it…I feel good, work hard every day, it’s just all about if someone gives me an opportunity. And if they do, they’ll get something special.” Rhodes went on to tell me that even though he’s 34, “I feel like I got 6 or 7 more years… I only had one year where I really carried the ball a lot.”
Dominic is right. After Rhodes’ first season, where he carried the ball 233 times, he only had 581 total carries the rest of his career. To compare, Ray Rice has had 548 carries in just the last two seasons alone.
To round out the interview, I asked Rhodes if he still watched the Colts, and if so, what he thought of the running backs group that GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have assembled. Rhodes was very high on all of the Colts backfield, including Ahmad Bradshaw, who’s style of running Rhodes said he admired. But in the end, Rhodes attested that “I think I can step right in there and beat every one of those guys personally.”
It’s no question that Dominic Rhodes wants to still play. And if he is able to find that door, I will be the first to say congratulations. I agree when he says there’s still a lot left in the tank.
These were just some of the things I asked Dominic in the interview. You can hear the interview, in its entirety, right here: https://soundcloud.com/joe-tacosik/dominic-rhodes-interview-1 (Audio quality isn’t great, I intended to only use the audio for notes, but figured you all would like to hear the interview entirely. Enjoy!)
Next up: Former Colts CB Marlin Jackson, and P Hunter Smith.