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New kicker Vinatieri fitting in with Colts

It hasn't taken long for Adam Vinatieri to fit in with the Indianapolis Colts.

INDIANAPOLIS (May 20, 2006) -- It hasn't taken long for Adam Vinatieri to fit in with the Indianapolis Colts.

Since signing a five-year contract with Indianapolis in late March, the former Patriots kicker has been at the Colts' practice facility constantly, and has gotten more comfortable with punter/holder Hunter Smith and long snapper Justin Snow.

"It's been pretty smooth so far," Vinatieri said. "The coaches here are great. The players have been fantastic. I'm very fortunate to work with Justin and Hunter. These two guys are great. They're very good at what they do, so I think it's going to be a pretty smooth transition."

When the Colts decided not to re-sign Mike Vanderjagt, it wasn't with the idea of replacing him with Vinatieri, who gained a reputation as the best clutch kicker in the NFL and a thorn in the Colts' side.

But after talks between Vinatieri and the Patriots failed to produce a new contract and a visit to the Green Bay Packers didn't bring an offer, the Colts moved quickly to work out a deal.

"Adam's doing very well," coach Tony Dungy on the second day of a three-day mandatory minicamp for veterans and rookies.

"We kicked a little bit (May 19) and he did well, which we expected. But he's just fit in to the group really well and he's going to be a pleasure, really."

Vinatieri has been a regular at Indianapolis' offseason conditioning workouts, which began last month. Having a kicker spend so much time in the conditioning program and offseason practices is somewhat of a change.

"Unusual here," Dungy joked, referring to Vanderjagt's sometimes erratic participation in the workouts. "But not unusual for (Vinatieri). He's into his routine. That's something that we talked about. He pretty much laid out his routine for me, and I think it's going to fit in very well to what we do."

Vinatieri likes what he sees so far with Smith and Snow.

"Until everybody has pads on and we start banging, it's never a true test," Vinatieri said. "But this will be good. The games start in September, so we've got a long time until those are around. We'll get it down pretty good, especially with these two guys. They're so good at what they do, it shouldn't take us too long."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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