INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – When Anthony Walker met Chris Ballard, the young linebacker wasn’t shy about sharing his career aspirations with the Colts general manager.
“I mentioned in the interview, my first interview here actually, I want to be a Colt as long as possible, as long as I am able to play the game and when I am done playing maybe take over for Chris,” Walker explained.
And his plan in the front office of an NFL or NBA franchise led the Northwestern grad to use part of his offseason to intern with the Miami Heat.
“I was in the marketing department so specifically game ops everything from ads they show on screen to the dance routines,” Walker said. “Like how we have a game plan script, they script everything that is going to happen in a game besides the outcome and how the team is going to play.”
Working with the marketing team was an eye opening experience compared to playing with for a team.
“All we see is what we do and we think our job is so hard but there’s a lot more that goes into running a franchise,” the Miami native admitted.
And gaining perspective isn’t just helping him prepare for life after football. He’s embracing his role as a mentor for the young Colts defense.
“I had the answers to the test coming in this year so it was up to me to pass that same wisdom down to the rookies.”
And reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week Darius Leonard says that walker wisdom has helped him make an immediate impact on the field.
“When I first came in, I was that shy guy afraid to ask questions to the coach and going to Anthony it was a whole lot easier,” Leonard said. “I knew what his reaction was going to be a whole lot smoother than the coaches and I knew he could translate it a little easier.”
“Every time I come off the field I ask him, ‘hey man, what could I have done here, what did you see,” the rookie explained.
And being that player liaison is a role walker would like to pursue down the road, like Colts Director of Player Engagement David Thornton.
“You can’t substitute experience. DT went through it, he understands,” Walker said of Thornton’s role in player relations. “It is always good to have that aspect and I would like to do that when I am done playing.”