INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 16, 2016) – Robert Turbin still is learning his way around the Indianapolis Colts’ complex as the team’s latest free-agent acquisition.
Introductions lurk around every corner, but there’s one teammate he’s especially eager to bump into: Frank Gore.
While attending Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif., Turbin was a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers. And their cornerstone running back, Frank Gore.
“I was a huge fan of his because I grew up playing running back since I was 10 years old,’’ Turbin said Wednesday in a conference call with local media. “So being a fan of the 49ers and one of my favorite running backs being on that team, obviously he was fun to watch for me.
“It’s exciting to be able to work with him. I’m always trying to gain knowledge and seek knowledge.’’
But first, a formal introduction.
“We’ve never met,’’ Turbin said. “Unfortunately as much as I’ve wanted to when I was a kid, I never had the opportunity to.”
“But we’ll meet now. My prayers are being answered 15 years later.’’
Turbin signed a one-year contract to serve as Gore’s backup this season, but he conceded “from a personal standpoint with the anticipation of eventually signing a long-term deal.’’
Gore turns 33 in May and is signed through the 2017 season. If Turbin, almost exclusively a backup since the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, is productive in his first season with the Colts, perhaps he succeeds Gore as the team’s feature back.
“I aspire to be one of the best running backs ever to play the game or else I wouldn’t play the game,’’ Turbin said. “You can only focus on the things that you can control, and what I can control is the work that I put in, the effort I put in and the effort I put in on Sundays.
“If that accumulates for me being one of the best running backs ever, then it does and I’m happy.’’
Including the playoffs, Turbin has appeared in 66 career games. His stats confirm his heretofore status as a valuable backup: only six games with more than 10 carries and two with more than 50 rushing yards. He’s cracked the 100-yard barrier once, a 20-carry, 108-yard game against Arizona in 2012.
Turbin described the Colts as “a great fit.’’
“Really heard a lot of positive things about the organization,’’ he said. “Looking at the roster and what kind of team they had and the coaching staff . . . really felt like it would be a great opportunity and a great fit to be a part of a really good football team.’’