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Pagano on return specialist Quan Bray: 'He's got swag' and is 'fearless'

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts tried, but they just couldn’t find a return specialist in recent years.

Daniel "Boom" Herron. Tyler Varga. Josh Cribbs. Phillip Dorsett. Griff Whalen. The list goes on and on. They even dangerously put Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton back there.

But the search is finally over for the Colts.

Their return specialist stands 5-foot-10, weighs 182 pounds and believes every play will result in a big gain for the Colts.

Meet Quan Bray, an undrafted rookie out of Auburn. He is averaging 31.4 yards on kickoff returns for the Colts.

“He’s got swag, he’s got confidence and he’s gaining confidence with every game, and you can just see it,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s a fearless guy. He’s a straight-ahead, no fair-dodging type of guy not a dance-around guy. He’s athletic; again, he’s got good skills catching the football, good vision. He’s a determined guy and works extremely hard at his craft. He gives you a guy back there that is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball.”

The Colts brought Bray up from the practice squad on Oct. 27 after Dorsett went down with an ankle injury. And the “swag” Pagano is referring to was evident in Bray’s first NFL game against Carolina on Nov. 2. He had a 45-yard kickoff return in overtime to help set up an Adam Vinatieri field goal.

“I felt comfortable the first time I was out there,” Bray said. “They brought me here to make plays, and that’s why I try to take advantage of the opportunities. If I can catch it on the run, I bring it out the end zone.”

Bray had the best punt return of his career against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. His 42-yard return gave the Colts the ball at the Falcons’ 38-yard line.

Too bad it didn’t count. A flag was thrown on the play because linebacker Daniel Adongo was holding.

“(Adongo) did such an outstanding job blocking the heck out of that guy, he just didn’t know when to say when,” Pagano said. “It was a total beatdown, if you will. If you do that on the street you might spend time behind bars. He’s got to know when to say when.”

Bray said he knew Adongo meant well on the play and he knows there will be other opportunities for big returns from Bray in the future.

“I want to take it to the house or at least get good field position for the offense,” Bray said.