Six months ago, Hank Baskett thought he might be in the Super Bowl as an Eagle.
"Things happen in a strange way," Baskett said this morning, wearing his blue No. 81 Colts jersey on media day at Sun Trust Stadium.
Baskett was shocked to be released by the Eagles as the season started, basically because Reggie Brown's cap number was too big for the team to eat. He'd seemed pretty solid after three years as the third or fourth receiver, the biggest target among Donovan McNabb's wideouts.
With his former team facing several offseason questions following a first-round playoff loss, Baskett said he didn't think McNabb would benefit from a change.
"Maybe next year, but not right now," Baskett said. "I believe what he said the other day (about unfinished business). He doesn't want to be seen as walking out on his guys."
Once he got over the shock of having his life disrupted, Baskett found being picked up by the Colts wasn't a bad gig. His primary role for the Colts is on the kickoff return team, as a blocker. He caught just four passes this season.
"It was crazy, coming in... Indy's known for having one of the toughest offenses in the NFL. That's a lot to learn," Baskett said. "Plus, you've got Peyton Manning back there. Like I learned very quick watching, if you mess up, he lets you know. That's what's great about Peyton - he's going to make the people around him great."
Don't read into that any implicit criticism of McNabb, who was one of Baskett's closest friends on the Eagles. Obviously, the comparison tilts in Manning's favor; he seems to be building a case as the NFL's best-ever.
"They're both great quarterbacks. They have different games," Baskett said. "Both of them are hard workers off the field. Both guys want to win, and they want to make the guys around them better.
"Best ever is a great category to put Peyton in. We're sitting in meetings, they're like, 'Peyton accomplished this milestone, Peyton accomplished that milestone.' I'm like, 'Damn.' How do you have 50,000 passing yards? That's just incredible. When he retires, he's going to be the best ever."
Baskett and his wife Kendra, the former Playmate, welcomed Hank IV seven weeks ago. The whole family is in Florida this week for the Super Bowl.
"She's loving it (in Indy)," Baskett said. "She likes the laid-back, friendly enviornment. She's never been in a place where you can look out your window and see snow every day."