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Film Room: Zach Pascal will be back with the Colts after receiving 2nd-round tender

The Colts opted to bring back Pascal in free agency

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are off to a predictably slow start to free agency. It has never been Chris Ballard’s style to spend big in free agency and he seems to be continuing that in 2021. The Colts have made a move though prior to the official start of free agency, as they placed a second round tender on wide receiver Zach Pascal on Tuesday. This essentially means that Pascal will be back with the Colts unless another team is willing to part with a second round pick for him (which won’t happen).

In honor of the ever reliable receiver returning to the Colts, I am going to go through some of my favorite clips and posts I’ve made of his over the past few years.

Back to the Beginning

I have been a big fan of Zach Pascal for a long time. Before covering the Colts, I actually was a podcaster and journalist covering the Washington Football Team. Pascal was in camp as an undrafted rookie back in 2017 and I ultimately ended up following him to Indy in 2018 (by pure coincidence, I swear). It was easy to see in the preseason before the 2018 season that he belonged with the team as he made countless plays on special teams and on offense.

Ability as a Blocker

When Zach Pascal first made the Colts’ roster in 2018, it was mainly due to his special teams prowess and ability to do the little things for an offense. While his role has certainly increased over the years, his ability and willingness to do the dirty work has remained. He is an outstanding run blocker who plays a huge factor in the Colts having success in the ground game.

Whether it is out in space on a run play or stalk blocking a corner, Pascal gives 100% as a blocker and is a valuable asset. While I wholeheartedly believe that Michael Pittman Jr will become great at this one day, this is the area where Pascal is by far and away the best receiver on the team at. It may not show up in the box score but it has a huge impact on the game.

Breakout in 2019

After a modest 2018 season with the Colts, Pascal seemed destined to stay in his bottom of the roster receiver role with the team. In 2019 however, that changed as injuries and inconsistencies to players above him on the depth chart led to more playing time. While the offense wasn’t successful as a whole, Pascal was able to put up career numbers. He led the team in receiving yards (641 yards) and receiving touchdowns (5).

His success came due to continued development in his game along with more opportunities. He was excellent on deep in routes and plays that took him over the middle of the field, where his toughness and reliable hands paved the way to success. He also flashed excellence in some games, notably against the Steelers, where he showed the potential to be even more in the future.

My Interview with Pascal

After the 2019 season, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a film session interview with the reliable receiver. While he was a soft spoken and humble interview, you could tell just from listening to him why the Colts love him. He’s just a selfless player who puts the team first and will do anything necessary to win. I highly recommend watching the film interview with him to get a feel for who Pascal really is as a player and person.

Continued steadiness in 2020

While he didn’t take a huge leap forward in 2020 with Philip Rivers at quarterback, Pascal maintained his steady play throughout the season. While he wasn’t as much of a focus in the offense this time around, he still finished second out of receivers on the team in catches (44), receiving yards (629), and first in receiving touchdowns (5).

In honor of his season, I put together this highlight reel of his top five plays of the season. He made some key plays that helped the Colts on their run to the playoffs in 2020.

Future Outlook and Final Thoughts

While Pascal may never be a star receiver in this league, he is an extremely reliable player to have on your team. He does all the little things— from blocking to special teams— and is a player that quarterbacks can rely on. That reliability has value to an offense and to a coaching staff.

I don’t see Pascal leaving anytime soon and I’d bet that there is a better chance of him getting an extension this offseason than not. Even if he doesn’t though, the Colts will at least have him for another year in 2021.

I am a big fan of everything Pascal brings to the team and am happy he is coming back. Hopefully the Colts can continue to add to their offensive weapons but even if they don’t, we know that Pascal will be ready to once again step up and produce.