- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 20, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts coach Jim Caldwell won’t just pull out the same old bye-week speech Thursday.

He can use Pat McAfee as example No. 1 of what not to do while they’re gone.

McAfee was arrested for public intoxication Wednesday after police said he took a pre-dawn swim in a city canal and told them “I am drunk” as he tried to explain why he was sopping wet. Police arrested McAfee about 5 a.m. in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, a trendy area known for its nightlife.

Officers say the 23-year-old, second-year player from West Virginia had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in Indiana. He was released from custody just before noon.

“Certainly not pleased,” Caldwell said with one of the sternest expressions he’s shown in two seasons as head coach. “Very disappointed in what happened and once we have all of the information, we’ll take action at that time.”

According to the police report, McAfee was asked whether he was swimming in the canal and answered “I am not sure.” When he was asked why he was wet, McAfee responded, “It was raining.” When he was asked where his shirt was, McAfee said, “In the water.” And when he was asked how much he had to drink, McAfee said: “A lot cause I’m drunk.”

McAfee was not released from custody before Indy practiced Wednesday and was not in the locker room during the 45-minute media availability following practice.

But that didn’t insulate him from the spotlight. Radio talk shows and local blogs turned McAfee into the butt of jokes all day.

Not surprisingly, the Colts found no humor in it. They’ve now had four players arrested on alcohol-related charges this year.

“I talk about it more often than the bye weeks,” Caldwell said. “But that’s not the issue. What I’ve been doing hasn’t been enough. So the fact of the matter is we’ve got to get it straightened out.”

The Associated Press sent an e-mail seeking comment from Colts owner Jim Irsay and left two messages at the office of McAfee’s attorney, Jim Voyles.

McAfee may wind up becoming the team’s poster child for disciplinary action. About three hours after the arrest, team president Bill Polian issued a statement saying Colts officials were continuing to gather information about the case.

“When that task is complete, we will deal immediately with the issue of club discipline,” Polian said. “Until we complete that process, we will have no further comment.”

McAfee could also be susceptible to league penalties under the substance-abuse policy.

Police were called after a driver at a red light reported that a man with no shirt approached her car. The woman told police she feared the man was going to try to get in, so she ran the red light and called 911.

McAfee then told police he was waiting for a friend to get him, but also that he planned to take a taxi home, the report said. He asked if he could walk home, but officers arrested him. They say he smelled of alcohol, his eyes were watery and bloodshot and his speech slurred.

Officers said they had to help McAfee stand up after giving him a breath alcohol test.

Some teammates were already offering assistance.

“Look, it’s my job as Pat’s friend and teammate to be there and support him, and I know that sounds like a company line, but it’s not,” receiver Anthony Gonzalez said. “It’s the truth. We have to be there to help him.”

Teammates also understand that another arrest has again damaged the Colts’ mostly clean-cut reputation.

In January, Colts receiver Taj Smith was stopped by police on suspicion of drunken driving. Smith spent last season on the Colts’ practice squad but was cut Sept. 4.

In August, backup defensive lineman John Gill was arrested for public intoxication after Indianapolis police found Gill passed out in a ditch. The charge was later dropped, but Polian said then that Gill would be placed in a roster category that would keep him inactive all season.

On Sept. 3, defensive tackle Fili Moala was arrested for driving while intoxicated, public intoxication and speeding.

And now it’s McAfee, a fun-loving young player whose Twitter bio reads in part “welcome to the partyy.”

“What coach says from the beginning of training camp is expected to be carried out,” left tackle Charlie Johnson said. “Nobody feels worse than the guys that got in trouble. But they hurt the team’s image and, hopefully, we don’t have anything else happen like this.”

Players insist there is not a drinking problem in Indianapolis.

“Look, we’re all human, we all make mistakes and we’d all like to take something back that we did when were younger,” running back Joseph Addai said. “It’s what you do afterward that makes the difference. The biggest thing is being a man, accepting your mistake and moving forward.”

Which is precisely what Caldwell intends to do Thursday before players leave town for the bye week.

“We talk about it, we talk about it often,” Caldwell said. “One time is too many and we’ve had a few more than we’d like.”

McAfee is averaging 44.7 yards per kick, has placed eight punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and has had 11 touchbacks on kickoffs. Only two teams _ Seattle and Atlanta _ have forced opponents to start drives deeper than McAfee after kickoffs.

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