Vontae Davis' fresh start finally helps Colts fill defensive void

Indianapolis ColtsFootballSportsChuck PaganoMiami DolphinsVontae DavisJerraud Powers

INDIANAPOLIS - The term "Shutdown" was hardly echoed during the Colts' three-weeks in Anderson early in August. 

Signs, cuts, and even a trades precipitated a cornerback competition that wasn't exactly overwhelming the coaches or front office of the club.

But finally it happened on Monday, just about two minutes into head coach Chuck Pagano's news conference when he describe the Colts newest acquisition at the inconsistent position. 

"He's one of those guys that can be a shutdown corner," said Pagano of Vontae Davis, who was picked up in a trade with the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. "He's a physical presence, he can run with anybody, he can get his hands on guys at the line of scrimmage."

For those reasons the Colts gave up a second and late round pick for Davis, intending to start him opposite Jerraud Powers when the Colts open against the Bears on September 9th. 

"You add another playmaker on the field," said Powers of Davis, who were both drafted in 2009. "He's a guy that if you watched him over the past four years, he's made a lot of plays for Miami."

In 12 games last season Davis made a few, tying a career-high with four interceptions while collecting 43 tackles. After arriving to the Colts Complex on Monday and picked up his number 23 jersey, Davis seemed almost relieved to have a new start in Indianapolis.

"It feels like home," said Davis, who played his college football at Illinois. "Fresh start, happy to be here. The coaches, they're all good coaches."

Its they and the Colts front office that in some ways took a risk on Davis who sometimes has warrented coverage from something other than his coverage. His most notable incident came when he had a run-in with during a practice that got him suspended for a game.

Other incidents were also rumored during a rough 2011 season with the Dolphins which he was limited to 12 games because of a hamstring injury.

"I feel like its a different opportunity, what happened in Miami is in the past," said Davis when asked about the trade being a fresh start. "Now I'm a Colt and the biggest thing is moving forward and trying to get better as a player."

Pagano believes that Davis can despite the rough year in Miami and warranted the team giving up a pair of draft picks to acquire him.

"We’ve all made mistakes in our life and stubbed our toe here and there. So this is a great opportunity for, not only us, but a great opportunity for Vontae," said Pagano of Davis. " This organization from top down has all the support in place to help Vontae succeed both on the field and off the field.

"He’s going to do great things here, not only on the football field but in this community.”

Whether he helps on the field on Thursday night in the Colts' final preseason game against the Bengals is still to be seen, according to Pagano, due to the quick turnaround between the trade and the game. Davis says his priority is to learn the Colts' 3-4 defense and make sure that his fresh start gets off right.

“I’m real comfortable, it’s just different terminology," said Davis of the 3-4. "You play kind of the same coverages on the back end. My biggest thing is just learning the defense as fast as I can.”

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