Darius Butler has never played for head coach Chuck Pagano yet his success has ironically enough put him on the head coach’s radio show twice this season.
Thanks to another interception returned for a touchdown last weekend, Butler found himself on the show Monday evening. Come Sunday, Butler will look to the sidelines and see Pagano down there for the first time since the cornerback joined the Colts in late September.
“I got here during the bye week and that was when we got the news of Chuck. Then we played Green Bay and we beat a tough Green Bay team,” Butler said. “Once I saw that, that was kind of my first time seeing the team prepare like that and I knew. I had been on a playoff team early in my career and I knew we definitely had what it takes.”
As a former member of the New England Patriots, Butler has experienced life in the postseason.
He helped etch his, and the Colts, spot into the playoffs last week thanks to a 32-yard interception returned for a touchdown.
“The message before the game was that we wanted to come into the playoffs through the front door,” Butler said of the Colts 20-13 win over the Chiefs. “We wanted to kick down the front door to win and control our own destiny, instead of sneaking in the back door and waiting on other people. We did that and accomplished our goal and now that’s onto the next and that’s making a run in the playoffs.”
That run will include Pagano on the sidelines and that is something that Butler can’t wait to see.
Pagano is a former defensive backs coach and has liked what he has seen from Butler over the last 12 games.
The key against the Chiefs was to secure a playoff spot so this week would not have the added pressure of needing a win to extend the season. That goal was accomplished and the relief in seeing Pagano on Monday was a welcoming sight for Butler.
“He really didn’t have to say anything,” Butler said of Monday morning’s team meeting with Pagano. “Just him walking in the door and being in front of the team for the first time in a while, addressing us as a unit and as a head coach again, that was great in itself.”
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