Forgive Vontae Davis for being a bit nervous on Sunday.
Yes, the four-year veteran would be an elder statesman if he lined up on the Colts offense, but come Sunday he will be experiencing something that only one other starter on the Indianapolis defense has not—the playoffs.
“It’s a special moment. I’ve never been to the playoffs being in Miami,” Davis said on Wednesday.
“I feel like what coach P (Pagano) always says, ‘a kid in a candy shop.’”
Davis enters the postseason fresh off two of his finest games in a Colts uniform.
He has combined for three interceptions the last two weeks and his two-pick effort against the Texans on Sunday earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Just prior to the start of the regular season, Davis was acquired from the Dolphins for the Colts 2013 second round draft pick and a conditional late-round pick.
A knee injury in the Colts Oct. 28 win over the Titans sidelined Davis for over a month and he is now beginning to show the potential that management saw when the prospect of brining him in was brought up.
“You’ll go through the draft this coming year and you will not be able to get a player of his caliber in the second round,” head coach Chuck Pagano said.
“Having coached the secondary for a long, long time and having been around some really good players particularly at that position, if you’re going to get a player of that caliber you’re going to have to go draft them in the first round. He’s first round talent, that’s why the Dolphins took him in the first round. You can see his production, he is a playmaker, and he is a physical corner.”
The physicality Davis brings to the field has been apparent all season long and he is averaged at least six tackles a game over the final month of the season.
“You won’t find corners in the National Football League across the board on a consistent basis come up and support the run the way that he does,” Pagano said.
The Colts secondary, in particular the corner position, has fought through injuries all season long.
Not a single cornerback on the active roster was with the Colts at the beginning of OTAs but there is no denying the talent that No. 23 provides the right side of the secondary.
“Vontae (Davis) is hitting his stride now,” general manager Ryan Grigson said. “He’s such a true talent. He was slowed by injuries this year. (It was) no fault of his, he was playing aggressive football.”
Davis considers that injury during the midst of a five-game winning streak for the Colts a blessing.
He has come back a different player over the final month of the season and now Davis heads into the playoffs anxious to write the next chapter in a promising career.
“If anything, it kind of made me better. It took my focus level to a higher level. I was still learning the scheme, studying a lot of film when I was injured and it just made me more hungrier to come back stronger.”
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What’s up Colts Nation? Technology is a beautiful thing and I’ve got some pretty sweet news for all of you! As you may recall from the post-game celebration of our big win over the Lions, there was an awesome and interactive 360 degree video of the locker room.
This technology was developed by a company called Go Pano. According to their website, “GoPano.com is the only place on the web to host, view and share 360 videos. Shoot 360 videos with our lens attachments, like the GoPano micro or the GoPano plus, upload your 360 videos and share a video experience that’s almost as good as being there!”
What he had been using was the Go Pano Micro, but the folks at Go Pano wanted us to get the full effect of their product. So that’s when they decided to design us a custom piece of hardware for an iPhone 5, that combined the convenience of the micro model with the quality of their plus model. Check out the pictures they sent us below, this thing is awesome!
Now I invite you to watch some of the videos from this past week’s win over the Texans (especially the post-game speech) where we’re using the new mirco/plus version created exclusively for Colts Nation! Check out the videos here and go get a view of the Colts like never before.
Yours in fandom,
Tags: Colts, football, Go Pano, lucas oil stadium, Pano, Technology, Video
Posted in Colts Fan Casey, Fan Feature | 1 Comment »
The hole opened like an accordion.
Out of the hole came Deji Karim, as untouched as he was when he received the kickoff from Texans kicker Shayne Graham a yard deep into the end zone.
Karim was introduced to many Colts fans on Sunday afternoon when he took a third quarter kickoff 101 yards to regain the lead for the Indianapolis, a lead that would not be relinquished.
Finding a niche at the kick return position is something the Colts have been searching for all season long and Karim is grasping that opportunity.
Karim has had nine kick returns averaging 36.4 yards over the past three weeks and he appears to have solidified a position that has seen seven different players attempt at least three kick returns this season.
“He’s been a 21, 22+ average as a kick returner in this league. It’s not like he’s some guy who has never done it before,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said of Karim.
“He ran 4.38 (40-yard dash) coming out. If you’re going to sign a guy you might as well sign 4.38. I think everyone saw that speed (Sunday).
After spending training camp with the Colts, Karim was victim of a numbers crunch at the running back position and was cut prior to the season opener.
When Donald Brown and Robert Hughes were placed on injured reserve following the Colts win over the Titans on Dec. 9, Karim’s phone rang while working as a valet driver in Oklahoma City.
“(Director of Pro Personnel) Kevin Rogers called (Karim) and we had to get him here quickly because we wanted to work him out first because he had been out since training camp,” Grigson said. “We brought him in and he said I’ve got to get my work clothes off and I’ll get to the airport as fast as I can. I didn’t know he was parking cars but God bless him.
“He came in and answered the bell and it’s the whole ‘next man up’ thing. The last preseason game he really played well and sometimes in this league it’s just about opportunity and he’s make the most of his right now.”
During his time away from football, Karim has been keeping a keen watch on the Colts season and could not be happier to be back apart of it contributing to a trip to the playoffs.
“What we got going here is amazing,” Karim said. “Just to be part of this family and come back and be a part of it, words can’t even describe it.”
Tags: Deji Karim, ryan grigson
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All season long, pundits have tried to pinpoint why the Colts have gone from a team that found themselves at the bottom of the NFL a year to back into the postseason.
New general manager Ryan Grigson was the first hire Owner Jim Irsay made last January and subsequent moves from there have all contributed to the Colts turning in an 11-5 regular season.
“Is it this guy? Is it that guy? Is it the GM? Is it the head coach? Is it the interim head coach? Who is it?” Grigson said of why the Colts have been so successful.
“It’s because it’s a team.”
It’s that ‘team’ mantra that everyone from Grigson on down has bought into this season and allowed Indianapolis to find itself playing in January.
“No one is waiting to get applauded, singularly. Everyone is here for each other and trying to do things because if we preach the message of a team and Chuck preaches that message to all those guys and we aren’t living it ourselves, that doesn’t bode well for ourselves or for the message,” Grigson said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’
“We just always want the praise to go to the team collectively.”
While Grigson does not want any direct praise for the Colts successful campaign, there is no denying that his staff deserves some attention.
On Sunday alone, the Colts had three players with a sack that were not with the team back in September.
Kick returner Deji Karim was on the streets for the first 14 weeks of the NFL season before taking a kick back 101 yards for a third quarter touchdown.
Grigson acknowledges his staff for willing to go to the ‘nth degree’ in order to build the backend of the Colts roster.
“A lot of that credit goes to (Director of Player Personnel) Tom Telesco and my staff. We have a lot of spontaneous meetings and all of us will come in and we will look at my depth chart and we will just start talking. The name of the game in the NFL to me is being prepared. Being prepared for a doomsday scenario and that’s why you have to prepare.”
“We’ve had Monday’s where I’m looking at signing three running backs. If I didn’t have a great staff and a great bunch of scouts that are out there digging, and digging, and digging, I wouldn’t have a cornucopia so to speak of players that no one has. I feel like in the league, in general, we’ve done well because we’ve just dug that much harder and our guys have worked that much harder.”
This time last year Grigson was preparing for college all-star games with the Eagles, before he received a phone call that changed his life.
Week-after-week Grigson and his staff have brought players into the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center expecting them to perform in the Colts continuing to ‘build the monster.’
The production on the field speaks for itself and now less than a year after receiving that phone call he has a little more work on his plate with the playoffs on the horizon.
“The culture we want to create in terms of family is we are going to put our arm around that guy that maybe doesn’t seem like he belongs and we are going to give him a chance,” Grigson said.
“We are going to give him a chance to transform himself. We’ve had a lot of guys like that, that at first they were unsure but then they were reigned in and now they are really producing. It’s a credit to the staff and what they’ve done, my staff as well in terms of finding the players.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Deji Karim, ryan grigson
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