Darius Butler sat and watched, waiting for that call.
After being cut by the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 31, Butler found himself every Sunday watching NFL games.
It took three weeks, but that call eventually came from the Indianapolis Colts.
“I spent some time with my family and obviously calling my agent everyday, every time I saw a guy go down or somebody get hurt or released. You just keep your eye on it because you want to play so bad,” Butler said on the ‘Pagano Show’ on Monday night
“Watching those games, it kind of re-lit a fire under my butt. I felt whenever I got my chance, I was going to do whatever it took to take full advantage of it.”
Butler has done more than take advantage of the opportunity, recording three takeaways in his first start last Thursday against the Jaguars.
His third quarter interception returned for a touchdown gave the Colts a 21-3 lead and helped keep the momentum with the visitors.
“On that play I kind of anticipated the play, because of the formation that I got,” Butler said of the 11-yard interception return. “Once I read it, I took a chance on it and made a play.”
He added a game-clinching fourth quarter interception after a Chad Henne pass caromed off a couple Colts defenders.
Butler joined the Colts following a Week 3 loss to the Jaguars in which the Colts gave up an 80-yard touchdown in the game’s waning minutes.
When Butler walked into the locker room the following week, he was greeted by college teammates from Connecticut in running back Donald Brown and linebacker Scott Lutrus.
But it was also the guys in his position group that has made it a smooth transition for the fourth-year pro.
“From the first day I got there, guys kind of took me in and helped me out. Guys like (Antoine) Bethea and (Tom) Zbikowski and (Jerraud) Powers just kind of giving me the nuances of the defense. I feel comfortable right now,” Butler said.
It will be a bit of homecoming this weekend for Butler as he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
He played 29 games in his two seasons with New England before being cut during the first month of the 2011 regular season.
With Powers being placed on injured reserve on Monday afternoon, the starting spot is Butler’s and he is more than grateful for it.
“This is my fourth year and you only get so many chances, especially on this level with so many guys in and out every year,” Butler said. “It’s rare you get two opportunities so I’m blessed to get another opportunity here with the Colts and I’m trying to make the best of it.”
Tags: antoine bethea, darius butler, jerraud powers, tom zbikowski
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