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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