INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The draft has come and gone, and the Indianapolis Colts’ defense appears to have a whole new look. With the team using six of its eight picks on defensive guys, expect some stiff competition this offseason.
“I’m going to push these guys to try and take my spot,” said cornerback Vontae Davis.
“Everybody is ready to work, I mean, everybody,” said linebacker Barkevious Mingo. “The coaching staff, everybody is just geared up and pushing towards the ultimate prize, and that’s to be playing late in February.”
“We need leaders on defense,” said owner Jim Irsay. “We have some guys that are kind of on the fence. There are some guys that may have some inconsistencies with their effort, what have you. We need guys willing to look them in the eye and say ‘hey, let’s go!'”
Few people have more in-game experience than Davis. But don’t tell the 28-year-old that he’s getting old.
“I don’t feel old because I have such a young spirit,” Davis said.
He may feel young, but Davis is one of the oldest guys on defense. And entering his ninth year in the NFL, Davis says there are a lot of young guys in the locker room right now looking up to him, and he’s taking his role as veteran very seriously.
“I just want to lead by example, do all the right things. I’ve been in the league a long time, and I’ve had success in this league,” said Davis. “Those young guys probably won’t say it, but they’re going to come in and look up to me.”
The two-time Pro Bowler will have two rookies gunning for a spot in the secondary, first round draft pick Malik Hooker and second rounder Quincy Wilson. But Davis says he welcomes the competition.
“Training camp is going to be fun. It might be a lot of new faces, but it’s going to be a lot of competition on defense,” Davis said. “You know, guys are trying to earn spots. No position is solidified. There’s going to be a lot of competition on the back end. We have four safeties. Only two can play,” said Davis.
The competition serves as good motivation as the battle on defense rolls on in the offseason.