The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

May 1, 2013

Colts Notebook: Sheppard happy to be in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — Kelvin Sheppard reported to work Monday morning, ready to continue his job as a starting middle linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.

By day’s end, the former LSU star was in Indianapolis ready to start a new life in the NFL with the Colts.

“It was a shock to pretty much everybody in the facility,” Sheppard said of the trade that sent former first-round pick Jerry Hughes to Buffalo in exchange for his services. “My teammates were sad, upset about it. But, hey, it’s the nature of the business, and now, being here, I hopped on a flight that night, got in town that night and went straight to the facility the following morning. By the time I stepped in the doors, it’s just been all open arms, from everybody top to bottom.”

Sheppard joins a large group for former LSU defenders with the Colts. LaRon Landry and Ricky Jean Francois were signed as free agents last month. And his good friend, and former teammate, Drake Nevis is beginning his third season in Indianapolis.

“Me and Drake spent all our years together at LSU,” Sheppard said. “We’ve done everything together. The grind, the summer grind, the spring grind, all the way to winning national championships, we’ve done it all. Drake, I know what he brings to the table with his work ethic, his Christian faith, everything like that. The same with me. I’m going to bring my hard hat every single day, and I come to try to hoist that trophy, and that sounds like exactly what they’re trying to do here.”

Sheppard started 15 games with the Bills last season, recording 77 tackles and two sacks. He has 143 tackles and two sacks in 32 games overall since being selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft.

In Indianapolis, Sheppard will play in head coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s hybrid 3-4 scheme. The defense reminds Sheppard of the one he excelled in at LSU.

“I like it because it’s very multiple,” he said. “You can do a lot more things in the 3-4, and, to be honest, I truly fell in love with this coaching staff. I love their attitude, the way they coach the game, everything.”

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