The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

July 30, 2013

Butler takes early lead in takeaway parade

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. —

"It's definitely something we're harping on as far as interceptions, strips, fumbles, getting that ball," Butler said. "Nothing correlates more to winning in the NFL."

There are plenty of new faces in the defensive backfield to aid in that pursuit.

Fellow cornerback Greg Toler has been solid since he joined the team as a free agent in March, and strong safety LaRon Landry has brought an intimidating presence that's been missing since Bob Sanders last roamed the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Throw in returning cornerback Vontae Davis and free safety Antoine Bethea and you have a secondary that's entertaining some very high expectations.

"We could be the best in the league if we come out and work every day and feed off each other," Butler said.

That kind of confidence has permeated the defense throughout camp. There's a swagger on that side of the football that seems to be the product of a year of experience in head coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky's hybrid 3-4 scheme.

"You can see it, right?," Pagano asked after Tuesday morning's walkthrough. "You can see that swagger coming, right? Defensively, every time you step on the field, you expect greatness. You expect to make plays, create turnovers, stop the run. All those types of things."

And the Colts expect to have fun doing it.

The cheer that followed Butler's late-practice interception Monday was not uncommon. When the defense has made big plays this summer, and it's made its fair share, the players have never failed to enjoy the moment.

"That's one of the best ways to get through training camp is having fun, feeding off of other guys' energy," Butler said. "Every day you're not going to come out here feeling great and feeling tip-top shape. It's a grind so you want to have fun with it."

 

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