Cornerback Vontae Davis was still getting his equipment situated in the locker room when he met with reporters for the first time Monday since being traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Indianapolis Colts.
"It feels like home," said Davis, "a fresh start for me. I'm happy to be here."
The Colts gave up a second round pick and a conditional late-round pick in 2013 in exchange for Davis, the 24-year-old first round pick (25th overall) of the Dolphins in 2009.
"It's a good thing for me and the Miami Dolphins," said Davis. "It's a better opportunity for us both - me as a person and them as an organization."
Davis stands 5-11, 205 pounds, and is entering his 4th season in the NFL. His career totals include 142 tackles, 32 passes defensed and nine interceptions (he returned one of those for a touchdown).
But Davis ran into some problems in Miami. He showed up late to a practice last November, with reports that he smelled of alcohol and may have been hung over. He later got into a fight with then-teammate Brandon Marshall. This season, he fell to second string on the Dolphins depth chart. The HBO documentary Hard Knocks highlighted an out-of-shape Davis in Dolphins training camp who frustrated coaches by leaving practice for a bathroom break.
"What happened in Miami is in the past," said Davis. "Now I'm a Colt. My biggest thing is moving forward and trying to get better as a player."
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said he is not concerned about issues in Davis' past.
"We live in a great country," said Pagano. "This country is all about second chances. We've all made mistakes in our life."
The Colts plan to draw their own conclusions about Davis rather than just accept media perceptions.
"That's so clouded," said safety Antoine Bethea. "That's somebody's opinion. And everybody's going to have an opinion. I kind of want to base that on what I see."
Pagano expects Davis to start opposite Jerraud Powers at cornerback. Pagano is not sure if Davis will be ready to play Thursday in the Colts final preseason game against the Bengals.
"Man-to-man guy who can play tight man coverage," said Powers. "Not scared to hit anybody. Fast, athletic, physical. He's just going to make our defense that much better than it already is."
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