INDIANAPOLIS – When they were on the field together, good things usually happened.
With both Greg Toler and Vontae Davis in the lineup and seeing significant playing time in the first seven games of the season, the Colts were an impressive 5-2 on the season and had the look of a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Unfortunately for the Colts, only half of that combination remained by the time the team made it to the playoffs, making some fans wonder how much different the unit could have been had the Davis-Toler combo been able to play a full season.
“Yeah, you always think about it,” said Davis when asked what the secondary would be like if he and Toler had played together all season. “Once we do it, then we can look back and say what we did. We got to put it all together.”
At least 2014 will give the pair another opportunity to do so. Davis returned to the Colts after quickly flirting with the free agent market, signing a 4-year, $39 million deal to remain with the team.
“It’s a good thing. Before free agency, as time ticked, I didn’t know where I was going to be,” said Davis. “But now to know that I’m here and I’m going to be here the next four years, it’s a good feeling. I have a future ahead of me.”
Toler believes he does too despite a 2013 riddled with injuries. He missed seven games due to injury in the middle of the season then saw limited time in his return for the final two regular season games as he continued to deal with a groin injury.
He returned to start the Colts’ Wild Card Playoff game against the Chiefs and registered two tackles before further problems with the groin injury forced him to the sidelines for good. But Toler thinks off-season surgery has gotten rid of the pain and will aid a full return come training camp.
“Just trying to get the scar tissue to break up so I can be ready for training camp, OTAs,” said Toler on Wednesday. “I’m leaving that in the doctors’ hands, getting back out there on the field as they feel I need be.”
At the very least Toler was excited about Davis returning to the team. After a campaign where the sixth-year cornerback from Illinois had 46 tackles, 12 pass break ups and an interception, Davis was a hot commodity among teams in the market for a cornerback.
Needless to say that Toler was more than pleased when Davis resigned for another run with the Colts.
“I was a bouncing needle during the off-season seeing if we were going to get Vontae back and I’m happy they got it done,” said Toler, who had 17 tackles, 6 pass deflections and an interception when he was on the field in 2013. “I just tried to put my input where it was needed during the off-season and pretty much like what I saw out there on the field when I wasn’t able to play.
“It’s definitely an anxious moment to get back out there with the guys.”
Despite a solid 2013, Davis isn’t quite satisfied with where his game is just yet.
“You always can improve. That’s just life, period,” said Davis. “You always want to improve. That’s why I’m here at OTAs. I want to get a better grasp of the defense, just learn from my mistakes last year, just become a better all-around player.”
With hopes that a fellow cornerback will be around all season in 2014.