Colts veterans adapting to new roles following draft, free agency

After intecepting Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tennehill in the end zone, Indianapolis Colts' Vontae Davis celebrates during the first quarter on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

The Colts’ emphasis on adding youth to the defense with draft picks like safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Quincy Wilson has some of the veteran guys in the locker room feeling the pressure.

“Yeah, I don’t feel old because I have such a young spirit. But the faces, the guys around me are 21, 22 (years old),” cornerback Vontae Davis said with a laugh. “The only thing that is giving me hope is Darius Butler. He’s the oldest guy in the room.”

With so many new faces on the Colts roster, the veteran guys like Davis are embracing new roles on the team and the elevated level of competition.

“I just want to lead by example and do all the right things,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a lot of competition on defense. Guys are trying to earn spots. I’m going to push these guys to try to take my spot. We have to build that competition on defense and I think it’s going to make everybody better.”

Members of the offense also adapting to new roles–the trade of Dwayne Allen to New England has tight end Erik Swoope taking on added responsibility along with Jack Doyle.

“I think it speaks to both Jack and I,” Swoope said. “We excelled and we were both excited with the progress that we made and seeing what transpired, it’s exciting.”

Even the newest Colts are finding themselves quick to adapt. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo is coming off a Super Bowl with the Patriots and brings that momentum into Indy.

“Everybody is ready to work,” Mingo said. “Everybody is just geared up and pushing toward the ultimate prize and that’s to be playing late in February.”

This week marks Phase Two of the offseason workouts for the veterans. The rookies are set to report for minicamp on May 12.