The Indianapolis Colts decided to bring back former cornerback Darius Butler on a one-year deal. Now, the 31-year-old will transition to safety in 2017.
We first got a glimpse of Butler in his new role during training camp last season. And late in the year in a win against the Packers when Butler started at safety.
Butler stated that he would like to see the switch to safety full-time at the end of the year. The question at that point became whether or not the Colts would bring him back. That question has already been answered.
This was an important signing for the Colts as Butler brings back veteran leadership in the lockerroom and on the defensive side of the ball that is lacking leadership after Robert Mathis retired.
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Yesterday, Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino told
that bringing Butler back was the right move.
“Well I think that what you recognize right away is everybody in the football side of it in the building was really excited to have Darius back,and the reason is similar to what you’re talking about with T.J. [Green] and with Clayton [Geathers]: those two guys can do a lot of different things. Darius Butler is the guy that can unwind all those things that we need them to know, and he’s a guy that has become a great range, space safety for us. I think he’s just now starting to develop into a second career as a safety. So we’re really excited to have him back and know how valuable he is, especially in the meeting rooms and in the locker room, and then with what he can do for us in the deeper parts of the field on gameday.”
Butler likely will be the Week 1 starter opposite Clayton Geathers. That will allow the Colts to ease in T.J. Green in sub-packages. That will be vital as Green struggled during his rookie season.
As for Butler, the Colts are hoping that he will bring the same type of play that Mike Adams provided over the last three seasons. Adams created 19 turnovers in that time span ( 12 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles).
If Butler can continue to develop at his new position the Colts back end of the defense could be the best we have seen in years.