INDIANAPOLIS – Vontae Davis spent the last three years hearing all about what he did wrong in Miami.
In Indianapolis, hell get a chance to prove he can get it right.
Less than 24 hours after being dealt to the Colts for two draft picks, Indianapolis newest player walked into the locker room and wasted no time explaining why hes here: to win games and become one of the leagues premier cornerbacks.
I have a lot of confidence in my ability. My biggest thing is just work and grind. Those who work hard should be rewarded, Davis said Monday. My biggest thing is working hard as an Indianapolis Colt and try to do the best I can as a player to help my team win.
It may be just what Davis needs to jump start his once promising career.
Since the Dolphins selected Davis with the 25th overall draft pick in 2009, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound cornerback produced solid numbers – 148 tackles and nine interceptions – but was hounded by speculation about why he never reached his full potential.
There has been plenty of speculation as to what happened in Miami.
Last fall, he showed up late to a practice, then scuffled with receiver Brandon Marshall. The Miami Herald later reported that the Dolphins believed Davis came to that workout with a hangover and a smell of alcohol on his breath. Then-coach Tony Sparano never confirmed either point.
And when training camp opened this summer, the blunt assessments were right there for all to see on HBOs Hard Knocks.
The new Dolphins coaching staff openly questioned Davis conditioning level and desire to play the game. Eventually, he lost the starting job, a move that made a one-time future star expendable for a second-round draft pick and a late conditional draft choice.
Davis is content to forgive and forget.
Its a good thing for me and the Miami Dolphins. Its a better opportunity for us both, me as a person and them as an organization, Davis said. There are great guys in this locker room. Youve got (Dwight) Freeney, (Robert) Mathis and these guys welcomed me in. The first thing Mathis told me was, Lets get ready to work.
The Colts had been desperately searching for someone to start opposite Jerraud Powers at cornerback.
General manager Ryan Grigson had already made three trades to acquire NFL veterans (Josh Gordy, D.J. Johnson and Cassius Vaughn) and signed another veteran free agent (Justin King) to fill the void.
But with no clear-cut winner in the cornerback competition, Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano decided to take a chance on Davis.
There was only one reason for him (Pagano) to come get me, if he didnt have high expectations for me, so I wanted to let him know that I have high expectations for myself, Davis said.