INDIANAPOLIS – When
Hasselbeck did not know what type of leader Bethea was but after a few months that question was answered.
“He’s clearly got the personality to be a great guy in the locker room, a great team leader,” Hasselbeck said earlier this month. “That’s something that is very, very evident.”
Over 66,000 people inside of Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday saw Bethea’s leadership first hand.
With the Colts down 12-0 and the game stopped for a review of Seattle’s first quarter safety, Bethea gathered a group of players together on the sideline for a “spirited” message.
“Something needed to be said. Somebody needed to say something,” Bethea said of his in-game talk. “Just told them, ‘Look, we came out here to do something. Last time we were home, it didn’t end so well. Put a little pep in your step.”
“I wasn’t nice. It was a little animated.”
Bethea’s message carried over to the playing field as the Colts defense forced a three-and-out. The Colts offense then scored on the unit’s first possession following the sideline huddle.
“I’ve seen that happen on many occasions, on many sidelines,” head coach Chuck Pagano said of Bethea taking charge.
“It’s their team. Guys sometimes have to do those types of things whether it’s the whole group or one side of the ball or the other. That’s what great leaders do.”
Thanks to Sunday’s win, the Colts (4-1) currently sit alone, at the top of the AFC South for the first time since the 2010 season.
The regular season is not even a third of the way done but the Colts have positioned themselves well with five more divisional games following the bye week (Oct. 27).
Bethea has been apart of four AFC South titles since joining the Colts in 2006.
It’s moments and wins like Sunday that can go a long way if the Colts are to re-gain control of a division they have previously dominated.
“Everybody’s goal is to be that head honcho in their division. The first couple years here, that’s what we were. They had to come through us to win the division. The past couple years, it’s been Houston,” Bethea said on Monday.
“For us to be up there at the top, that means a lot for this team. We come into the year saying that’s our goal, to win our division. We got to stay hungry. We just got to continue to do the things we’ve been doing so far and just keep playing well.”