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Colts sell “winning culture” to Darrius Heyward-Bey and LaRon Landry

Posted Aug 1, 2013

Intro: Following an 11-5 regular season in 2012, Colts GM Ryan Grigson wasted no time feeling comfortable. He hit the offseason and found a pair of former top-10 draft picks that have been sold on the Colts “winning culture”.

INDIANAPOLIS – Darrius Heyward-Bey and LaRon Landry had their suitors this offseason.

After a combined 10 seasons in the NFL, the two were looking for a place that carried a winning culture.

DHB hasn’t experience the playoffs in four NFL seasons.

Landry has seen the postseason just once, in his rookie season of 2007.

“Now I’m on a team that they believe in winning,” Heyward-Bey said. “It’s an opportunity to win the Super Bowl and go to the playoffs which I’ve never done before, so I’m excited.”

Neither player has to look far to see what playing deep into January is all about.

DHB has Reggie Wayne, and his 10 playoff appearances, flanking him.

Antoine Bethea, and his six trips to the playoffs, joins Landry at the backend of the Colts secondary.

Around the league, the Colts have the reputation as a winning franchise and that was an attraction for a slew of free agents this offseason.

“I come in here, give it all I got to help my team win,” Landry said. “It’s a great atmosphere, winning atmosphere. I just love it out here.”

Hearing veterans like Robert Mathis defer individual accolades down the list below team goals is proof of the Colts winning culture.

During the free agent process, DHB said the way the Colts did their business was what eventually sold him on Indianapolis.

“It’s all about making sure everybody’s comfortable, making sure all the players are taken care of, and winning,” Heyward-Bey said. “To go from 2-14 to 11 wins in one season, that’s amazing, and that starts from the bottom. It starts from the owner all the way down to the equipment guys.”

When Colts general manager Ryan Grigson embarked on the 2013 offseason, he wasted little time looking for improvements to a playoff roster.

There was no time to read the press clippings of what the 11-5 season meant for the Colts.

It was time to work.

“If you ever say the world ‘comfortable’ then you’re probably not going to be around too long,” Grigson says.

“I don’t ever really allow myself to be comfortable. That’s the mindset in the building. We’re always trying to get better. If we tell the players not to stop and smell the roses, then we better not be doing that ourselves.”

With a season that defied many people’s predictions, Grigson and the Colts dealt with a few losses in the coaching staff.

Grigson knows that winning creates new opportunities for jobs and promotions throughout the league and he hopes that’s common with future Colts teams.

“(Winning) creates new expectations. It changes perceptions,” Grigson said. “Winning changes everything in any facet of life in general. So, we just want to keep on winning and doing what we can to reach the pinnacle.”

In trying to reach that pinnacle, Grigson has turned to a pair of former top-10 draft picks who are ready to take the next step.

“They lost to my hometown team in the playoffs,” Heyward-Bey said of the Colts last season. “Even though I wasn’t a part of it, I know what it’s like losing. So, it’s time to go out there and work and try to get past that point.”

 

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