INDIANAPOLIS – The 2013 free agency period was only hours old when the Colts had reached agreements in principle with five players, one of whom was cornerback
Indianapolis engineered a series of efforts last year under Ryan Grigson to bolster the cornerback positions.
One trade yielded
Toler is one of eight unrestricted players signed to make an impact, and he views this as there is a starting job to be won.
Toler, 6-0, 192, started 15-of-38 games with Arizona after being a fourth-round pick in 2009. He started a career-high 13 games with the Cardinals in 2010 and according to Grigson has the snap-whistle traits that can make a difference.
Working with teammates in a fourth week of the voluntary program, Toler is adapting to a new NFL home.
“The toughest part I would say is the playbook,” said Toler of the biggest challenge of the relocation process. “You have to learn a new playbook, a new scheme.
“Pretty much in the secondary it’s the same coverages, but you have to learn the different terminology. Throw out the old and in with the new. I would say that’s the toughest.”
One thing Toler has found is a locker room that is receptive to new faces.
It was that way last year in the first go-round of the Grigson-Chuck Pagano regime. Players then embraced the new challenge and welcomed newcomers.
By the end of last season fewer than 20 players participating in the playoff game at Baltimore had been with the team prior to 2012.
Change is an element in the NFL whether a new power structure is in place or not. This is the first scenery change for Toler.
The impact of the human part of a new professional atmosphere often is overlooked. For Toler, a new site has been a smooth adaption.
“You never know what to expect,” said Toler. “When I came to sign, they made me feel right at home. It’s one of the reasons I signed.
“Meeting everyone, there were a lot of smiles. People were introducing themselves. It felt like a homey place. They have your back just as much as you have their back. Coming into the situation, you don’t know what to expect.”
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The draft was a potential time where another competitor could have been added to the mix, but the only player drafted in Toler’s position group was safety
Toler trucks into week four of the program with an open mind and competitive fight. Practices have graduated to a different plane and will continue to do so.
As they do, Toler likes the environment.
“I think it trickles down from the staff, Coach Pagano. It’s a good group of guys. Being here now, I’m happy I made the decision. I’m happy to be a Colt.”