VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS POLIAN (opening statement) Friday, July 11, 2010
"We have a significant announcement to make and a great announcement to make. We'd like to take this opportunity to announce that we've been able to reach a long-term contract (agreement) with DB-Antoine Bethea to have him here as we move forth. It's a great day, anytime as an organization when you can retain the services of both a person and player of Antoine's contribution to our community and team. We're very happy to announce that. We'd like to thank two parties as we move forward. First, (Colts Owner and CEO) Mr. (James) Irsay for his ongoing and strong commitment to keep the best team possible on the field as we move forward, and once again stepping up and rewarding a player who has been a significant part of the success we've had the good fortune to have here. As well, as we'd like to thank Antoine and his representatives for working with us over the course of this offseason on being able to get the deal done. It's been a long process that's probably tried their patience at times, but got us to the good place we're at today. We're thankful for Mr. Irsay, and Antoine's desire to remain with the Colts. It will be great to have No. 41 with us as we move forward."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on getting the contract signed)
"It's a big burden off my shoulders. It feels real good. Like Chris said, I'm just thankful for the Colts organization and Mr. Irsay for both sides reaching an agreement and getting it done. Today is a great day for me and my family."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on the commitment the team showed)
"Just with the situation being what it is with the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), they really didn't have to extend a long-term agreement to me, but with them doing that, it does show the commitment that Mr. Irsay, (Colts President) Bill (Polian), and Chris Polian have in trying to keep this core group we have together and continue to try and win another championship."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on if it is hard to remember coming in as a sixth-round draft pick)
"No, it's not hard at all. I think about that everyday. That's what drives me. Everyday when I get up, everyday I go in the weight room and lift those weights, every Sunday I go out there and play. That day I will never forget. It's hard for me to forget that. Being a sixth-round draft pick out of Howard, being overlooked by many teams, being doubted, that's what pushed me. Just because I'm here today with a new contract doesn't mean that my play is going to slack. It just gives me more motivation to prove myself and to become a better player."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on if it was difficult being away during OTAs)
"It was. You always want to be out there on the field with your comrades, with your friends, your teammates and just hearing about it was tough. But at the same time, like they say, this is the business part of it. You have to handle it as well. I think both sides handled it well. Being here today, I'm happy about that."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on if he feels like he has some catching up to do prior to training camp)
"I've been working out. It's not like I'm out of shape. I've been working out. I've been running. They've said they've installed a couple of new things, but I'm pretty sure I'll catch on to that well. I don't think I really have a lot of catching up to do. I think when August comes, I'll hit the ground running."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on if it feels good to be identified as one of the team's core players)
"Most definitely. It shows what they think of you. Like I've said, for them to extend that extended contract to me, I'm blessed, I'm happy, and being considered one of those core guys on the team makes me feel good."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on money being spent on the defense)
"It is. It's a lot of money, but it's well deserved. Offense, they've been doing a great job with Peyton leading them. My first year here it was just something that the defense wanted to step up and be talked about with the other good defenses in the NFL. I think the past few years we've done that. We have a lot of good guys on that side of the ball, and hopefully we can continue to improve."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on looking forward to playing with DB-Bob Sanders)
"It was funny, he actually sent me a text not too long ago saying that he wishes that I was out there with him, but it makes me feel good to talk to him and hear him say that (he) feels good and that it's the healthiest he's been in a long time. To have No. 21 out there alongside me and being able for both us to go out there and raise havoc, I'm happy and I'm excited."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on any plans for his first check)
"Not right now. I'm just letting it soak in right now. Of course, I'm going to treat myself to something. I'm not really sure what it is going to be, but right now I'm just going to enjoy it with my friends and family."
DB-ANTOINE BETHEA (on if it has been his goal to be a Colt for life)
"Most definitely. Like I've said before, to draft me in the sixth round, and I won't say take a chance on me, but giving me that opportunity to come in and prove myself, it was just something for me. They believed in me. They believed in the talent that they saw. For me to start and end here would be a great deal for me."