ANDERSON – The Colts have 10 cornerbacks on roster at the moment, but the only one with any previous training camp experience with the club is Cassius Vaughn, who joined the team in May prior to last season.
The Colts had 11 cornerbacks on roster as they prepared to face St. Louis in last year's preseason opener and as the team preps for Buffalo, the position reflects the dramatic change in personnel over the past year.
Addressing almost every position on the defense last year was a full-time job for Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, and cornerback was one of the most prominent.
Grigson changed that last August 26 when he sent a 2013 draft pick to Miami for Vontae Davis.
Loving Davis' youth, size and ability, Grigson saw big things from the Illinois product.
"We expect greatness from Vontae," said Grigson prior to camp. "Everyone knows what he is capable of. It's time for him to turn the corner in his career the way his brother did out in San Francisco.
"We saw glimpses and impressive flashes last year, but we expect him to put it all together this fall."
Through one week in camp, Davis has been very active on his island, one of many faces that seem comfortable in the defense.
"It's been good. I am getting accustomed to the defense and I am able to play fast without thinking," said Davis. "It's just playing fast and trying to limit the mistakes. I just feel comfortable playing with the guys, bonding with the guys. It's different for me now then it was previously coming in during the season."
Coming in last year in time for the preseason finale made cohesion an uphill climb. Davis opened at left corner in five of the first seven games before starting the final five games at the right corner, where he now is anchored.
In the second Tennessee game last year, Davis flashed his potential. He sacked Jake Locker at the Colts' 10 late in the first half to force a field goal that kept the Colts within 20-7 while playing poorly.
Davis leveled Chris Johnson for a five-yard loss at the club's 10 again early in the fourth quarter, then defensed a pass two plays later to force another field goal that kept Indianapolis within 23-21. The second stop set up a subsequent memorable moment when Adam Vinatieri converted a 53-yard field goal to put the Colts back ahead to stay, 24-23.
"We feel really good about our situation at corner," said Pagano last week. Obviously, Vontae (Davis), the way he ended the 2012 season, the plays he was making, you see him out here playing tight coverage, making plays every day."
The Colts used five different starting alignments in the secondary in 2012, with a four-game season-ending stretch being the longest duration for any quartet.
Indianapolis shopped for Greg Toler and LaRon Landry to solidify the other corner and strong safety positions. Their additions were part of an 11-member free agent class that cost the club an approximated $140 million.
Pagano says there is a swagger. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky used the same term, too, in describing the ground the organization has covered.
"It's night and day compared to last year," said Manusky. "This group (the defense) has that confidence that they understand the call now and they've repped it 50, 60, 100 times as opposed to it being the first time last year. We have a swagger you definitely want to see a defense have."
"Yeah we are just having fun," said Davis. "We love being around one another. Coach Pagano preaches family and we go out every day as if it's just fun.
"In meetings, Coach Pagano sits by me all the time, so I am very confident. To have the head coach as the defensive back coach in the past, it is very helpful and it's just very different as far as coming in during the season."
To open camp, Antoine Bethea said this could be the most physical secondary in which he has been a member. Davis is trying to help cement a unit that has been in flux in Indianapolis for a while.
"It's just working hard and continuing to work hard in practice and just keep pushing every day in practice and carry it over to the game," said Davis. "I've never played around somebody like (LaRon) Landry. (Greg) Toler and Landry are very talented.
"I can't pinpoint (how good we will be). I think it is up to us how good we want to be. We just got to work hard in practice and let everything else take care of itself."
PLAY OF THE DAY
Cassius Vaughn continued to have a good camp and spiced it Sunday with a scoring interception return of a pass by Andrew Luck that was intended for Vick Ballard. Vaughn made the play and scored down the sidelines.
Luck hit 20-of-31 passes with one touchdown and interception and is 149-of-224 for 13 TDs in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills in during camp.
He teamed with T.Y. Hilton for the score and connected with Reggie Wayne six times. Hilton had four receptions.
The Indianapolis defense was credited with six sacks, including ones by Drake Nevis and Josh Chapman. Marshay Green had a pass defensed.
Matt Hasselbeck and LaVon Brazill teamed on a scoring play. Hasselbeck also scooped up an errant shotgun snap on the run and made a nice gain.
NEWS OF THE DAY
Two injuries of note happened in the afternoon. Darrius Heyward-Bey suffered a left knee sprain, while fullback Dan Moore had a sprain the AC joint in his right shoulder. The extents of the injuries are not known.
G-Hugh Thornton (ankle), C/G-Khaled Holmes (ankle), S-Sergio Brown (hamstring), LB-Mario Harvey (hamstring), LB-Daniel Adongo (biceps), G-Joe Reitz (burner) and CB-Greg Toler (concussion) missed practice.
Larry Asante and Kavell Conner crashed into each other on a long pass attempt to Justice Cunningham by Hasselbeck. Conner and Asante were all over Cunningham prior to the collision. Asante stayed down a moment before getting up. Both finished practice.
Ahmad Bradshaw was on the field taking mental reps with the offense in the morning, but remains on PUP.
PAGANO SAYS(On Adam Vinatieri when told Vinatieri at 40 is the oldest player in the NFL)
"Is he really? I thought Reggie (Wayne) was. At least he (Wayne) talks that way and looks that way."
PLAYER FEATURED QUOTE (Reggie Wayne (968 receptions) on what it will mean when he gets to 1,000)
"It'll be sweet, but we got to get there first. I just want to be able to do my job. When it's all said and done, help this ball club win games. That's all I've been ever wanting to do since I first got here."
PLAYER TWEET OF THE DAY
The little things in life easily get overlooked but still remain the most important 2 us. Appreciate. – Matt Overton.
YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Name the only Colts player to return a missed field goal for a touchdown, plus the length of the return. Name the only opposing player to do the same against the Colts, plus the length of the return. ANSWER: Carl Taseff returned a missed field goal 99 yards for a score at the L.A. Rams on 12/12/59. The New York Jets' Aaron Glenn returned a missed field goal 104 yards for a score on 11/15/98. Glenn's return was a then-NFL record for the longest such scoring play.
TODAY'S TRIVIA QUIZ
Of the six fumbles returned at least 60 yards or longer for touchdowns (counting the playoffs) in franchise history, name the two Colts' defensive linemen and four linebackers who pulled the feats. Identify the only one who did it in the playoffs. See the next Colts Camp Notebook for the answer(s).
SPOTTED AT CAMP
Colts alumni were on hand for both practices and to participate in a function with USA Football that included about 150 youth. Pagano heartily endorsed the alumni being on hand, citing the need to salute those who played on previous teams. Those present were Gary Padjen, Stan Eisenhooth, Eugene Riley, Gary Brackett, Roosevelt Potts, Chukie Nwokorie, Darvell Huffman, Mark Herrmann, Danny Kight and Bill Brooks.
TODAY'S ATTENDANCE: 6,100. TOTAL FOR CAMP: 20,699.
The weather during Sunday's morning work was sunny and near 70 degrees with no wind. In the afternoon skies were mostly sunny and the temperature hit 74 degrees.
There will be a Monday afternoon practice open to the public from 1:50 to 4:30 p.m.