SCOTTSDALE, AZ --- Vontae Davis will play in his first Pro Bowl Sunday, after his sixth season in the NFL and his third with the Indianapolis Colts. Davis was a 1st round pick in 2009, taken by Miami, before the Dolphins traded him to the Colts in the 2012 preseason.
Last offseason, Davis got his big contract: a four-year deal worth $39 million, and in his first season after getting paid, Davis proved he deserved it.
"Just comes from hard work," said Davis, after his final Pro Bowl practice Saturday. "Since training camp, I've been working hard. It paid dividends."
Dividends for both Davis and his team, as he did not allow a single touchdown in 2014. His four interceptions weren't bad either.
"I didn't expect to come into the season and not give up a touchdown," said Davis. "I just worked hard, went in every day, and did what I had to do. It paid dividends."
His teammate and inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson sees more than just Davis working hard though to reach his first Pro Bowl.
"He's grown up. He's finally taking control of his career," said Jackson. "He understands that his is a business. He played phenomenal, lights-out for us this year. Him and Greg Toler as well. A lot of things we were able to do defensively is because of those guys. They hold up so well against top receivers. It makes my job a lot easier, and it makes the signal-caller's job a lot easier, including (defensive coordinator) Greg Manusky."
As for the Pro Bowl match-up of Vontae Davis vs. T.Y. Hilton, Jackson knows which side he's rooting for in that battle.
"Probably closer to the 4th quarter, we'll see a bit of a match-up, but those guys go at each other all the time throughout camp, throughout the season, so it will be an interesting match-up to watch," said Jackson. "I'll take Vontae and Joe Haden all day versus any receiver from our side or their side. I had the opportunity to play with both those guys (Jackson played with Haden in Cleveland). Great talents."
The defensive players stick together, even in the Pro Bowl, but Vontae Davis isn't planning on giving up his first touchdown this season to his teammate T.Y. Hilton (even if it wouldn't really count).