INDIANAPOLIS – If you heard a little cheering from the coaching hallway at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center last Friday morning, your ears weren't deceiving you.
When Darius Butler put pen to paper in re-signing with the Colts, the coaches were thrilled to have a returning veteran presence on a defense littered with new faces.
Combining what Butler showed at safety last season, along with him now being *the *voice in a position group with youngsters Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green is the sort of fit coaches seek out, especially in the final line of defense.
"That was a big, big deal," defensive coordinator Ted Monachino says of Butler returning for a sixth season with the Colts.
"Everybody on the football side was really excited to have Darius back. The reason is, similar to what you (have) with T.J. and Clayton, those guys can do a lot of different things. Darius Butler is the guy that can unwind all of those things that we need them to know.
"He's a guy that has become a great range, space safety. I think he's just now starting to develop a second career at safety. We are really excited to have him back, especially in the meeting rooms and in the locker rooms and what he can do in the deeper part to the field on game day."
Safety is the new position for Butler, who turned 31 years old over the weekend.
The extended look Butler got at safety in 2017 invigorated his outlook upon hitting free agency this month.
"I love playing safety," Butler says.
"You can make a lot of plays back there. You communicate with a lot of guys back there."
The communication aspect of Butler's game is something that will increase quite a bit in 2017.
With all the veterans exiting Indianapolis (especially D'Qwell Jackson and Mike Adams), Butler's voice is vital for a younger secondary.
After spot starting for the Colts since arriving in October of 2012, Butler is looking forward to being a veteran voice at safety this coming year.
"That's one of those things that happens in this business. Some guys move on, some guys stay," Butler says of the massive turnover defensively this offseason.
"Now being one of the guys that's been around here for a while and been in the league for a while took, I'm looking forward to that and mentoring some of the younger guys. Getting everybody on the same page and holding guys accountable."
The Colts Sign DB Darius Butler!
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