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Darrius Heyward-Bey Embracing Winning Football

Intro: In a season that has not gone according to plan from an individual standpoint, Darrius Heyward-Bey has not hung his head. Instead, he’s relishing a chance to impact a playoff team for the first time in his five NFL seasons.





INDIANAPOLIS – An early fourth quarter punt in a 16-point game wouldn't seem to exude such an outburst from the winning sideline.

There was no turnover or crushing hit.

Yet, the reaction from the Colts sideline on Sunday afternoon surely indicated a significant play.

As Darrius Heyward-Bey popped up after taking down Chiefs punt returner Dexter McCluster for a two-yard loss, his teammates and coaches poured onto the field to greet the new Colts gunner.

It's not the normal reaction you are used to seeing on such a play but the Colts know the type of selfless attitude that DHB has shown through the course of a trying regular season.


"I just like the fact that my teammates were behind me," DHB said of the support on Sunday.

"They know what I've been through. They know the situation and they know I'm fighting my butt off to make plays for them. I was happy to see that."

DHB does not shy away from the issues he has had in the 2013 season.

In a perfect world, DHB would be one of Andrew Luck's top targets with the absence of Reggie Wayne.

But the emergence of Griff Whalen and Da'Rick Rogers at wide receiver, along with the injury to special teams ace Sergio Brown, has opened the door for DHB's role as a gunner.

"We talk about serving all the time and being selfless and putting the team first and nobody exemplified that better than DHB," Chuck Pagano said on his weekly radio show.

"He had his ups and downs this season, probably hasn't gone the way that he foresaw it or any of us saw his season going. But the type of kid he is, his character, he's a team guy. When things weren't going right and he was looking for a way to contribute, he walked in here and said, 'What can I do? Put me on special teams. I want to do whatever I can to help this team win, whatever way I can.'


With his snaps at receiver dwindling, DHB has played a total of 14 snaps on the Colts special teams the past two weeks.

DHB showcased his elite speed on Sunday by taking down McCluster in the open field, thus igniting a frenzy on the Colts sideline.

"I'm surprised we didn't get flagged (laughs)," Pagano said.

"That's how this group is. They love each other. They are a tight knit group. It was great to see. Hats off to DHB. He's a team guy all the way."

Earlier this week, DHB was all smiles in answering questions about his special teams reps.

He's contributing on a team that will play in January, something that he has not experienced in his previous four NFL seasons.

"I've never been at this stage, 10 wins, in the playoffs," DHB says. "Of course I would love to be on the field playing receiver, catching balls, making plays but right now this is my role and I've got to embrace it."

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