INDIANAPOLIS – Robert Mathis knows the clock is ticking and he must get there before it stops moving.*
There *is the backfield, and his destination is opposing quarterbacks.
Mathis led the NFL with 19.5 sacks last year and on several occasions, that clock was extended thanks to superb coverage on the backend of the Colts defense.
So when Mathis heard the news that Vontae Davis was re-signed this offseason, he couldn't help but crack a smile knowing what that means to the Colts D.
"He's one of the anchors to our defense," Mathis says of Davis. "A great talent and also a young guy with a lot of upside. It was very important to just try and keep the pieces in place.
"You've got (Davis) re-signing, you've got Greg Toler coming back off of injury, they are guys that are going to give you an extra second or two for that rush to get to the quarterback."
Toler battled through an extremely trying 2013 campaign in which a groin injury sidelined him for seven straight weeks.
The Colts secondary was never the same once Toler went down late in the Oct. 20 meeting with Denver.
Offseason surgery has Toler optimistic about a healthy return in 2014.
"I'm feeling great after the surgery," Toler said on Wednesday. "Just trying to get the scar tissue to break up so I can be ready for training camp. OTAs, I'm leaving that in the doctors' hands, getting back out there on the field as they feel I need be."
The combination of a healthy Davis and Toler is vital for the Colts defense.
When healthy, the secondary played some of its best football in 2013.
Having a starting duo of Davis and Toler allows for Darius Butler to play a more natural nickel position, where he has registered eight interceptions in his two seasons with the Colts.
"I was a bouncing needle during the offseason seeing if we were going to get Vontae back and I'm happy they got it done," Toler says.
"It's definitely an anxious moment to get back out there with the guys."
Davis will revert back to his old No. 21 in 2014, but he's hoping his play from last year carries over to this season.
Ranked as the league's second best cover corner in 2013 (Pro Football Focus), Davis signed a four-year deal to return to a place he has grown fond of in his two seasons with the Colts.
The stress of the free agency has long passed for Davis and now the 25-year old corner is ready to keep that clock ticking for Mathis, and on his own career.
"Building a legacy. Being the best player I can be," Davis says of his future goals.
"I have this great opportunity these next four years to be an Indianapolis Colt."