What was once red, white, and blue is just now…well, white and blue. Two key members of the Colts’ secondary in Sergio Brown and Darius Butler are former New England Patriots’ cast-offs, now turned horseshoe.
Indianapolis Colts defensive back Darius Butler (20) celebrates with defensive back Sergio Brown (38) after recovering a Jacksonville Jaguars fumble during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)
Cornerback Darius Butler was a former 2nd round pick of New England in 2009 out of the University of Connecticut, playing his 1st two seasons with the Patriots (2009, 2010) before being released in September of 2011.
Meanwhile, his teammate, safety Sergio Brown was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame of the Patriots in 2010, also playing his 1st 2 seasons in Foxborough before his subsequent release in August of 2012.
In this case, what was once another team’s trash, is now another team’s treasure.
Since joining the Colts in 2012, both Brown and Butler have been key cogs of the Colts’ team, each playing pivotal roles.
Butler has mostly played as the defense’s 3rd (slot) cornerback for the past 2+ seasons, having even started 18 games for Indianapolis during that span because of injuries (*largely to starting #2 cornerback Greg Toler).
His safety help, Sergio Brown, had made quite a name for himself on special teams as a “gunner” over the past 2 seasons with the Colts. However, Brown was unexpectedly forced to start 6 games for Indianapolis this season, as he replaced then-suspended safety LaRon Landry (PED’s) in the starting lineup. Playing quite well at that.
As the NFL has shown time and time again, it’s not always where you start, it’s where and how you finish. Both Brown and Butler have made the most of their extra opportunity with Indianapolis. For Butler, he knew it was a crucial point in his young career upon signing with the Colts in September of 2012:
"So that’s why, like I said, it was kind of now or never. It was my third stop, my fourth year in the league. I know what I’m capable of; people knew what I was capable of. It was just a matter of me doing it and putting it all together.”"
Next Sunday night, he’ll get to put it together once again, only this time it will be against his former team, the one that previously discarded him. For both Brown and Butler, it’s an opportunity to show their former team, the New England Patriots, that they made a mistake and that both have developed into quality football players for their cross-country rival, Indianapolis Colts.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 03: Sergio Brown #38 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates with Darius Butler #20 after a play in the end zone in the third quarter against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 3, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)