Veteran Colts safety Antoine Bethea on the momentum from 2012, fatherhood and the best homecoming in America
1. I think my mindset was a little different this camp, knowing that my first-born would come at some point. My daughter was born July 30. I had a job to do, but also in the back of my mind I knew there was a phone call I could get at any moment. Now that I have a daughter it’s not all about Antoine anymore. I have someone who is dependent on me 24/7, 365. Whatever I do, I have to remember that I’m living for somebody else.
2. I think the tenacity in our whole approach this season is going to surprise people. Coming off an 11-5 season, we know how close we were, and how we can put ourselves in a better position game in, game out.
3. I think I’m a clothes and shoe freak. After football and family, my hobby is fashion. I stopped counting how many pairs of shoes I own a long time ago.
4. I think I’m the luckiest Bison in the world: The Colts’ bye this year falls on the weekend of the Howard University homecoming. If you haven’t heard, it’s the best party in the country—by far. I’ll be at my alma mater to support the Bison football team and hang with my old classmates.
5. I think people would be surprised to know how much I love kids. Off the field, I’ll do anything for kids, whether I know them or I don’t. I have a real soft spot.
6. I think the Arizona Cardinals are in great shape with Bruce Arians as their new coach. He’s a great coach, a players’ coach. He kept it 100% with us last year when he filled in for Coach Pagano, and he let us know what he wanted from us, and we appreciated that. I know the Cardinals will play hard for him.
7. I think if I could change one NFL rule it would be the excessive celebration rule. If guys make a play they should be able to celebrate it. I can understand the rule against bringing in props, but everything else brings more excitement to the game. The fans love it. Guys toil all year, and if they make a play on Sunday with the world watching, they should be able to show out.
8. I think there are going to be two under-the-radar Colts who shine this season: Running back Vick Ballard, who came on strong at the end of the year, and cornerback Cassius Vaughn. Even though he’s not in the starting lineup, he’s going to make some plays.
9. I think people have a hard time believing this, but when Coach Pagano came in after the 2-14 season and hired his staff, and we drafted Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick, and then we started bringing pieces into OTAs, I told guys, “We’re going to make it to the playoffs.” Everybody bought in, and that was the most important thing.
10. I think we’re going to keep building this monster.
Read: Andy Benoit’s Deep Dive analysis of the Colts.