Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has plenty to prove this season and there's some irony that it starts against his former team, the Oakland Raiders.
The seventh pick of the 2009 draft, Heyward-Bey has yet to reach the superstar status such a selection demands. This could be his year to make that happen.
Here's a quick look at the man known as DHB:
Ht: 6-2; Wt: 219; Age: 26; Route to Colts: Free agent
Fast stats: Heyward-Bey has 2,071 yards receiving (14.8 yards per catch) in his four-year career, with 11 touchdowns. He had a career-best five touchdown catches last season. He's had four career 100-yard receiving games. He had a best of 975 yards receiving in 2011.
DHB on Oakland: “It was a good experience. We had a lot of good times and we had some difficult times. I had a lot of great teammates, great coaches. I learned a lot over there.”
DHB on “following his heart" to sign with the Colts: “Oh, yeah, I still feel that way. I actually had a chance to see my mom this past weekend. She was like, 'I think you made the right choice coming here.' I said, 'I agree also.' ”
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on DHB: “Tireless worker, he really is. He works his butt off. That's one of his great attributes. He's a great team player. He's celebrating as much as T.Y. (Hilton) when T.Y. scores. Beyond that, I think he's a great football player, too. He's going to really have a great season, really a special season.”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano on DHB: “He's been one of our hardest workers. He did not miss a single day of the offseason program. He was here night and day. He's a football junkie. I would be shocked if he doesn't have an outstanding season for us.”
Oakland coach Dennis Allen on DHB leaving the Raiders: “Sometimes the circumstances dictate things that you have to do. It was really a situation of circumstance. I've got nothing but good things to say about Darrius Heyward-Bey. I think he's a good football player. I think he's an excellent person. I think he's a great teammate.”
DHB on opening the season vs. the Raiders: “I just prepare the same way for the opponent. I understand it's a team I used to play for. I'm still friends with a lot of those guys. But other than that, I'm just preparing like I always prepare.”