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Butler brings quality depth to improved Colts secondary

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Darius Butler picked off his eighth career pass Sunday

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Darius Butler says there's no secret to being in the right place at the right time on a football field, other than playing the way he's supposed to play.

Butler has eight interceptions in his NFL career and has returned four of them for touchdowns – including three of the five picks he's had since joining the Indianapolis Colts as a cornerback last season.

Butler's pick-six of Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert on Sunday helped jump-start the Colts after they fell behind 3-0 in the first quarter. Butler's 41-yard touchdown return put the Colts up 7-3 and they rolled to a 37-3 win.

“That play really came from Vontae (Davis) doing his job,” Butler said in a conference call Monday. “Vontae bit on (Cecil) Shorts and him getting the breakup that ricocheted, and everybody does the tip drill. It just translated to the game. Like I said, we feed off each other. Vontae made a play and I finished it off.”

The Colts (3-1) begin full preparations Wednesday for their biggest game of the season to date – a 1 p.m. home game against the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks.

As the defense has progressed – holding the Jaguars to three one week after holding the 49ers to seven – the secondary has emerged as a major strength. In addition to starters Davis and Greg Toler at corners and Antoine Bethea and LaRon Landry at safeties, the Colts have received strong play from Butler and backup safety Delano Howell. Davis and third-string corner Josh Gordy also intercepted Gabbert last Sunday.

“The more reps we're getting out there, the better we play,” Butler said. “We've got Landry out right now. Delano stepped up. He's playing well. Me, Vontae, 'Toine, this is our second year in the system and with Greg fitting right along, he's a playmaker out there.

“We've got a lot of playmakers back there and guys are taking pride in doing their job and not letting each other down. That's what we take pride in not only on game days but in practice. We work on everything so hopefully it just carries over to Sunday.”

The Colts defense will be facing the third mobile quarterback this season in Seattle's Russell Wilson, who directed the Seahawks back from a 20-3 deficit to a 23-20 overtime win over the Houston Texans. The Colts beat the previous two mobile quarterbacks in Oakland's Terrelle Pryor and San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick.

Wilson has been playing the best of those three so far this season.

Butler said it will be imperative for the Colts to again have a cohesive balance of upfront pressure and secondary excellence.

“The more pressure those guys get on the quarterback, the easier it makes for us,” Butler said. “The better we can hold up on our back end whether it's man-to-man, press, zone, whatever it is. The better we hold up on the back end, then the more time we give to the guys up front. We feed off each other game to game and we depend on the front seven as much as they depend on us.”

Colts notes: Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner will miss four to six weeks after being diagnosed with torn plantar fascia, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. …Pagano said Landry remains day-to-day, but he expects center Samson Satele to return to action this week. …The Colts signed fullback Robert Hughes because Stanley Havili is nursing an ankle injury. …Wide receiver Griff Whalen was released.