Time for Davis to play like an elite CB

ANDERSON, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Colts viewed Vontae Davis as someone with the necessary tools to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league heading into free agency last March.

The Colts gave Davis the contract he was looking for -- four years, $39 million -- with the expectations that he’ll eventually become one of the top cornerbacks in the league, moving into the same category as players like Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson.

“I really don’t measure myself against anyone,” Davis said. “I just prepare and go out and be the best that I can be and that’s all I can do and all that I can control to be the best player I can be.”

Davis missed more than the first week of training camp with a groin problem that he described as precautionary. He also didn’t play in the preseason opener last week.

But now he’s back and he’s back playing alongside his sidekick on the other side, fellow cornerback Greg Toler.

"That’s my guy," Davis said. "We’re a close-knit group. Having him back is good. He brings a lot of energy. We feed off one another."

Davis and Toler were a successful duo during the first seven weeks last season. Toler went down with a hamstring injury that basically ended his season in Week 7. And even though he was still on the field physically, Davis went down for stretches, too.

That can’t happen anymore. Davis has to be effective whether Toler is playing opposite of him or whether Josh Gordy is lined up at cornerback.

The next step for Davis, according to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, is to increase his interceptions or at least eliminate his side of the field because opposing quarterbacks don’t want to throw his way. Davis only had one interception last season and has just 13 in his five-year career.

“If you’re going to say this guy is an elite guy -- [Darrelle] Revis back in the day doing what he did -- it comes down to picks,” Manusky said. “Is he going to get picks? Sometimes as an elite guy, they’re not going to throw to him. From that standpoint, that’s the way the majority of people in the United States judge it. That’s what he has to do.”