INDIANAPOLIS -- Experience.
That's what drew the Indianapolis Colts to safety Dwight Lowery during free agency. The Colts were in need of a starting safety to go alongside veteran Mike Adams after the two-year starter LaRon Landry was released in February, and Sergio Brown departed for Jacksonville in March.
Indianapolis couldn't turn to anyone currently on the roster to pair with Adams, so it went on the outside and signed Lowery after not getting in the Devin McCourty -- the best free agent that was on the free-agent market -- sweepstakes.
"He's got athleticism," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He's played a lot of snaps of football. He's smart. He is in a real similar situation to picking up Mike when we got Mike a year ago. He's a veteran guy who has played and understands the game and it's not going to be too big for him."
Lowery hasn't officially been named the starter, but all indications are he'll join Adams and cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler in the secondary. The Colts selected Clayton Geathers from the University of Central Florida in the fourth round to compete with Lowery.
Lowery has started 38 of the last 41 games he's played in over the past four seasons. His best season was last year in Atlanta when he had a career-high 60 tackles and two interceptions.
The Colts were looking for more experience on defense because that unit has been consistent in Pagano's first three seasons. The defense has a lot of work to do to close the gap between it and the offense. Pagano likes for his safeties to be interchangeable.
"It was a good fit," Lowery said. "When you get older, I think you look at more of that type of stuff than chasing the dollar or whatever you want to call it. It was just a good fit between myself and the team. That's how it ended up working."
The reason Lowery has only played 41 of a possible 64 games over the past four seasons is because of injuries. He missed 13 games in 2013 and seven games in 2012. Lowery has suffered four concussions in his career, one of which ended his season in 2013. He suffered another one during training camp while with the Falcons last season.
"If I felt like it was an issue, I probably wouldn't have played anymore," Lowery said. "To be honest with you, that's not something that you really want to play with. I've talked to a lot of doctors. I've done a lot of research myself to understand the concussion situation. We play a violent game. We're not the only sport where there's contact. There are a lot of other contact sports out there that you can suffer head injuries from. That's part of the risk.
"But if you start playing slow and you start thinking about things that don't have to do with the football game, then that's when bad stuff is going to happen. That's when you get injured. When you start worrying about your health and not doing things that's going to help your health, then you're not going to be a healthy person."