Why Stephon Gilmore should slide seamlessly into Colts defense:

INDIANAPOLIS – The mentality Stephon Gilmore is bringing to the Colts is the reason he’s been so good for so long.

Gilmore plays arguably the most volatile position in the NFL.

Few cornerbacks are able to keep their spot among the best in the game for a long period of time. Far more play like stars for a season or two and then lose their grip, derailed by injury or scheme change or the sheer unpredictability of the position they play.

Gilmore has already proven his worth. Five Pro Bowl nods. Two first team All-Pro nods. A Defensive Player of the Year, an award only six cornerbacks have ever won.

But he does not approach each season like a made man.

“Every year I play the game, I start over and try to re-establish myself,” Gilmore said. “You have to prove yourself every year.”

Gilmore, who will turn 32 in September, can find plenty he has to prove in his 11th season in the NFL. A new team, a new defensive system and a new set of expectations await him in Indianapolis as Gilmore tries to put the torn quadriceps he suffered at the end of the 2020 season fully behind him.

Traded from New England to Carolina – in part because of his injury, mostly because of a contract dispute – Gilmore played good football in 305 snaps with the Panthers, but he acknowledges now that the quadriceps was never quite back to full strength in 2021.

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