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Impressed with Antoine Bethea

I included Antoine Bethea in the "best of September" poll because I really think this kid is playing outstanding football. Remember, this guy is a rookie, and he won the starting job over an established veteran (Mike Doss) who had played pretty well for the Colts. In just 3 games, Bethea has compiled 19 tackles and defended 2 passes. No one has thrown anything deep on us, and his help over the middle has allowed guys like Sanders and Doss to play in the box for run support.

Bethea is very special indeed if Dungy is starting him. Dungy NEVER starts rookies on defense. Hell, Freeney had to wait until week 8 of his rookie year before he started. Bob Sanders had to wait until essentially the playoffs his rookie year. Cato June, Gary Brackett and Robert Mathis all sat their rookie years.

For a little background on Bethea, check out Scott Wright at NFL Draft Countdown. He hit the nail on the head in his post-draft analysis of Bethea:

With their second choice in round six the Colts grabbed one of the top sleepers in the draft in safety Antoine Bethea of Howard, who has cornerback speed (4.39) and joins Steve McNair, Tracy White and Shannon Sharpe as the only three time Black College All-American's. Right now the Colts depth at safety looks shaky at best so I wouldn't be surprised if Bethea was able to make a mark relatively early in his pro career.
One of the reasons he's starting is because he played the Cover 2 defense all throughout his college career. That's amazing. So, when he came into camp, he already had a strong knowledge of the defense, the terminology, and the coverages required. All he had to do was play.

Bethea, a 6th round pick, has made more of an impact on this team than any rookie thus far, including Joseph Addai. I believe he is the only 6th round pick starting for any club. Bethea is yet another tremendous find for the Colts scouting department and Bill Polian. Nobody, absolutely nobody in this NFL drafts better than Bill Polian.