American Football Database
Antoine Bethea
Antoine Bethea in December 2010.
No. 41     Indianapolis Colts
Free safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-07-27) July 27, 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth: Savannah, Georgia
High School: Newport News (VA) Denbigh
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College: Howard
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 6 / Pick: 207
Debuted in 2006 for the Indianapolis Colts
Career history
* Indianapolis Colts ( 2006–present)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* 2× Pro Bowl (2007, 2009)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012
Tackles     696
Quarterback sacks     2.5
Interceptions     12
Forced fumbles     5
Stats at

Antoine Bethea (pronounced /bəˈθeɪ/; born July 27, 1984) is an American football safety for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Colts in the 6th round (207th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Howard.

Early years

He attended Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia where he was a three-year letterman in football, and also lettered in basketball, where he earned all-area and All-conference honors in his senior year. His mother teaches at Virgil I. Grissom Middle School 226 in Queens. His adopted brother, Lamont Bryant, plays for the Carolina Panthers, as a member of the practice squad.

College career

Bethea attended Howard University where he majored in administration of justice and started 31 of 37 games at safety. His freshman year, he saw action in 5 games as a backup in the secondary collecting 13 total tackles. He would have a career-best 109 total tackles his sophomore year while seeing action as a starter in 10 of 11 games that year. That year, he had 3 games where he tallied 13 tackles and another game against Bethune-Cookman where he made 14 tackles. He ended that year also adding one sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, six pass deflections and a blocked kick.

He would nab three interceptions his junior year, along with two sacks, four forced fumbles and eight pass deflections in 11 starts. Ending the year with 99 total tackles and two sacks, Bethea would earn All-Mid-Eastern Conference honors and selection to the American Urban Radio Network Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College All-American Team joining the likes of NFL greats such as former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans quarterback and NFL MVP Steve McNair and NFL tight end, Shannon Sharpe. He would earn these honors three years in a row.

Bethea would continue his success in his senior season, collecting 88 tackles, six passes defensed and a career-high four interceptions in 10 games. This would mark the third straight year he would lead his team in tackles. His senior season performance would earn him 1st-Team All-America honors from the NFL Draft Report.

As a three-year starter at Howard, Bethea made 309 stops that included 187 solo tackles and twelve for a loss, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 18 passes defensed and seven interceptions. He also returned two recoveries for a touchdown: one coming on a blocked kick and the other on a fumble recovery, both returned 26 yards.[1]

Professional career

Bethea is represented by Dow Lohnes Sports and Entertainment- Agent Adisa Bakari.

NFL Draft

Antoine Bethea was drafted in the 6th round (207th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. On July 30, 2006, he signed a 4-year contract with the Colts.[2]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
 ft  in 203 lb 4.39 s 4.13 s 6.99 s 36.5 in 19 reps

Indianapolis Colts

2006 season

Bethea saw action at both free and strong safety for the Colts in 2006, starting 14 games as a rookie. Alongside All-Pro safety Bob Sanders, Bethea helped the Colts' secondary manage the NFL's 2nd-ranked pass defense, surrendering just 159.3 YPG. In a week 3 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bethea made 12 total tackles, including 8 solo stops and one pass deflection. His best performance coming against the New England Patriots in week 9, he made 11 tackles and intercepted quarterback Tom Brady for his first career pick in the 27-20 win. Bethea nabbed two more picks in the 2006 post season, which saw his Colts go to Super Bowl XLI where they defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17. Bethea helped in the Colts' secondary limiting quarterback Rex Grossman to 165 yards passing while he was intercepted twice. He made four tackles in the game and made a pass deflection. Bethea's play during the 2006 season was so good that the Colts allowed safety Mike Doss to leave the team to test free agency.

2007 season

Bethea would miss 3 games in his second year due to injury but still managed to put together a Pro Bowl year, collecting 95 total tackles and a team-leading four interceptions in 13 starts. His stellar performance included three double-digit tackle games and five-plus tackles in 11 games at the free safety position. Again the Colts finished the year with the 2nd-ranked pass defense in the league for the 2007 season. After Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu was unable to make the trip to Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2008 Pro Bowl due to injury, Bethea was selected as an alternate in his place, making the trip with teammates Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne, and Jeff Saturday.

2008 season

Through midseason, Antoine Bethea managed to be the only starter in the Colts' secondary to start every game to that point with Sanders going down for 6 games and starting cornerback Marlin Jackson going down for the season after week 8. Colts coach Tony Dungy stated in an interview that he believes Bethea can be "that ball-skills safety that can have eight or nine picks in a year."[2] Bethea was credited with 126 total tackles at the end of the season and also intercepted two passes during the season, one coming in the last minute of a game against the Cleveland Browns which sealed the victory for the Colts.[1]

2009 season

Bethea started all 16 games and earned his second Pro Bowl nomination of his career. Bethea led the Colts with 120 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and four passes defended. In the divisonal round of the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens, Bethea recorded three tackles, two passes defended, and an interception. This was his fourth career postseason interception and ranks third-most in franchise history. He had five tackles in the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets and four tackles against the New Orlean Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.

2010 season

Antoine Bethea again led team in tackles with 106. He also had 0.5 sacks, one pick, five passes defended, and a forced fumble. In the wild card game against the Jets, Bethea recorded seven tackles and one forced fumble.

2011 season

Bethea had a career-high 139 tackles, ranking second on the team. He also had a career-high 7 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.


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