DeForest Buckner has been a model of consistency for his entire career, playing in at least 15 games for all six of his seasons in the NFL, earning All-Pro honors twice with two Pro Bowl selections.

As the 28-year-old Waianae native and Punahou alumnus approaches his prime, he does so with an increased leadership and captain role for the Indianapolis Colts.

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After the Colts lost their final two games in 2021 and missed out on the AFC’s final playoff spot, a determined Buckner doesn’t want history to repeat itself in 2022.

“We made a lot of major key additions on both ends of the ball. We had a great draft class. We got a lot of great guys returning. We know what type of team we got and we know that we can make some noise,” Buckner said. “Especially when we get into playoffs, the whole thing is that everybody needs to embrace their roles no matter how big or small it is. You need to be an All-Star in your role. We’ve been talking about that a lot as a team and obviously finishing when it counts. I’m excited for what this season entails.

“I feel like the first like five out of seven games this season are division games or AFC opponents. We know the type of schedule we have ahead of us. We got to come out the gates swinging.”

The Colts open preseason play on Saturday against the Buffalo Bills.