Written by: @Chanceb007
In 1971 a 48-year-old Heating and Air Conditioning mogul from Chicago, Illinois, Robert Irsay, bought the Baltimore Colts from then owner Carroll Rosenbloom. In 1984 Irsay relocated the Colts to Indianapolis, Indiana. Considering a name change to the Indianapolis Racers, one to rhyme with the local NBA Indiana Pacers, and the second to honor the famous Formula 1 race the “Indianapolis 500”. Irsay felt the name “Colts” was indigenous to the Baltimore, Maryland area for its rich tradition of local horse race “The Preakness”. The name Colts represented the horse culture of the Baltimore area. The name “Colts” stuck and was kept for sake of tradition. From 1971 to 1998 the NFL franchise made the playoffs only 7 times in those 27 years. beginning in 1999, and lead by quarterback Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts would make 11 playoff appearances, 2 trips to the Super Bowl, and deliver to their fans a championship with a win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Those days have come to what seems a sudden end.
The Indianapolis Colts will begin the process of rebuilding this weekend at the NFL Combine. This is a shattered franchise that has only themselves to blame. Jeff Saturday ,who has started at Center since 2000, is a free agent. Ryan Diem ,their other staple Offensive Linemen, who has held down both Right Guard ,or Right Tackle from 2001 is also a free agent. Both starting Wide Receivers, Reggie Wayne and, Pierre Garcon are….you guessed it free agents. Toss in H-Back Jacob Tamme for good measure and the Colts look to lose 164 receptions 2084 receiving yards ,and 11 touchdowns. The Colts only scored 22 touchdowns the entire year. Defensively the list is not as steep with regards to players. Robert Mathis with his 9.5 sacks are in jeopardy of departure. DT Tyler Brayton looks to re-sign or move on as well. The good news for the Horseshoe on this one is DT Drake Nevis looks to be able to play a little if a new contract isn’t offered to Brayton.
The Peyton Manning “situation” began several years ago when than GM Bill Polian begun to lose his draft magic. 2007 1st round pick WR Anthony Gonzalez has never lived up to his draft status. OT Tony Ugoh who was to be the replacement for OT Tarik Glenn is no longer in the league. 2008 top pick OT Mike Pollak added to the futility. 2009 brought 1st round pick RB Donald Brown who is still waiting for someone to explain blocking schemes to him. OLB Jerry Hughes was 2010 1st round pick, and he won’t be on the team or in the league next year. Current number one pick OT Anthony Castonzo hasn’t had enough time to see if he can hang on. The problem here is ,no matter who you are. No one can survive 5 years of poor draft picks. The league won’t let you. Give it to Peyton Manning for holding it together, making stars of Garcon, WR Austin Collie and WR Blair White. The blame for Peyton’s injury is not addressing the Offensive line. Polian never replaced OT Tarik Glenn. Hell he didn’t even draft Glenn. He always blamed the coaches for not getting results from the crap he gave them.
The newest regime assembled by Jim Irsay will have its work cut out. Ryan Grigson has never been a General Manager. He was Director of Player Personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles the last two years. He worked his way up from the scouting ranks beginning in 2004. He did help Andy Reid draft , OT Winston Justice, QB Kevin Kolb, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy, FS Nate Allen, and OG Danny Watkins. Selected by Mr. Irsay as his Head Coach is Chuck Pagano, who as is Grigson, new at his position. Pagano does come from the lush, and fruitful Ray Lewis coaching tree. He coached at The “U” of Miami with Butch Davis ,then followed him to Cleveland. Then was on John Harbaugh’s original Ravens staff. He has seen the growth of QB Joe Flacco. He also was in Baltimore when RB Ray Rice, OT Michael Oher, NT Terrence Cody, and CB Jimmy Smith were all drafted. He over saw the scheme that was led by 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arian is on his second stint in Indianapolis, he had spent the last 8 years with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. He helped to build the Steelers high-octane offense with the likes of WR Santonio Holmes, and RB Willie Parker. That offense then produced WR Michael Wallace, and WR Antonio Brown. Greg Manusky was hired from the Chargers to be the Defensive coordinator. Greg was on the 49ers staff from 07-10 and helped develop the skills of LB Patrick Willis. He became the Chargers DC and coached up DT and 1st round draft pick Corey Liuget, who had excellent rookie year.
The Colts have opportunity to draft what seems to be another franchise Quarterback in Andrew Luck. I don’t blame Jim Irsay for taking the chance, although Luck has never played a down in the NFL. For Irsay’s sake, It better work out. His best situation is for Peyton to retire. There is a ton of work to be done in Indy. This football team may not compete again for a while. Grigson is going to have to draft well, and Pagan will have to lead men. Or the Colts will go back to where they started……at the bottom.