Here’s a look at the interview that I did for Black and Teal:
Black and Teal: It appears that Colts management has been spending big money to build the defense. Do you think this has been money well spent?
Colts Chronicle: I really like the fact that the Colts have been investing heavily in their defense in recent years. They have signed Antoine Bethea, Gary Brackett, Kelvin Hayden, Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis to long-term contracts within the last five years, and the emphasis on defense seems to be paying off for them – they have won 12 games or more in seven straight seasons and have won six AFC South titles, two AFC Championships, and one World Championship during that seven-year span. So they’re doing a lot of things right. Plus, I’ve always believed in that old football saying “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships”, so I like to see them investing in their defense the way they are.
Black and Teal: How big do you think Peyton Manning’s contract will be? Do you see any fallout from other team members from it?
Colts Chronicle: I’m not really sure just how big Peyton’s new contract is going to be, but it’s definitely going to be big. Most NFL analysts seem to think that he will become the NFL’s highest paid player ever, with a contract somewhere in the $20-25 million per year range. And I don’t really think there will be much (if any) fallout from it as far as the Colts players are concerned. They know how much he means to the team’s success and he’s still one of the league’s best quarterbacks as well as a four-time NFL MVP.
Black and Teal: I wrote earlier that the Colts offensive line is not that good and if a team contained Dallas Clark, they could get to Manning. True?
Colts Chronicle: Well, the offensive line is definitely the Colts’ biggest question mark going into training camp and 2010 regular season play. They have Clark and Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday, of course, but there are questions/issues at some of the other offensive line spots. The Colts definitely need to improve their offensive line play this season – you’re certainly right about that.
Black and Teal: How does a team beat the Colts?
Colts Chronicle: Well, your previous question just hit on the key thing that other teams will have to attack to beat the Colts this season – they need to beat the Colts’ offensive line at the line of scrimmage, shut down the Colts’ running game, and put a lot of pressure on Peyton Manning.
If a team can do all of that effectively, they will have a shot at beating the Colts.
Black and Teal: I wrote earlier that Houston and Jacksonville gave the Colts all they could handle last year. How do you see the AFC South shaping up in 2010?
Colts Chronicle: The AFC South could/should be one of the NFL’s strongest and most competitive divisions this season in my opinion. I think all four teams are capable of posting winning records this year, and if they don’t, the head coaches that fall short of that may find themselves looking for work elsewhere. The Colts have won six of the last seven AFC South titles, and until one or more of the other teams proves they can beat the Colts on a consistent basis, I have to go with the Colts to win the division. I think Houston, Jacksonville, and Tennessee are all capable of finishing second and possibly winning a wild card spot, though, and I think there will be a tremendous battle for second place between those three teams, but I’m really not sure what their final order-of-finish will be. The AFC South is going to be a great division to watch this year!