For years in Indianapolis, the Colts got through games with a phenomenal quarterback, a struggling offensive line and a weak defense. Peyton Manning was able to out-smart the opposing defense, it all worked out and they were successful for years with that recipe.
Those days in Indianapolis are now over and the Colts are rebuilding, starting from scratch. They have released several veteran players, but managed to keep a few key parts in the process. Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney will need to be leaders in the fall of 2012. This team will look completely different than before, without the superstars.
Part of the Indianapolis Colts’ off-season plan was to bring players in that didn’t cost too much. In years past they would spend a lot of money on position players such as quarterback, running back and wide receiver. However, this year they are planning on paying second-tier type of players that they can build around, while at the same time giving them a chance to revive their careers. So if you are a Colt fan, don’t expect to see big name players in Indianapolis.
General manager Ryan Grigson is building this team up the old-fashioned way, through draft picks and lower based salaries. ESPN NFL insider John Clayton has reported that Dwight Freeney won’t be traded; however, don’t be surprised to see Freeney traded for draft picks. Grigson decided that the reason for last year’s inability to win was from lack of depth. Because of that he has already made moves for three offensive linemen and plans to add more depth to their team.
The plan is great and necessary, but you still need to bring in excitement to the city of Indianapolis. Will Andrew Luck be enough to bring fans in? I know typically the Colts don’t have a problem filling their seats, but this is the first season without Manning in the building. There are still free agents out there that could cause a stir of excitement for the fans if the Colts are willing to bring them in.
One such prospect is running back Michael Bush, who played very well filling in for the injured Darren McFadden in Oakland. Bush is still looking for work and he could be the main piece in the Colts’ offense. Coach Pagano has said that he wants a running game first and a passing game second. Bush could be the guy to get the carries and take some pressure off of Luck.
The Colts’ fans have been used to seeing a certain style of football on and off the field, so after last year losing season it’s obvious changes needed to be made. No one expects the changes to include the front office, head coach and even the star quarterback, but Colts fans everywhere are hoping this change will be for the good.
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