In what looked like a rebuilding year for the Indianapolis Colts has turned to one of the greatest stores in the NFL this season. Rewind a year ago when the fans in the capital city of Indiana were going irate at this team and organization. The “Suck for Luck” campaign started going around and many including myself didn’t want that.
I would have rather won more games last year and kept Peyton Manning. I wasn’t a fan of what was going on within that team. Colts owner Jim Irsay kept saying Manning’s job was safe and would sign him if he was healthy. That reassured me and most of the city.
Then came the overhaul in March.
Following the firings of the entire coaching staff and front office including Bill Polian in January, Irsay let go of nearly all the guys that put the Colts on the map in the NFL. Gone was Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, Melvin Bullitt, Jeff Saturday, and their leader Manning. Many were questioning whether they wanted to be a fan of this team anymore and questioning Irsay’s lunacy.
No one wanted a rebuild mode. Entered a first GM who’s never ran an organization by himself. Following him was a first year head coach, rookie quarterback, and 29 other guys who were not on this roster last year including 10 rookies with many of whom would be leaned upon in day one.
Now, fast forward back to this current day and the Colts not only have surpassed expectations, but look like the smartest team run by the sharpest guys in the league. No longer are talks of when basketball season starts, or we’d be luck to win four games, but we’re talking playoffs. Playoffs? Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs? Playoffs?
Yes Jim Mora, I’m wanting to talk about playoffs.
How in the world is a team in a rebuilding mode with a first year GM, first year coaching staff, and first year players 5-3 with a real shot at the playoffs? How does a team go 2-14 last year with all their star power minus Manning lose all of them and go 5-3?
The answer is simple. The GM of the year, the coach of the year, the rookie of the year, and arguably a couple of guys that can be in consideration for MVP.
There’s no way Ryan Grigson can’t win GM of the year. He’s assembled a team that has produced immediately not in two to three years like so called experts were calling. Credit Irsay on that find and Grigson with his sense of building a franchise. Those two are clearly the best tandem in the NFL right now.
For coach of the year, it’s hard to not give it to Bruce Arians. The Colts could have packed it in when their leader Chuck Pagano took a leave to fight his bout with leukemia. That was their leader and he was fallen. They’re instead using it as motivation and have gone 4-1 since that announcement. Credit Arians on his leadership, motivation, and coaching abilities to not only have this team improving each week, but winning. He’s won more or as many games (four) than 19 other full-time head coaches and it’s only taken his five tries to do that.
For rookie of the year, it looked like the national media was doing everything in their power to give it to Robert Griffin III. He was the darling child. They were overlooking the No. 1 pick and now they’re finally taking notice. Luck has his team 5-3 and that’s all on his shoulders. RGIII has his team 3-6 and that falls all on his shoulders. The Redskins have the exact same record they did last year and they supposedly upgraded their team. The Colts were 0-8 at this point last year and have turned it around by five games already. It’s safe to say Luck is five games and light years ahead of where RGIII is right now. It’s a no brainer who rookie of the year is.
Then the MVP. Why couldn’t Luck or Reggie Wayne be in consideration for it? After all, it’s the most valuable player to a team. Take those two off the Colts and they’re probably winless right now. Both are having superior years to most of the other league with Wayne leading many of the receiving categories. If the Colts can keep it rolling for the rest of the year and make a playoff push, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them had a realistic chance at winning it.
All of these factors are to why the Colts are where they’re at today. All of the credit starts at the top with Irsay, and its trickled down through Grigson, the coaching staff, Luck, and the rest of the players. They’ve bought in and believe they are contenders. That’s a championship organization if you ask me.