The Indianapolis Colts will certainly enter the 2014 NFL season as a Super Bowl contender. They won 11 games for the second straight season and made it one step further than last this year. If the trend continues, they will win 11+ games in the 2014 season and make it to at least the AFC Championship Game.
If that’s going to happen though, many are screaming for help in a lot of areas.
One area of concern that a lot of people are wanting to upgrade is the wide receiver position. Despite everyone wanting to sign a veteran receiver, I’m not so sure they need that just yet.
Look at the teams in the Conference Title games on Sunday. Outside of the Denver Broncos, the other three had virtually no big receiver threats. The Colts could have a very good corps in 2014 with what they return, so why spend money or a much-needed draft pick on that spot when they’re set for next season?
Take the Seattle Seahawks, for example. Do you think Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Jermaine Kearse, Golden Tate or tight end Zach Miller scare you? Why not build like Seattle and find an identity?
The Colts actually have better receivers than Seattle. T.Y. Hilton is better than any of those receivers on the Seahawks’ roster; also, add to the fact that Reggie Wayne is returning with Da’Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen. Mix in two very good tight ends in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, and you have a very good and young receiving group for Andrew Luck.
Rogers, Brazill, Whalen and Fleener all stepped up huge when Wayne went down with his injury. I’d be curious to see how well they can do for a full season with Wayne and a full offseason and training camp to get better. They are all potential budding stars.
Then, Wayne has said time and time again that he’s feeling great and has no doubt that he will return better than ever.
So yes, I know they will need a replacement for Wayne eventually, but why get one now when they’re stacked with receivers for the next couple of years? I’d draft and sign all offensive linemen to protect Luck and build a running game first, then, with the rest of the money and draft picks, go all defense.
This defense was a huge liability this year. They played great down the stretch, then failed in the post season; that needs to be addressed. They need another lock down corner on the edge and some help stopping the run. Spend the house on that. That way, they can do the same next year and maybe draft a receiver in a year or two.
Seattle has shown the blueprint to success. They have a stout defense and great running game. Russell Wilson is a glorified game manager with no receiving weapons. What do you think the Colts could do with their defense, a similar running approach, and a phenomenal receiving corps at the disposal for a future Hall of Fame quarterback?
That equals a dynasty. No one in the AFC would have a chance at stopping the Colts, as Denver has only a couple years left and no one else has any major weapons on offense or a defense to stop them.
That’s why Indianapolis should wait on signing or drafting a receiver just yet, and fix the offensive line and defense first.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru