Yes, we’ve all heard that saying several times as fans of the Colts, but it seems to be especially true this offseason. Last time we saw the team play a game, it was total domination by the eventual Super Bowl, champions-the New England Patriots. It wasn’t just a loss, it was another reminder of the chasm between the Patriots and the Colts roster. It seems the owner, the coach and the general manager all took it to heart and decided that it was time to get serious.
Fast forward to present day and the Colts decided that enough was enough and something had to change because up to this point, even with all their success in the regular season, the result was nearly the same all four times the Colts played their nemesis, the Pats. So with cash in hand the team acquired some pieces that they hope will put them over the top: Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, Kendall Langford, Todd Herramans, and the addition of the highly talented and often injured, wide receiver, Vincent Brown. Factor in the nine picks the team will have in the draft and the recent addition of Dwight Lowery at safety and the Colts seem to be making strides at fixing significant gaps in the roster.
Sure many of these signings are past their prime, but that doesn’t mean that the players coming in can’t make a difference-they can. The defense was the achilles heel last season, and with these signings and the draft upcoming, the Colts should be able to pick some younger plays who can come in a few years and potentially replace the short-term signings of the veterans who are filling much needed roles currently. The incoming veterans will no doubt improve the team while also not mortgaging the future of the team.
Looking at some specific areas on the team should provide some tremendous battles and depth that once did not exist. For example, wide receiver is so deep, the team couldn’t find a role for Reggie Wayne, Mr. Colt, who recently indicated that he wants to play in 2015. The problem for the Colts was simply too many young emerging receivers while Reggie appeared to have hit that point where elite players no longer play at that level. Johnson, Hilton, Moncrief, Carter, Brown and the Colts tight end tandem of Allen and Fleener and it is easy to see why the team made the hard decision of not bringing Wayne back, no matter how much he was respected internally. This seems to indicate how serious the team is looking at improving the roster.
The same can be said at running back with the inclusion of Gore. A fully healed Vick Ballard and a more seasoned Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton should provide sudden depth at a weak position last year, and that’s not including a back who could be drafted in April. Competition should really help flesh out who gets playing time and who will be there for depth, a complete reversal of the “Next Man Up” mantra that really meant cross your fingers and hope the player can come in and play at least a somewhat competent level of the former starter.
Moves always look good on paper and before a single meaningful snap has even happened, but for the first time in several seasons, the team looks to be much deeper albeit older than the previous season’s team. Much has to happen and as always, injuries can turn rosters completely upside-down. Grigson seems to be making all the right moves in the off season, now it is up to Pagano to get them to play at the level needed. Is it Super Bowl or Bust? Looking at the moves made it certainly seems so.