The Colts just played their first preseason game this past Sunday. It wasn’t a great showing at all. We all know that, yet some people are still losing their minds over it. Some people think this is just glorified practice and others think this is the real deal Holyfield. Like these games mean something on the road to the Super Bowl. I’m here to tell those of you who do think that that you’re dead wrong.
These four preseason games mean about as much as a participation trophy. They’re great to see, but not very informative. We all have a hunger for football and I’m hoping that many of the people who are already calling for Chuck Pagano and Pep Hamilton to be fired will calm themselves down. There is no reason to become the fan that is ready to jump off the top of a building because Pep called a running play instead of passing on a short third down. These games are meant to try those trick plays and new formations that the team hopes will work but if they don’t then it can be trashed. These games are meant to allow the guys whose name you don’t know to show everyone what they are made of. They aren’t for guys like T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Frank Gore, Andrew Luck, or Vontae Davis to play. What do they have to prove?
Let me backtrack a little here. Those of you calling Pep’s play calling terrible and saying he needs to be fired need to step back from the bong and have a seat. Do you really think he is going to be calling plays that the team plans to run a lot of during the regular season? WHEN IT DOES COUNT!!?!? No, he isn’t going to do that. I’m sure you have heard the term “keeping it vanilla” and if you haven’t, let me tell what that means. That means the team is going to be keeping it as plain as possible. Not showing too much and possibly running the same play three times in a row even if it doesn’t work. Lay off Pep’s back for once. I am surprised to say this but he has done a good job since he got here. The team’s offense is still top notch even before this season begins. It’s a well-respected group and play calling has helped that group of players gain that respect. Yes, he will make a bone-headed call every once in a while as does every coach. Remember what the great Pete Carroll did in the Super Bowl at the goal line?
We cannot let what we saw this past Sunday dictate our feelings about the product that is going to be on the field. Luck and the boys aren’t going to play much because they don’t really need too. We need to see more out of Duron Carter and Phillip Dorsett than we do out of Hilton or Johnson and even Donte Moncrief for that matter. We need to see if Josh Robinson is the real deal or just a flash in the pan kind of guy. We need to see if Vick Ballard can take a real hit after not playing for two years due to injuries. We need to see what offensive line combination is going to work the best to protect the backfield. I couldn’t care less if the Colts score 30 points in a preseason game. If they worked a few kinks out and lost by 20 that is what I want to see. That is what you should want to see. You should want to see Robinson breaking tackles and dragging defenders a few more yards after contact. You should want to see if Dorsett is going to have a fumbling problem or not. You should want to see if Carter is all hype or if he can deliver.
As we creep towards Saturday where the Colts will play the Chicago Bears for their second preseason game, let’s make sure all of Colts Nation understands something: It doesn’t matter who wins. Watch the players and see how they are developing. Watch units on the team begin to gel together. Finally, just be happy that football is back. Preseason football is real football. There are men on a football field, in football uniforms, playing the game of football. That is a real game, but it doesn’t mean that these guys are playing for playoff seeding. In fact, a lot of them are fighting to even make the team. Enjoy having the game that we love back and take solace in the thought that in just a few short weeks the games will matter and we can finally see the real boys in blue take the field and show us what they are truly made of.