When you add the fact we have a whole new coaching staff IMO it is a rebuild.
It is apparent Ballard is cutting the players he don't think will fit his system and is not signing any high dollar free agents.
I think he is doing exactly what Irsay hired him to do. Build the team for the future, not this year.
Yes, that is on Frank Reich. There are two ways to teach a QB to run 'your' system.
First is a progression read. At the snap, 'this guy' is #1 read, then 'that guy',, then the 'other guy', ... etc. My feeling is too often the long developing plays made Luck 'lock on' to a target for too long before moving on to the next progression. That and his desire to wait and hit the homerun in our vertical attack offense. Couple that with an often injured and shuffling O line spells disaster, as we saw.
Second way is a 'Pre-snap defense read'. Veteran QB's like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are two examples of the best at this. Get the defense to 'show' itself in some subtle way. Then call/change the play to Attack the weakness. It takes a veteran QB with 'vision' and knowledge to 'see' how they are going to be defended, then exploit the weak spot. Every defense alignment has a weakness, and the great QB's can detect it, and then make or change a play call to defeat it. I feel Frank Reich will finally give Luck that autonomy and playbook tools to accomplish this.
I also wish for the installment of some E-P 'concepts' approach, and some no huddle, and even some hurry up at certain time. I feel this is going to come to pass, but it will be a progression. And Chris Ballard will draft or sign a set of players that are young and could develop in such a system. And we sign back the best of the group as their contracts mature. I'm excited to watch this unfold even as we 'build back up' the elevate stature of the Horseshoe. Even if it takes a couple years to establish and become the AFC South's top threat again.
Bingo. Looking at our current locker room, what do we have? Who is our veteran 'leader(s)? What is our 'culture'? A team needs guys to buy in together. That all don't have to like each other, just have each others back while on the time clock at work. Not disruptive inside or outside of the locker room. A team with veteran leaders can handle a 'bad apple or two' in their locker room. The vocal vets can maintain a locker room culture. Bring in the disruptive FA's, and they eventually establish and overtake a locker room. CB will not allow this, especially with a...
... rookie head coach. Frank is a great guy, and I see a new direction coming from his guidance. However, Irsay and Ballard will not have him undermined early in the voyage by bad locker room chemistry or culture. This is why Ballard seems to be so adamant about players that 'fit' as well as have special qualities physical about them. Not just scheme wise, but chemistry wise as well.
I'd like to point out Ballard was with KC, and they had a Head Coach that is well established , and a veteran locker room that can maintain it's culture, and chemistry. They can endure some non conforming, bad influence types and survive. Yet even Andy Reid essentially fired (arguably) one of the best cornerbacks in the league (Marcus Peters) after a couple years trying to keep him under reign at KC. (a 2018 4th round pick, along with a 2019 second rounder)
Our rookie HC and young locker room needs to develop, and establish an identity and culture before bringing in any old random high (over) priced free agents, IMO. A GM's job is to team build with long term vision, and the Head Coach job is to take what the GM has acquired each year and build that into a short term winner. I hope time proves this CB / FR duo as the 'Real Deal'.