Although the dreaded "R" word has been banned from Colts Head quarters, that hasn't stopped commentators and NFL personalities from tagging the team as a "rebuilding project." That being said, it hasn't taken the front office long to show Colts faithful that there definitely is a new regime in town.Grigs and company haven't wasted any time in diving into the free agent pool to bring in some pieces that should pay immediate dividends come gameday. Nice pieces I might add. They've even shown the willingness to trade for players they want with other teams in pursuing CB Mike Jenkins from the Cowboys. This was something that was unheard of with regard to former GM Bill Polian (which is why he is no longer running the team). Although I have not been totally on board with the draft moves (after Luck) by the front office, I am impressed with the activity they have taken the initiative to be a part of outside of it this offseason. Which brings us to the defense.
I will admit when it comes to football, I'm partial to defense and a style of play thats more defined as "smash mouthed" vs "finesse." Call me old school but I'm a fan of it. I believe in the concept of being able to beat your opposition with brute force over trickery. Why? Because brute force can get you success over your opponents even when they know exactly what you're going to do before you do it, while trickery only works as long as you never run out of "tricks." The only advantage trickery has in any situation is the element of surprise. You can only "surprise" someone with something they have never seen before. Sooner or later, you will run out of "tricks." If we take a brief look at history, it won't take long to see what kind of teams have enjoyed the most success in not only the NFL, but with any team sport. When talking about this subject, I often reference the Pittsburgh Steelers because they are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. They have never been a flashy team, opting instead to be more of a "bully" that reflects the blue collar mentality of the Steel city fans it plays for. The Steelers have more SB rings than any other NFL franchise and there method of success has been one that has worked through every generation they've played in.
With the addition of Coach Chuck Pagano and his staff, and with the talent base the Colts already have at their disposal, this team has the opportunity to do great things this year. Forget the "rebuilding" talk that seems to be the constant chatter used when referencing the state of the franchise by the mainstream sports media. This team has the tools to very good "now." For starters, the Colts front seven is pretty darn good starting with a core that inlcudes Freeney, Mathis, Conner, Angerer, and Redding. I know it's still very early and we haven't seen how well the veterans as well as the rookies adjust to Pags' system, but as bad as our defense was last year, the only direction it can possibly go is "up." The secondary is by far the biggest question mark on the team. Still, it has the chance to shine with the attacking approach infused by the new defensive scheme. I am confident in saying this because I believe in coach Pagano and the new staff.
As far as the offense goes, Andrew Luck is the real deal. Period. This young man will come in and pay immediate dividends for the franchise. The revamped offensive line should be an immense upgrade over last year's patch work job. If the defense plays the way I feel it will, the Colts will be the biggest surprise to the rest of the NFL world since the 99 Rams when Kurt and Faulk came to town. Luck has a plethora of weapons at his disposal already and a crafty old vet WR in Wayne. Not only was this a classy move on his part to stay, but it sends a message on how much he believes in his new signal caller. At Wayne's age, you don't resign with a team that's "rebuilding." You sign with a team that is going somewhere. The Colts will be in the thick of the division title with Houston this year and you can count me among the few who won't be surprised.