Start off by firing jim caldwell. He never deserved a HC job in the nfl from the very beginning so right that wrong now. If we are moving in a new direction start there. Hire a defensive minded coach because peyton pretty much handles the offense anyway and DEFENSE WINS !!!
If peyton is healthy which I believe he will be then he should be our quarterback until he retires. He has done more for indy that probably almost any quarterback in history. 4 time mvp. Super bowl champion. That's my quarterback.
With the first pick... I would trade it for as many draft picks/players I could. Peyton has been to the playoffs with average teams in the past. Fill in the obvious holes on our team with those picks and surround manning with the best team possible for the next 3-5 years. Needs I see are DT, CB, OL, in no particular order. All of those need to be addressed.
There is no reason why a healthy peyton manning mixed with a lot of the players we have now plus the new younger talent we get with our extra picks that we could not reach another super bowl or 2 to end peytons career.
As far as aging players we have now. Clark is declining. Might have to go. Wayne is still good but if he wants too much money for a player his age then he has to go. So many receivers fall off fast as they age. Mathis to me should be kept. He always plays hard. Is healthy and produces well with freeney. Gonzalez should go... Hurt all the time like bob sanders just not nearly as good so get rid of him.
We have solid LB's in angerer, connor, wheeler. Brackett makes too much money for how he produces.
Keep orlavsky as mannings back up and worry about trying to draft a long term replacement in a year or two.
If we draft well over the next 3 to 4 years we could build a good TEAM around manning and should still be young and talented for when he retires. We don't need the next manning because putting that much into one player gets you into the situation we had this year. A good team can win with a good QB. Denver/tebow, 49ers/smith, ravens/flacco, patriots/cassel a few years ago, packers/flynn when he filled in last week. I could go on and on. The point is people thinking we need manning and luck to have our cake and eat it to is just not necessary. Manning with the team we have and a bunch of well picked players in the next two drafts from trading the 1st pick could build a great team of new and old players that could still be very competitive for many years to come.
Sure there is something I am forgettinng so comment please if you think of anything I haven't thought of.