The stats tracking site Pro Football Focus does not think well of the Colts off-season since the lockout was lifted:
Same old Colts. They’re going to ride Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney to the playoffs … only it won’t be so easy this year. The Texans and Jags have closed the gap, and you could argue Houston is a stronger team now as well. Indy needed to address their defense and especially the defensive tackle position. Frankly it’s boring talking about how little production they get from the spot. They failed to and, just like in the playoffs last year, powerful teams like the Jets will run right through them.
Again, I know everyone is wanting to get all excited for the team now that camp has arrived, but it is hard to argue with PFF's logic here. I read comments in articles, check out FanPosts like this, and answer all kinds of questions on Twitter. Most of what I have to answer is people practically screaming at me, asking, 'Why haven't the Colts done anything?'
I literally have no answer for them, save speculation that the front office is either incompetent or just that blind to the team's problems.
I have some Colts fans tweeting me stuff like this:
@StampedeBlue I think we have to remember that this is Chris Polians first offseason as Colts president. He obviously has no idea what to do
@JimIrsay @StampedeBlue Bill needs to focus on signing some TALENT to help team. Not sure if Bill knows this, but Peyton is 35 not 25.
Practically all of Colts Nation tweeted me this weekend, asking if Indy will sign Donte Whitner, or Tommie Harris, or any other player out there that possesses even marginal talent on defense. Prior to Brandon Mebane, Barry Cofield, Barrett Ruud, Amobi Okoye, Eric Weddle, Quintin Mikell, and others signing with their teams, I got request after request from Colts fans asking 'Will Indy sign them? I hope they do!'
I'm not quite ready to say the Colts 'lost' the off-season. But, did several rival teams get better while the Colts, at best, stagnated? Yes. Only the most self-consumed and subjective of fans is going to argue against that.
I guess this is why I'm having a tough time getting excited about the 2011 Colts. I just don't see any significant improvement with the roster, save a few rookies who have not had any OTAs or mini-camps to develop.
And no, getting Dallas Clark and Austin Collie back is not significant improvement when compared to how much better teams around the league got. As you all might recall, Collie and Clark were just fine when the Texans kicked the Colts' butts in Week One last year. You'll also recall that everyone was saying that the return of Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzalez last year would make the team 'better?' How'd that turn out?
Again, I'm assessing the 'lay of the land,' so-to-speak. And, right now, I don't see fans with a lot of confidence in this team. It seems, as PFF states, the Colts are content to have the club carried by a 35-year-old Peyton Manning with an injured neck and a 30-year-old Dwight Freeney. That does not instill confidence.
For a different P.O.V., check out David's recent article.