So there you have it the regular season is done with and the Colts fought there way to a 11 win 5 loss season and have once again regained the South division as all around them faltered. The Colts played and beat some of the best teams in the league this season winning against the 2 likely 1 seeds in each conference the Broncos and Seahawks along with wins over last years super bowl runners up the 49er's and also a strong Chiefs side. The year will be looked upon as a success and an improvement if they can progress through the playoffs further than there first round exit last year and Colts fans have reason to be optimistic about the future I know I am.
With all that being said however there is even more reason for optimism next year as we can look forward to a solid free agency class that Grigson will surely look to put together and we will not have to worry about losing any substantial playmakers. As well as free agency comes the chance to stock up some depth with potential stars in the draft albeit without a first round pick.
There are 2 even bigger reasons I am looking forward to next year and they are as follows.
1. Key returning players: It may not seem like it but this year the Colts lost some vital cogs to injury that were sorely missed and hard to overcome, The list of players that were missed and injured starts at the top with Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen, Vick Ballard, Donald Thompson and Ahmad Bradshaw. The Colts can now look forward to receiving 5 good solid players back from injury and 3 key starters, This will be a huge boost especially to the offense that has often looked lacklustre in the second half of the season.
2. An offseason of learning the schemes: It is often belittled by fans in terms of importance but if you look at the most successful units in the NFL they will all seem to have a nucleus of players that have been there a whole and know the schemes down to a T. With the new schemes the colts had this year it will take at least one more offseason to become properly acclimated and comfortable with each and every play. The offseason should also give the coaches a chance to get to grips with how to use Trent Richardson best and this will hopefully mean we as fans get to see the player we expected to see. One more offseason and the fluidity will be there and I can see the offense in particular with the chemistry and key players becoming almost unstoppable.
Optimism in the NFL is a funny thing but Colts fans are lucky they have real reason to be excited not only for the playoffs but next season and the future beyond.