With training camp about to start, here's 10 things every Colts fan can hope for during the 2015-2016 season.
10. A Locker Room Chant
Every great team seems to have their thing. When the 49ers were under Harbaugh and were relevant, they chanted "who has it better than us?" and the team responded "nobody". When the Jets were good and before they fired Rex Ryan, their thing was to say "and the home of the... Jets!". The Colts last season introduced the Ric Flair dance. Sergio Brown led the way with the "now give me two claps and a Ric Flair. WOOOO!" Unfortunately, he took off to Jacksonville for warm weather and mediocrity, meaning the Colts will have to find a new chant and a new chant leader. Write your ideas in the comments!
9. Continued Progression in the Playoffs
In the Luck era, the Colts have continually progressed in the playoffs. In Year 1, they got knocked out by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. In Year 2, the Colts got destroyed by the Patriots in the 2nd round, but won against the Chiefs in the first round. In Year 3, they won their first two matches only to get destroyed by the
Pacheats Pacheaters Belicheats Cheaters Patriots once more. That game may have been shady to say the least, but there's no question who the better team was and the Patriots dominated Indy in another big game.
So, now entering Year 4 of the Luck era, where do we stand now? If things continue to progress, the Colts should now reach the Super Bowl, only to lose. :(
8. No more Pep Hamilton-Head Coach rumours that never materialize
Aren't these just the worst? A Pep Hamilton head coach rumour is like the sun, just when you think it's gone, it comes right back the next day. Difference is, living in Canada, I actually really like (and need) the sun. I hate the Hamilton rumours. Over the past two seasons, Hamilton has received interest from the Oakland Raiders and the Vanderbilt Whatchamacallits. Those are two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. If Pep were to receive interest from a team this year, my guess would be the Tennessee Titans. Like the Raiders, the Titans are an NFL team, but you wouldn't get that impression if you watched them. Like Vanderbilt, the Titans are located in the state of Tennessee. Also, both offenses are run by kids 22 years old or younger. The similarities are striking! I just hope that this year is the year we hear some peace and quiet when it comes to those rumours, but I have a feeling I'll be hearing the rumours come December.
7. More Jim Irsay Twitter Rants
These are just great. You're heading for bed, you're just finishing up a few things until you see "(1) Twitter" in a tab. You wonder what it is until you see that "1" has now turned into a "3" and your curiosity heightens. You finally click on it only to see Jim Irsay ramble on about "The Dude" from the Big Lebowski or saying that "something is nothing, but nothing is something." He even tweeted out some interesting trade things late at night in 2013. Who knows what will happen this year, but I'm really hoping we get to see some late night tweets from the legend himself.
6. Peyton Manning being able to play in the Week 9 Broncos-Colts matchup
With Manning's arm deteriorating and with question marks surrounding his health, who knows what will happen to him this year. I will say this: if Manning can't play the game, it won't be half as fun and I'll treat it like any other game, which is a shame. Whether he's playing like a god or like a dud, the game has a great feel. I'm not going to go into the history of Manning and the Colts, as everyone knows the story, but I will say that the guy means a hell of a lot to the city, so having him back one last time (I assume) will be special.
5. A Leader in the Locker Room
With the departure of Cory Redding and Reggie Wayne, the Colts lack a very vocal member in the locker room. Not that Reggie Wayne was ever very vocal, but Redding definitely was. The guys the Colts added this offseason are great veterans, but quiet guys. The Colts will need someone to step up. Vontae Davis is an option, but I'm not sure if he's a vocal guy. Andrew Luck could be that guy too, but for some reason, it seems as if he becomes vocal only on occasion. Nevertheless, it's time for someone to step up, because there are many new parts to this team, so the team needs a leader to gel them all together.
4. Avoid Having a Run Defense that Shines for Most of the Season Only to Fall Apart in the Biggest Games
The Colts run defense over the years has teased us more that pretty blonde at a bar. They'll give a few outstanding performances, before relegating back to their true form. Last season was a great example of that, as the Colts looked outstanding versus the Bengals and Jeremy Hill in the Wildcard round. Then, they were able to shut down CJ Andersen in the Divisional round. They were able to shut down two great young running backs who were on great hot streaks. Then, they played the Patriots and it wasn't even Jonas Gray, it was LaGarrette Blount! After Hill and Andersen, stopping Blount was like hitting a layup, it was a no brainer and the Colts were going to shut him down. Turns out, they thought wrong. Blount completely torched the Colts and it didn't matter how hard or soft the ball was, he was not going to be stopped that day.
This year has to be the year where the Colts play their best games in the biggest games!
3. A Running Game
The Colts look completely different in the backfield. There is no more Trent Richardson, who has moved on to ruining the lives of Raiders fans. Now the Colts have some real muscle in the backfield. Frank "the Tank" Gore is in the final years of his career, but the man can still pack a punch and is the great all around back the Colts need. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard will be in rotational running back roles, and both have complementary running styles that should help the running game. So, the Colts have the ammunition, but now it's time to pull the trigger. Luck can do it by himself, but why make him do that? Let's give the man some help and have a ground game that's consistent and moves the chains.
2. Taking Down The AFC FInalist Banners
I hate those banners. The Colts should not encourage their players to strive for anything other than first place. If you win first place in your division, it means no one was better than you in your division. Hang that banner up. If you win the Super Bowl, it means no team in the NFL was better than you. Definitely hang that banner up. If you lose in the AFC Championship, it means two teams are better than you and one is just as good as you. Do not hang that up. If it were a team that has had a lot of difficulty getting to the playoffs, let alone the AFC Championship, then maybe you have a case, but not even. However, when you're the Indianapolis Colts, with the 2nd most wins in the last decade, a Super Bowl win and playoff appearances in every year but one in the last decade, you don't want to strive for a finalist banner.
1. A Win Against the Patriots
A man can dream right? Wouldn't it be great to beat those guys? The last time the Colts beat the Patriots was November 15th 2009, otherwise known as the 4th and 2 game. That's nearly six years and 6 different games. The Colts play the Patriots in Week 6 this season, and it will be Tom Brady's first game of the year. He's going to be pissed. That's going to be a tough one, but if the Colts can pull it off, that would be huge. It would be the biggest win in the Luck era.