Since that Super Bowl, the Bears have a 65-63 record (.508 winning percentage) with just one playoff appearance and one division title. In the same span, the Colts have a 84-44 record (.656) with seven playoff appearances and five division titles. As that shows, it's one thing to have a successful season but a far more difficult thing to sustain that success over the span of multiple seasons.
That's what the Colts have been able to do - thanks in large part to having Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck at quarterback back-to-back. But it's something that others notice, too, including Bears Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long.
"They have the model for what it is to be successful in this league," Long said on Tuesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, as the Bears prepare to practice with the Colts on Wednesday and Thursday. "It'll be a good idea to see how they practice and how they go about their business and also get an opportunity to see some other guys in a practice setting."
The Colts and Bears will play on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in their second preseason game, but before that the two teams will practice against each other on Wednesday and Thursday at the Colts' West 56th Street complex. It should be a good experience for both sides.
"We get tired of hitting each other, especially when you're in minicamp and training camp for so long," Long said on Tuesday. "So we're excited to hit some guys with horseshoes on their helmets."
The Colts are looking forward to being able to hit someone from another team as well, as they get tired of hitting their own teammates as well. As for the Bears, they're excited about that as well, but they're also excited about getting the chance to watch up close how the Colts conduct themselves on the practice field to see a team that, in the words of Kyle Long, has the model for success in the NFL.