Training camp is several days away, the dead period of the NFL season is nearing its end, and there’s very little to write about... so here’s an all time Indianapolis Colts team!
Quarterback — Peyton Manning
While we all love Andrew Luck, he doesn’t even come close to Peyton Manning (yet). Do I even need to get into Peyton Manning’s career? He holds many, many records and he guided the Colts to many playoff appearances and one Super Bowl ring. The GOAT belongs on this team and perhaps on some all time NFL teams.
Running Back — Edgerrin James
Edge was the perfect combination of speed and power. A perfect compliment to the high powered Peyton Manning-led passing attack and one of the best rushers of his time. Edge deserves a spot behind Peyton Manning on this team.
Wide Receivers — Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne & Bill Brooks
The first two players were very easy. They’re two of the best players in Colts history and two of the best receivers of the last 20 years. Bill Brooks was a more difficult pick. While I was tempted to go with T.Y. Hilton, I went with Brooks because Hilton hasn’t truly established himself yet. Brooks may not have been more talented than Hilton, but he was a reliable receiver (with very good numbers that hold up pretty well today) on some bad Colts teams. Hilton just isn’t there... yet.
Tight Ends -- Dallas Clark & Marcus Pollard
Dallas Clark is a no-brainer and is one of the best tight ends of the 2000s. Marcus Pollard was a big help to Peyton Manning back in the early 2000s. He was an outstanding blocker and an able receiver. He’s a must for this team!
Left Tackle — Tarik Glenn
Tarik Glenn was a consistent, outstanding performer along the offensive line and was the best offensive lineman on the high flying Colts offense of the early 2000s. He deserves a spot on this team.
Left Guard — Chris Hinton
Hinton was the gem the Colts got in the Elway trade. Hinton went on to become a top offensive lineman and even went to several Pro Bowls.
Center — Jeff Saturday
Jeff Saturday was Peyton Manning’s center for many years and became one of the top centers in the NFL. A man with a great motor who came to play on every snap. Everything you need to know about Jeff Saturday can be summed up by his block against Vince Wilfork on Joseph Addai’s final touchdown run in the 2006 AFC Championship.
Right Guard — Ryan Lilja
Right Tackle — Will Wolford
Wolford is a 3 time Pro Bowler (1 with the Colts) and helped shore up an offensive line that was ranked amongst the worst in the league.
Defensive Ends — Dwight Freeney & Robert Mathis
Would I really pick anyone else? These 2 playmakers redefined the defensive end position and practically invented the term “strip sack”. Quarterbacks got scared when these two guys were on the field. This was a very easy choice.
Defensive Tackles — Tony Siragusa & Ellis Johnson
The Goose was a fan favorite and a big clog up the middle for years. He’s also one of the most personable players I’ve ever seen. Ellis Johnson was a better college player but he had a good impact in the NFL. He started 84 games with the Colts and had 33 sacks in 7 seasons. He may not be great, but he makes this team!
SAM — Cato June
June was a talented player who worked extremely well with Gary Brackett. June was athletic, quick and worked very well in coverage, just like...
MIKE — Gary Brackett
The former team captain is a must in the center of this defense. He’s a leader and an extremely good coverage linebacker who made a living dropping deep into coverage in the Tampa 2 defense.
WILL — Jerrell Freeman
This was a tougher choice, but I’m going to go with the MVP of the 2015 Colts. Perhaps I’m favouring the more recent player (compared to someone like Duane Bickett), but Freeman may definitely be the most talented linebacker the Colts have ever had (not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing).
Cornerbacks — Vontae Davis & Eugene Daniel
Vontae Davis hasn’t been with the Colts for too long, but he’s already established himself as one of the best defensive backs in the team’s history. Daniel spent 12 years with the Colts and was a very popular player. Daniel had some great seasons with the Colts and was often viewed as one of the few bright spots on many bad teams.
Safeties — Antoine Bethea & (Healthy) Bob Sanders
This is a fantastical, made-up team, we can pretend that Bob Sanders will be healthy. The former defensive player of the year is a versatile defender who can kill you in the box or track down balls deep down the field. Bethea is one of the steadiest defenders the Colts have ever had and is very worthy of this spot.
Mike Vanderjagt Adam Vinatieri
Vinatieri is clutch, ageless and legendary. When discussing clutch kicker, Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt are on opposite ends of the spectrum, so this was a very easy pick to make.
Punter — Pat McAfee
Hunter Smith was definitely a consistent punter, but he’s not in the same league as Pat McAfee, whose strong leg and tackling ability have made him a fan favourite and a special teams ace. He's an important player on the Colts.
Returner — Clarence Verdin
My research was simple for this position. It came down to essentially two key stats: average return length and total number of touchdowns. Clarence Verdin won in both categories.
Head Coach — Tony Dungy
While I have had my many disagreements with Tony Dungy and while I felt he often came up short with what was considered the most talented team in the NFL (in a few different seasons), he is the only coach who has a Super Bowl ring and he’s in the Hall of Fame. He’s a good coach by many standards and he’s very worthy of coaching this all time Colts team.