The upcoming season gets a bit of British perspective. NFL football is finally here! The Indianapolis Colts have made it through preseason and now the real football begins this week when the Colts take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.
What I’m looking forward to this season:
*Other than staying awake until 5 am to watch the Colts play in prime time. Which trust me hasn’t always been easy recently.
I’m looking forward to seeing a team actually progress instead of treading water and the ultimate sinking like the previous regime. Colts General Manager Chris Ballard is slowly and surely putting his stamp on this team.
The hiring of Frank Reich and Co. is exactly the step in the right direction the organization has needed. Drafting talent and signing free agents to prove it deals instead of the team of the past where it seemed money was handed out for the fun of it to low end talent.
This team needs to show signs of progression and it needs to start this season, an offense that actually scores regularly, a working offensive line that keeps the quarterback on his feet, an effective run game and a defense working as a unit to stifle the opposing offense. This is the progression the team needs, not the quick fix band aid return to the playoffs from the Grigson/Pagano era. Whether the progression is reflected in the team’s record is different and not necessarily needed.
Outside of a few outliers the Colts under Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano failed to show any major signs of player development. Whether that was due to poor talent selection or just poor coaching, with a whole new coaching staff and new talent, it can’t continue. Chris Ballard has done a good job of acquiring good young talent through the draft and free agency, now it’s time for the coaching staff to develop the talent in front of them.
The Colts have young players who need their pro talent unlocking. Guys like Quincy Wilson, Tarell Basham, Malik Hooker, Nate Hairston, Kemoko Turay, Marlon Mack, Braden Smith and Ryan Kelly to name a few need to take that step to the next level and become core standout contributors.
I couldn’t write an article about the upcoming season without mentioning the big man himself. Luck’s injury has been so widely publicized that it reached peak “hot takes” that even being in the UK you couldn’t hide from it all. Luck is back and he seems to be progressing in the right direction.
Despite all of that, Luck will be starting Week 1 against the Bengals. Luck will be rusty, but that’s to be expected. Having him back behind center is exactly what his team needs to take it back to winning ways. Having Luck guarantees that this team will be elevated, he is a super talented franchise QB who makes everyone around him better. It’s good to have Luck back on our side.
This is by no means going to be a straight forward, easy, winning-record season but I have a feeling with Frank Reich, Luck and Co. on offense along with Matt Eberflus’ youth movement on defense we are in for a fun filled exciting season.