The Indianapolis Colts might see a familiar face this week. Future hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning is rumored to be visiting his former team’s training camp.
Word is Peyton Manning might be making his way to Colts camp this week.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 11, 2019
The Colts of the 2000’s had a nearly unmatched culture. The team was coached Tony Dungy for a majority of the decade. Under his leadership, they had success on the field and displayed true professionalism outside of the white lines.
When Manning was released in 2012, Ryan Grigson tried creating a new culture. Unfortunately, sometimes new isn't always better. The team suffered, and ultimately went through an identity crisis. According to former punter Pat McAfee:
“Basically, everything got sucked out of that place whenever the new regime came in. They painted over this wall that had Unitas on it, Peyton on it, the Super Bowl trophy. They painted over it, made it gray. It was the ‘Indianapolis Grigsons’ immediately. The building suffered for it ... it became a place that I hated going to work.”
"There’s excitement in people's eyes in the building today," Jim Irsay on the day Ryan Grigson is fired.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 21, 2017
Now, over a decade after the team’s Super Bowl XLI triumph, general manager Chris Ballard is trying to rekindle the magic of the past:
“To our past players, who have created such high expectations and high standards, we will make you proud of the team that we are going to build together and know that you are always welcome back here in Indianapolis,” Ballard said.
“I think it’s very important to bring back the former players and get them around our current players so they understand the history and the high standards that have been set by the past successes. I care about our ex-players in this game and I want to help them find their life’s work. I want to help our current players find their life’s work. I think that is very important.”
Outside of the Manning rumors, the organization has already had one legend stop by. This weekend Dwight Freeney paid a visit to Colts camp and spoke to the team.
The great Dwight Freeney, lending his expertise this morning at camp... pic.twitter.com/GlCQwg2UsX— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 10, 2019
The news of former players coming back to get involved with the Colts should excite fans. Not only could this be setting up for another golden era in Indianapolis, but a team the community can be proud of.