With so many landmark changes this offseason in Indianapolis, it would be understandable if Peyton Manning was a tad skeptical about the Colts’ prospects.
If the star quarterback is harboring any private doubts, then he’s keeping them to himself.
In an interview with the Associated Press at the annual Manning Passing Camp in Louisiana, Manning expressed confidence that the departures of coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Marvin Harrison won’t derail the Colts’ chances.
“Even though Tony Dungy won’t be on the sideline, I feel like the winning atmosphere and the environment he created in our building will carry through,” Manning said. “Coach [Jim] Caldwell assured me he’s got a good plan. Hopefully, August 2 we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
Of course, there’s also the matter of offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd retiring this offseason and returning as consultants.
Manning initially expressed disapproval with the changes and complained about a lack of communication.
At this point, though, he seems to be satisfied.
One change that might improve the Colts’ outlook is Manning’s improved health compared to a year ago when he had to undergo a pair of surgeries on his left knee to address an infected bursa sac.
Last year, Manning was sidelined for training camp as he recuperated from the surgeries.
It doesn’t seem to be coincidental that the Colts got off to a 3-4 start last season.
“Not being able to go through training camp definitely caused me to have a slow start to the season,” Manning said. “I’m a big believer that training camp is where you form the foundation of your team. Hopefully, we can go through with no hurdles this year and get off to a fast start.”
Clyde Christensen is the Colts’ new offensive coordinator with Pete Metzelaars taking over as offensive line coach.
Plus, the Colts have a new defensive coordinator in Larry Coyer and a new special teams coach in Ray Rychleski.
However, it remains to seen whether all of these big changes are going to trigger the fast start that Manning is envisioning.