With one of the most special quarterbacks in NFL history gone, the Colts’ effort to become competitive post-Peyton will focus on the improvement of their special teams.
“That is really a priority to Mr. Irsay,” Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson told Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star. “That’s something I really, really was striving for every day with building this roster. That’s something I really want evident from Day One.
“I want to see guys screaming down the field. You’ve got to have 11 guys with a couple screws loose and they’ve got to run down like their hair’s on fire.”
During Sunday night’s preseason game against the Steelers, the Colts’ special teams held the Steelers inside the 20 on three kickoffs, making tackles at the 19, the 14, and the 13.
“You just look at the statistics, if you’ve got to go 80 yards on offense, you’re only going to score [a touchdown] 15 percent of the time,” coach Chuck Pagano said.
As the Colts chop the roster from 90 to 53 players, the guys who will hold their spots at the bottom of the roster will be those who can contribute the most on special teams.
“Rubber meets the road on the back end of the roster,” Pagano said. “If two guys are in a dead heat, it comes down to who’s a core ‘teamer,’ who has more value on special teams.”
Gentlemen, light your hair.