There’s reason for optimism in Indianapolis

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For the second time in less than two years, the Colts have to react to the sudden and unexpected departure of a key member of the organization. Whether it was coach Josh McDaniels, who never showed up after taking the job, or quarterback Andrew Luck, who abruptly retired while entering his prime, the Colts have absorbed a pair of gut punches from which few teams ever even have to try to recover.

Still, it’s hard not to think the Colts will recover.

While that doesn’t mean they’ll win the multiple championships owner Jim Irsay vowed during Luck’s career, that probably wasn’t going to happen even if Luck didn’t retire, it means they’ll be fine. They’ll be competitive. They’ll have the foundation to contend.

It starts with G.M. Chris Ballard, who has systematically rebuilt the roster, and who will continue to make very good decisions about how to properly configure the team. He has quickly become one of the best at what he does, and he’s going to keep doing it. If anything, Luck retiring will compel Ballard to work even harder to find the best players possible.

It continues with coach Frank Reich. He, not Jim Kelly, orchestrated the most stunning playoff comeback in postseason history, with perhaps the exception of Super Bowl LI. Reich knows what it means to never give up. He learned from Tony Dungy what it means to remain focused and calm amid whatever storm comes his way. And he has shown that he can win with a backup quarterback; Reich was the coordinator of the offense that replaced Carson Wentz with Nick Foles and won it all.

And then there’s the backup quarterback who now becomes the starter. Jacoby Brissett arrived on Labor Day weekend in 2017, with no opportunity to learn the offense or otherwise get comfortable with a new team, new coaches, new city, new everything. He’d start 15 games that year; although the wins weren’t there, Brissett played well enough to convince the Colts to resist any trade offers and to keep him around.

They currently look like geniuses for doing that. And they may look like more than geniuses if they seize on circumstances that have caused the expectations to plummet and that could take the team off the radar screen altogether but still cobble together another playoff run.

Stranger things already have happened. And some of them already have happened to the Colts, since February 2018.

27 responses to “There’s reason for optimism in Indianapolis

  1. By “optimistic,” I assume you mean that the Colts have good reasons to expect the first pick in the 2020 draft.

  2. Nick Foles has got to be feeling pretty good right now….. I mean he’s got absolutely no competition in that division…. talk about right timing!!!

  3. Jacoby Brissett isn’t a starting caliber QB and isn’t going to quietly carry them to the Playoffs. Let’s get real here.

  4. Is it time for the NFL to look into Jim Irsay?

    For the third time in a decade, he has hoodwinked fans into purchasing tickets based on promises he presumably knew were false.

    If someone can find dirt on a guy like Jerry Richardson, surely there are skeletons in Irsay’s closet.

  5. The Colts ABSOLUTELY knew this was coming in March. This organization made tanking for a quarterback an art form in the “suck for Luck” year and plan on fully doing it again this year. If they announced this in March, and then made no attempt to address QB in the draft or free-agency (Foles), ticket sales fall and they LOOK LIKE they’re tanking.

  6. The real optimism is that they could end up with the #1 overall pick if they go into the season with Jacoby Brissett as their starting QB. I’ll bet Chris Ballard is up early this morning trying to figure out a way to get Trevor Lawrence draft eligible.

  7. If Ballard had been the GM five years ago they may not be in this position now. Grigson was one of the worst GMs in the history of the NFL. He ignored the offensive line for years because he’s totally incompetent. If they had a better OL maybe Luck wouldn’t have gotten injured so many times. They have one now under Ballard thankfully but I think it’s too late. The injuries have already taken their toll.

  8. murphyslaw40 says:
    August 25, 2019 at 10:18 am
    Is it time for the NFL to look into Jim Irsay?

    For the third time in a decade, he has hoodwinked fans into purchasing tickets based on promises he presumably knew were false.

    If someone can find dirt on a guy like Jerry Richardson, surely there are skeletons in Irsay’s closet.

    13 1 Rate This


    Goodell and Irsay are scheming buddies.

  9. Colts fans look at the bright side. It could always be worse. You could be a Dolphins fan which have zero direction from the head coach but down and you have the worst qb in the league. And the hc is gutanteed for 5 years. So it could be a lot worse.

  10. 6-10
    Raise a banner!!!

    Sure going to miss all those Andrew Luck picked up a football today, Luck passes nerfball 10 yds headlines.

    Feel bad for Reich, maybe Daniels could see the future and bolted before Luck.

    Indianapolis Colts :

    Suck 4 Luck
    Suck with Luck
    Outta Luck.

    Free division title for the Jaguars now. You know, the team with the quarterback that actually won something, lol.

  11. Replacing the production of a QB the caliber of Andrew Luck is going to be MUCH much harder than this article makes it sound. Brissett is not a starting caliber QB, and he’s shown nothing that leads one to think they can contend with him running the show. Odds are the Colts struggle without Andrew Luck, the offense stalls far too often leading to their defense being on the field far to much, tiring them out leaving them exposed thanks to an offense that cannot consistently move the ball and convert 3rd downs. The Colts will be in the market for a QB this off-season, they’ll be drafting a guy in April even if they have to trade up to do it.

  12. While I think their GM is good it’s not so easy to get a franchise QB.

    Getting a good mid-level QB is not the answer unless its for $4MM/year.
    They will have to either tank, or hope they can get a good starter with the 10th pick in the draft.
    Or they have to pay up to trade up.
    This sets them back a year or two, while their roster ages.

  13. What production does JB have to match? You have to actually play to produce.

    Tell the truth about the D’Qwell Jackson lie and perhaps karma will turn your way, as it did for NE after Framegate.

  14. I suspect that the Colts will not feel all warm and fuzzy over Jalopy Brisket at the end of the 2019 season. This season is not going to be pretty for a pretender in a QB Halloween costume.

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