January 19, 2012 Leave a Comment
The Colts were the worst team in the NFL this past season by far. To an organization that over the past decade has had almost automatic playoff appearances, this was something very awkward to watch.
Heads were expected to roll this offseason, and roll they did.
Coming into the 2012 season the Colts will have a whole different feel and look to them.
Caldwell is out (as expected) but in his firing, the Dungy coaching tree has been severed from this organization. Caldwell was Dungy’s guy. It will be interesting to see who the Colts bring in to replace him.
The firing of Bill and Chris Polian is another testament of the Colts housecleaning. This move surprised many onlookers across the NFL because of the long and consistent success the Polians had with the Colts.
The Polians’ firing caught my attention because it mean that a legitimate housecleaning was officially underway.
On January 11th, the Colts named Eagles executive Ryan Grigson as their new general manager, a position left vacant by the fired Polian Family. It will be very interesting to see who the Colts hire as their next coach. This is the first time in over a decade the Polians will not decide who the coach will be.
Grigson had better have a great hire. After a brutal 2-14 season he can’t afford to start his regime with another lackluster season for Colt fans.
We see the changes in the Colts’ front office and coaching staff, so now lets look at the players.
Peyton Manning – A report came out today that Peyton Manning will retire. I personally hope not; Peyton has been a great player and ambassador for the game. He is easily the best regular season quarterback I have ever seen and the thought of not seeing him play on Sundays seems almost surreal.
However, it would not surprise me if it is true.
Think about it.
All of the changes in the front office and coaching staff has an impact on Manning. This is not the same team Peyton Manning knows.
With the specter of Andrew Luck on the horizon, a new head coach, and a new front office, this quickly becomes a whole different team with different ideas and philosophies.
Will Peyton clash with the new Colts leadership?
I know Peyton is not an “outspoken” or a “team wrecker” type guy but new general managers and head coaches like picking “their guy” and do things “their way.”
Jeff Saturday is also considering retirement.
Besides Marvin Harrison, what other player has stuck it out and been with Peyton Manning his whole career?
Now I feel that Saturday’s decision will be dependent on Peyton’s decision. After last season and the uncertainty with Peyton’s health, I do not blame Saturday for considering retirement.
Saturday turns 37 this year, so he is clearly in the twilight of his career.
However, if there were no questions about Peyton’s health, don’t you think he would try to go one more year? That way he doesn’t go 2-14 in his last year as a pro and has the opportunity to chase another championship.
The Colts also have two big names that could be jumping ship this offseason. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive end Robert Mathis are unrestricted free agents, meaning they are able to sign with any team they wish.
I’m sorry to say this, Colts fans, but I believe Wayne will not be a Colt next year. The Colts will try to sign Mathis long-term and Wayne’s value on the open market will be much higher than what the Colts can offer him.
Could Reggie take less money to stay?
Absolutely. The question is how much can/will the Colts offer and how large the difference is compared to what Wayne could be making on the open market.
Mathis is priority #1 in re-signings.
Mathis is an absolute stud and shows no signs of slowing down. Also, Mathis and Freeney have been staples on that Colts defense and since the rest of the talent level is so low on the defensive side of the ball, they can’t afford to let him go.
Despite all this, things can still change and nothing is definite yet.
There is a chance that next season on opening day the Colts will not have Manning, Wayne, and Saturday on the offensive side of the ball. With a new coach and GM not from within the organization, this Colts team will have a completely different feel and look to them.
It’s the end of an era in Indianapolis. I hope you enjoyed it Colts fans.