It’s gotta be better for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 than it was in 2011, right? Almost anything would be better than watching the disintegration of a Super Bowl contender in the space of a single season. So what happens after an NFL team collapses? The rebuilding. And you have to hand it to Colts owner Jim Irsay, the man knows how to clean house. Gone are Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, Curtis Painter, Jeff Saturday, and a host of others who manned this previously successful franchise, along with Head Coach Jim Caldwell. It’s definitely a new era for the Indianapolis Colts.
So new Head Coach Chuck Pagano has the job of putting it all together, along with Coordinators Bruce Arians and Greg Manusky. The building block of the whole thing is Andrew Luck, seen as the most NFL-ready quarterback to come out of college in years. Offensive Coordinator Arians has the job of further development and installing a scheme that fits his talents, probably a two-tight end scheme. That plan got cemented in stone when Indianapolis used a pair of draft choices to bring in Coby Fleener from Stanford and Dwyane allen from Clemson, both successful TE’s in college. Hopefully that will work out because the Colts are short of high quality wide receivers. It’s going to take some heavy work to come up with an offensive line that can keep Luck clean and run the ball, two things that go hand in hand.
Defensively Greg Manusky has plenty of work to do. Indianapolis couldn’t protect against the pass last season and won’t be great at it in 2012. Dwight Freeney is stll around and still effective but getting a little old. The secondary is just plain weak, a problem caused by lack of speed and propensity for injury. In sum, the Colts defense has a long way to go and not enough real players to get there in 2012.
Don’t expect a winning season from the Indianapolis Colts. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future but not the very near future. Things won’t start to take shape for at least another season.