When you think of the Indianapolis Colts, you think of one of the elite franchise in all of the NFL. Jim Irsay took over as owner of the Colts franchise in 1997 following his father’s death.
Irsay immediately hired Bill Polian (who at the time was the GM of the new Carolina Panthers) as GM and President of the Colts. Polian spent time in Buffalo where he helped build a team that reached 4 straight Super Bowl’s. He also helped the Carolina Panthers reach the NFC Championship in just their second season of existence.
In 1998, the Indianapolis Colts had the #1 pick and decided to take Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf, a move that would pay off for this franchise for the next decade and then some. After going 3-13 in 1998, Manning and the Colts turned it around by going 13-3 and having a top 4 NFL scoring offense. After a slow start to the 2000, things took off by 2002 when the Colts began a streak of 9 consecutive playoff appearances (2002-2010). From 2003-2009, the Colts won at least 12 games every season.
Manning missed the 2011 season due to neck surgery and the entire Colts franchise fell apart. The team would win just 2 games that season which led to HC Jim Caldwell and GM Bill Polian being fired. The franchise found themselves in a similar situation to where they were in 1998. They had the #1 pick and had to choose between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. New GM Ryan Grigson chose Andrew Luck and it paid off immediately. In Luck’s first 3 seasons, the Colts won 33 games and at least one playoff game every season.
But things have gone down hill since the Deflategate fiasco instigated by the Colts following the 2014 AFC Championship. Andrew Luck has dealt with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss time in 2015 and has kept him out of football altogether in 2017.
We know the product on the field for the Colts are bad, but off the field they are having struggles as well.
But the Colts long, drama filled season really started here:
Here’s the bottom line: The Colts are really just the Browns except with they had Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. The owner is a drug addict who loves having the attention on himself from time to time. It blows my mind that Irsay was able to be arrested after being found with a laundry bag full of prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash. Jim Irsay is the plug and all he got was rehab, a few games suspension and a fine? Irsay also had a mistress for damn near a decade who died from a drug overdose weeks before Irsay got arrested. Only an NFL owner can survive something like this apparently.
I’m not sure new GM Chris Ballard is the answer either but he’s only had the job for one seasons. This franchise was able to suck it’s way into two of the greatest QB prospects of all time and still never gave them adequate teams from top to bottom. Peyton was absolutely great and should’ve won more than one ring in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck spent the first 3 seasons of his career getting the shit beat out of him and now he’s paying for it.
Green Bay is in this boat right now. The star QB goes down and the team goes from a contender to possible future top 10 pick in the next NFL Draft.