Every team in the NFL enters each season with high expectations. Each offseason addition helps breathe life into even the most discouraged fan bases. That was the case for the 2017 Indianapolis Colts, but only three games in many fans have become torn on an issue of how to approach this season.
The Colts offseason began with a bang, the former general manager was fired after providing a roster that went only 8-8 in two consecutive seasons. He was replaced by Chris Ballard, who began reshaping this roster in his image and many free agent acquisitions and draftees later, many Colts fans were optimistic about the team’s ability to compete this season. The problem was that their star quarterback Andrew Luck was recovering from shoulder surgery and is still currently sitting out, waiting to be cleared to practice.
After three weeks and two losses later, the Luck-less Colts are sitting at 1-2 and many fans and sports analysts have begun to speculate how the Colts should handle the rest of this year. Many Colts fans are still extremely optimistic about the team once Luck returns, while there are those that feel that Indy should bite the bullet on this one and use this season to right the proverbial ship.
This division between fans is rather understandable on both sides. One side wants to try to win the division and go as far as possible, while the other side wants to see the Colts play this season out without Luck and use the issuing assets and changes to make a deeper run next year.
Radio host Colin Cowherd is in the latter of the opposing opinions and offered his explanation for his feelings.
” I’ve told you I think this is the lost season, I don’t think Andrew Luck is gonna play…(if) I’m Chris Ballard, I don’t tell anybody this. I don’t tell Chuck Pagano, I don’t tell the owner, I don’t tell my scouts. I call up Oliver Luck and Andrew Luck… and I say, Andrew, don’t play this year. There are four reasons, A. This roster is garbage, I am not putting you in the crosshairs. B. We go 0-16 or 1-15, we’ll get the first or second pick in the draft. We don’t need Sam Darnold, we’re the only team that can get that pick that doesn’t need him. We can trade it for five picks, you think RG3 got a boatload of picks? This will get eight. C. It will allow me to get rid of Pagano, cause we will be 1-15 and it will allow me to hire the right offensive coach. And D., Rivers, Big Ben, Brady, they’re all retiring soon. You will have seven new players, an offensive-minded head coach, and your last 10 years in this league, you are built to win championships.”
This concept is extremely interesting. Many Colts fans have become tired of Pagano and his inability to coach and this would not only allow Ballard to do this, but he would be able to get a king’s ransom for that top pick. That pick could net Indianapolis plenty of draft picks and starting players at the same time.
Andrew has been harassed his first five seasons in the NFL because his offensive line has been subpar at best. This trade could net the Colts a pro-bowl starting lineman along with a ton of draft picks. This would jumpstart Ballard’s ability to reshape this roster fully to his liking, while also allowing him to install his coaching staff. This scenario would indeed set Indianapolis up for the next decade, but is it really fair to the fans and to Luck?
Yes, this would undoubtedly be the best way to help Luck out long term, but as we all know Luck is a competitor and he isn’t going to want to sit idly by and watch his team sink without him again. To boot, the fans that still hold their tickets would be spending, even more, money to watch their team drown after being told all offseason that Luck would play this year. That would cause a major uproar from some, but those some won’t be as upset when the 2018 Colts have the ability to win against anybody. Because as it stands right now, this Colts team truly does have the ability to lose to anybody and even Andrew Luck can’t solve that.
Ultimately, the Colts really do have a dilemma on their hands with this season. While there is optimism about this team’s future under Ballard either way, this season could stand as the one where we made up for time lost under Grigson’s watch or it could be the one where we fight for mediocrity and wind up in the middle of the first round next year. Hopefully, for Indianapolis no matter which option is taken, they will continue to rise with Ballard at the helm.
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