#31 – Indianapolis Colts
KEY DEPARTURES: QB Peyton Manning, RB Joseph Addai, QB Dan Orlovsky, QB Curtis Painter, TR Jacob Tamme, OT Quinn Ojinnaka, DE Jamaal Anderson, CB Jacob Lacey, WR Anthony Gonzales, LB Gary Brackett, S Melvin Bullitt, TE Dallas Clark, WR Blair White
KEY ARRIVALS: QB Drew Stanton, DT Brandon McKinney, WR Donnie Avery, C Samson Satele, OT Winston Justice, OG Mike McGlynn, OT Zane Taylor, RB Deji Karim, DL Cory Redding, S Tom Zbikowski
The Indianapolis Colts are headed in an entirely new direction with an entirely different team this upcoming season, and it all starts with the drafting of Andrew Luck. Luck will be in charge of reviving a franchise whose flaws were heavily exposed last year due to Manning’s absence, the Colts struggled all the way to a 2-14 record, finally finding a “spark” behind 3rd string QB Dan Orlovsky.
Andrew Luck will be reunited with former TE Coby Fleener and have Reggie Wayne out wide, the defense, although completely retooled, will retain defensive end Dwight Freeney. New Head Coach Chuck Pagano has reached back to his Baltimore roots and signed several former Ravens, including Zbikowski, McKinney and Redding. This gives the Colts a few veteran players who are familiar with the incoming defensive scheme and help the transition to a new regime.
What does the future hold for Indianapolis?
Can Andrew Luck carry this team and become the next Peyton Manning or is he doomed to go the way of a Ryan Leaf, or Tim Couch?
I personally think he’ll show some flashes of brilliance in his first season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull off a few wins that they “shouldn’t”, but it’ll be clear early that he needs some reps, and 2012 will be nothing but a 16-game practice session for 2013.