By: Aaron X.
Hello sports fans, and welcome back to the IE Sports Radio blogs. This one is for you, Colts fans! After one of the worst seasons in recent memories, the Colts have advanced to the off-season. Without question, Colts’ fans are/were hoping that significant changes and upgrades to the team were forthcoming. Unfortunately, it appears that the Colts have fully embraced tank mode with a seeming recognition that this roster is in complete disrepair, and there is no immediate fix.
First, for whatever reason, owner Jim Irsay has elected to ride this out with GM Chris Ballard. Irsay firmly believes that Ballard is a great GM, despite evidence to the contrary. He has been the GM for six years. The Colts have one playoff win and zero AFC South titles during his tenure. He is stingy in free agency, believing that he can construct the entire roster through the draft. He could not control the retirement of Andrew Luck. He then elected to bandage the QB position with the likes of Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Jacoby Brissett – all of which were monumental failures.
The Colts did make a good move by hiring HC Shane Steichen. He has the makings of being a good coach. He is young, innovative, and preaches player accountability. But, even the best coaches need talent to succeed. The team’s approach to free agency has been absolutely head-scratching, and there appears to be no plan. They traded Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys for a 5th round draft pick. They signed K Matt Gay to the largest K contract in NFL history. He’s a good kicker, without question. But you have to be in FG position before you can attempt one.
They signed Samson Ebukam from the 49ers to a rich contract, even though his history does not warrant hope that he will provide pass rush. It appears this move is an effort to replace Yannick Ngakoue, who led the team in sacks a year ago. They then signed Taven Bryan, a DT that was discarded by the Jaguars and the Browns. They have also retained LB E.J. Speed and WR Ashton Dulin, both role players who are not bad, but not game changers. It appears they are going to allow WR Paris Campbell to sign with another team. So the WR room, which is already woefully deficient, will continue to be so – perhaps worse.
The Colts own the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft. Unfortunately, there are two QB needy teams ahead of them in the order. Arizona, who owns the third pick, could potentially trade out of that spot with yet another QB needy team. Indy could be faced with the scenario of drafting their fourth favorite prospect at their biggest position of need. There are also rumors that the Colts are considering a trade for Lamar Jackson. Personally, I believe this is hogwash. Nothing in our GM’s tenure would lead me to believe that he’d give up two first round draft picks AND offer the guaranteed contract that Jackson seeks. Colts fans hoping for this solution are dreaming.
My best friend (and fellow Colts fan) put it best, “The Colts’ plan appears to be to field a 53 player roster and appear at games this season.” It’s hard to argue with that. This appears to be a rudderless organization, trying to patch holes on the cheap. I have been a fan of the Colts for over 30 years. I saw some rough times before 1998, when Peyton Manning was drafted. But this is about as hopeless as I have been about my team. What are they doing?
I’m afraid I’ll continue to feel this way until Irsay realizes that Chris Ballard does not know how to construct a team, and Lucas Oil Stadium has empty seats. He hasn’t experienced it in a long time, but perhaps fans need to send a message with their pocketbooks. It’s a shame that it has gotten this way. Tune in to The Crossroads Pod, hosted by Aaron X., on Saturdays at 11am EST/8 am PST. Be sure to check out all of the other great shows on IESR, as well as our partner station USRN. Shout out to our Patreon supporters and all you loyal listeners that continue to help our network grow. Thank you for reading, and we will see you next time on IE Sports Radio; your direct feed for ALL that is sports.