Two wins - 93-44-58-29-33-18-87= no chance
You knew it was coming the minute Ryan Grigson took over.
As Grigson and eventual head coach Chuck Pagano spoke, they spoke of the Colts in terms of the future. They treated the franchise as if it was finally ready to emerge from a decade-long hell of losing and insanity.
It was clear that there would be no effort made to build on past success. The building was caving in, and it would be razed to the foundation.
Friday afternoon, the wrecking ball took out the lion's share of the remaining Colts veterans.
Brackett. Clark. Addai. Bullitt. All gone.
Freeney on the block.
Wayne? No one has even bothered to call.
The Colts lost more than Peyton Manning this week. They lost their entire identity.
Some fans clung to hope that the rebuild would be gentle as Robert Mathis was resigned earlier in the week, but by Friday night reality had descended upon Indianapolis.
In an effort to free up cap space for 2013, the Colts jettisoned everything and everyone that wasn't bolted down.
How did it come to this?
The answer is simple: the salary cap stopped going up.
The Colts had been building for years with the expectation that the salary cap would just increase in perpetuity. It had gone up more than 300% since 1994. In 2009, it topped out at $128 million. Then the NFL owners opted out of the CBA. An uncapped 2010 was followed by a dramatic reduction in the salary cap in 2011. The cap was slashed to $120 million and then held steady at $120 million again for 2012. At the time many of the terminated contracts were drawn up, it was reasonable to expect a cap north of $140 million. When that cushion evaporated, so the Colts' ability to keep their vets.
The structure and strategy the Colts had used to continue to resign veterans collapsed. Without the money to absorb the $28 million bonus owed Peyton Manning, the Colts were forced to jettison him. With Manning gone, there was simply no logic in delaying the purge. By taking care of all the outstanding contracts at once, the Colts have left the cupboard bare for 2012, but managed to free up massive cap space in 2013.
What typically does in NFL teams is when the can't afford to cut players. That's when a team hits true cap hell. The Colts found themselves well positioned for the future. All of the contracts they dumped resulted in massive dead money, but still represented salary cap savings. In other words, whatever cap troubles the Colts were in, are remedied today. While Clark probably should have been cut last year, and Addai and Bullitt shouldn't have been resigned, none of these deals will end up hurting the Colts. Brackett's big contract was unavoidable. Teams have to show loyalty to vets in a locker room like the Colts'. If you don't pay a guy like Brackett, you probably get much more guff from Wayne and Mathis the last few years.
Dwight Freeney? He's only the second most important Colt of the decade.
All the players have massive intangible value, but declining actual value. Coupled with increasing salaries, and the decision was simple: wipe the slate clean. The Colts are not paying for history. They are only going to pay for performance.
Freeney will likely not be dealt. His contract calls for a base salary of $14 million, which would instantly be wiped away if he is released. The Colts could keep him through this season, and collect a compensatory pick for him in the 2014 draft, but there's some question if a 3rd round pick is worth $14 million.
It's been a brutal week for Colts fans and players alike.
The 2012 Colts will have less overall talent than the 2011 Colts and cannot be expected to win more than 3 games. However, if Andrew Luck is indeed the answer, the Colts will have no problem fielding a competitive team by 2013. Armed with another round of high draft picks and more cap space than you can possibly imagine, they'll be primed to make a move back into contention. That's not saying they'll be a top flight team, but they should be contention for a wildcard, assuming Grigson does his job.
With today's painful moves, the Colts are avoiding the middle class trap. There will be no mediocrity. They are going to spend two years on the bottom of the NFL, and if everything goes according plan, they'll be right back in the thick of things in 2013. Meanwhile, they've handed the locker room to Andrew Luck. There're no worries about whether he can win over the vets who remember Peyton. There are hardly any left. They've given Luck a blank canvas to work with.
Meanwhile, with news that Redskins have dealt three #1 picks and a #2 for the rights to the second pick in the draft, Colts fans can't help but wonder what could have been if Peyton Manning was still around.
93. 58. 29. 87. 44. 18.
By this time next week they could all be gone.
The Colts have made the hard choices. They bit the Bullitt. They amputated...everything.
Now it's time to let the wounds to heal.
It's going to take awhile.
Peter King sure knows a good quote when he finds one:
"I still am trying to get my brain around the thought that one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is a street free agent -- and was in our building talking about playing for our team,'' said one official of a team in the running this weekend."
The fact that Manning is giving the Titans even a courtesy meeting must be giving Irsay the cold sweats. This could all still blow up so spectacularly in his face that it's hard to imagine the carnage...
I have been reading quite a few posts and I would like to mention a couple of things that may have been left out. I really feel Irsay looked at the Division and decided he needed to change strategies. The other teams in the AFC South are built to beat the Manning led Colts. They have excellent run games and their emphasis has been on defense. Twice a year the Colts have to face Arian Foster and Ben Tate, MJD, and Chris Johnson, and our run defense has been an Achilles heel for years. It was time for us to change our strategy so we can contend within our own division.
He also said he wants to make things more balanced on both sides of the ball. During the Manning era the majority of the cap was tied up in the offense. I think we are going to have a more balanced approach and draft the best player available for the next couple of years because that is the best way to build a team through the draft. We will have the cap space necessary to fill immediate needs through free agency to get us back into contention.
The Purge was necessary because we just released one of the greatest QB's of all time who has been the face of the franchise and put Indianapolis on the map as a football state because of what he did on and off the field for over a decade. Luck has a long enough shadow to stand in. He doesn't need to have to win over a locker room of proven veterans who won a Superbowl with Manning at the helm.
The salary cap wasn't just an issue for us. Look at the Steelers who have one of the best front offices in the league. They had serious cap issues as well because contracts had been structured on the projected cap and then things changed with the new CBA. Next year the cap should be where many GM's thought it would be this year and most teams won't have many of these potential cap issues because they will have better real numbers to work off of going forward.
Did it suck to see Manning leave absolutely, but Irsay made it clear to Manning that the Colts are rebuilding and that is not the situation he needs to be in. He needs to go to a team that is ready to win now and he can make a couple more runs at Championships to cement his legacy.
I became a Colts fan because of Manning and Dungy and even though they have both left I will still be a Colts fan. I will just have another team to cheer for until Manning retires.
More ammo for the PfP perspective:
"Manning has stated he has made considerable progress throwing while his nerves have regenerated and his right arm has strengthened to the point where sources say his velocity has increased, he is able to throw the NFL's traditional passing routes and his distances have routinely reached 50 yards." http://tinyurl.com/7lqk7zf
Sure, it's just more "sources", but they all seem to be trending in the same direction.
Dallas, Brackett, and Addai are all too old and would demand too much money to continue to play. I support getting younger in exchange for getting some breathing room. It may not look it, but I still bet this team contends for the Division in 2012 and beyond. The AFC South is STILL the AFC South. Jacksonville and Tennessee are pushovers and Houston can certainly be handled as well. I don't mind the purge and I loved the re-signing of Mathis. I'm not opposed to any of the decisions that have been made, including cutting Manning. Dude's too high of an injury risk and Luck is the future of the franchise. Done deal.
English teacher note: "The building was caving in, and it would be RAZED to its foundation."
A Facebook post featured the Luke with a "going out of business" sign--"everything must go." Seems like it.
1) why would freeney not be dealt
2) if he played out his contract, the most we could get would be a 5th rounder in compensation
Wildcard contention in 2013? Are you absolutely delusional? That is the most rediculous comment I've read in a long time. Please, can we stop sugar coating this whole mess? We are screwed for a long time. Well be lucky to break .500 by 2015. We have **nothing** to build upon. Irsay and his puppet, Gigson, are in waaaaay over there head and we are the unlucky fans that have to pay $5 for a hotdog until they figure it out.
@pierrezombie Meh... I think were about three years away from REALLY competing anyway, so I don't know if that really makes much of a difference.
@Kelrahn The other teams in the division may have been built to beat the Colts, but they never actually did a very good job of it, even this year.
They forced teams into a running strategy which is generally speaking a bad strategy.
@Kelrahn That´s a good post, but I just want to point out the Colts already used a Best Player Available strategy in the draft under Polian, so I´m not certain this will change a lot. And, you know, the way the team was built already made us (more than) contenders within our division since its inception. Maybe a strategic overhaul increases our chance to destabilize the Titans, Jags and Texans, but since the better teams in the league have almost all shifted to an "elite offense due to elite QB" model in the last few years, I have my doubts.
@JaredMalott There is no way the Colts will contend in 2012. Everything needs to be rebuilt. Luck won´t be plugged in a sound team that just needed a QB, the way Flacco was. The Colts will rely on him to be their main strength, and he will not be good enough during his first year. And Manning is not a "dude". He was the face of the franchise, the greatest player in franchise history in fact, and the reason Colts fans everywhere were granted 10+ years of amazed elation and sensible hope everytime their team stepped on a field. You certainly have a right to be hopeful for the future, and to think this was the best thing that could happen to the Colts, but from where I´m standing, the fact that Peyton Manning showed more gratitude to his fanbase in his farewell than is being granted to him by some fans such as you indicates a lack of perspective about the historical dimension of what our Colts did, let alone the fickleness of professional sports.
@Aunt Jean I know. I wrote the piece late on Friday night. Left town. Just now back to edit it.
@omahacolt 1. No one wants a $14 million contract for an-about-to-be Free agent 32 year old DE.
2. No, he'd probably be worth a 3rd. If you don't think he'd merit even a 5th based on his 2014 play, then how can you ask me why no one would trade for him? If you think he's that bad, then obviously he has no trade value.
Jason, you apparently don't understand how NFL rosters are built.
It doesn't take 5 years to rebuild. The average career is just 3 years long.
If Griggson can't field a competitive team by 2013, he never will. He'll have two years of top picks, a top QB, and massive money to sign free agents.
That's all it takes to be a decent NFL team.
So, if Grigson is an idiot, then yes, it'll take years. Otherwise, they'll be back quick.
$5 is pretty darn cheap for a ball park hotdog! They are $6 at Lambeau and $5.75 at Soldier Field and Ford Field. $7.50 at Cowboys Stadium. $8 in Baltimore!
You dont know the future any more than than the optimists so both your forecasts arent worth the bytes they are written in.
Man, you are a depressing sort. There's quite a bit of difference between realism and wallowing in self-pity. You appear to have opted for the latter.
@gbearrin True, but I'm guessing Irsay would be much happier without Manning come into the Luke once a year until then, and repeating something like that beating by the Saints last season.
@Goeland @Kelrahn And regardless of whatever "Run and Stop the Run" coach-speak Pagano is using six months before his first season, if Luck is even remotely what most analysts say he will be, won't the Colts end up in the "elite offense due to elite QB" model sooner or later anyways?
When that rookie contract runs out, it'll be Manning-caliber money all over again (unless he's a complete bust -- not very likely). Which doesn't leave a lot of room for a balanced O and D, even if that still seemed like a good way to win in the playoffs. Which is doesn't.
@Goéland I'm not sure who you think you are, but who granted you the right to tell me when it's okay for me to move on? If I'm fickle, then you're too emotionally attached to Peyton Manning. He's a great quarterback, sure, but he's also a huge financial liability and the Colts don't have an offensive line capable of protecting him. I couldn't be happier with what Manning has done for this city, but if I'm Jim Irsay, I tell him that as a friend, I can't pay you and watch you wind up in a wheelchair. How's that for perspective, sir?
@Goéland You know, Peyton *has* had a lot of gratitude shown to him. He still will have a lot of gratitude shown to him. You'll see thousands of #18 jerseys in the stands next season. He'll get dedications, ceremonies, banners, and a statue or two. After we've all spent the last nine months wringing our hands, let's not confuse a few flippant statements for disrespect.
And I hate to keep repeating this, but let's not forget that PEYTON did his part to create this situation. Peyton took credit for the all-or-nothing contract that Irsay eventually opted out of. Peyton probably didn't expect the perfect storm of: 1. Not recovering faster, 2. Colts tanking bad enough to cost Polian his job, 3. Colts being in line for Andrew Luck, etc., but the storm came. And then when it was clear that the cards weren't falling his way, Peyton was the one who started campaigning for a job elsewhere. I won't blame him for looking out for himself but I also won't pretend that he did all the giving and we the fans did all the taking.
Read the news, Peyton is already moving on. It's okay for us to start moving on too.
@Goéland Amen to that Goeland. Excellent post from beginning to end.
@Nate Dunlevy @omahacolt Yeah, his contract makes it nearly impossible to trade him unless he agrees to redo it. He's still a very good player and would start on any team in the league. He just hired an agent, right? I'm sure they're coming up with a number they could expect from other teams as we speak.
Have you considered Goodell's comments on the average length of a career? his number is different than the NFLPA number. He says if you make an opening day roster, the average career is over six years. If you never make a roster, is it really a career? Just semantics but interesting because you threw out the oft quoted NFLPA number.
I would say it takes more than that to build a team. It takes luck. It takes execution. You merely assume that opportunity equals execution. Having seven draft picks give you the opportunity to improve seven positions on your roster. But how often does that opportunity result in such execution? Even by the best GMs? And the idea that anyone who cant do it is an idiot is silly. I understand your point but disagree with your oft repeated claim. It is "possible" to build a team in 2 or 3 years but hardly the norm, hardly something to be taken for granted. No need to discuss it. I have read your arguments. I just disagree.
@Payton Remember, Manning (and Polian) inherited a hall of fame receiver, pro bowl left tackle, pro bowl tight end and a hall of fame running back. Luck and Grigson were left with a steaming pile of injured, broken down crap (thank you Polian, I hope the door hit your arse on the way out.)
@JaredMalott As Peyton for President already said, there is nothing to justify that assertion about Peyton ending up in a wheelchair.
@JaredMalott It is a perspective all right... a deluded one, but a perspective none the less.
(1) Manning is not just a great QB... he is Peyton F. Manning.
(2) Manning was willing to renegotiate his contract. (And if Manning was kept and renegotiated, Freeney probably would have too, as they have the same agent.)
(3)Manning played a whole season with Charlie "friggin" Johnson protecting his blindside.
I encourage all Colts fans to root for Andrew Luck. But don't come with these weak ass arguments on why we should be happy that #18 is gone.
While I'm rapidly losing any interest in divining the appropriateness of one anothers' emotional states regarding Manning (see above), citing that as one of Irsay's reason for his choice seems like a big stretch.
That's what he said, sure, because it makes good PR and takes some of the heat off the fact that he might have just cut a healthy HoF QB. (Possibly the GOAT.) But I don't think concerns about Manning's ability to hold up behind the 2012 Colts' O-line even makes the top 10 on a list of his real reasons.
@Nate Dunlevy I knew that because you told me before, but there was a point that I was so pissed I was almost hoping for it, and you would have been justified in doing so. And no sir, you don't back down. I respect that. I'm the same way. Backing down simply isn't an option for me. Regardless of our arguments I still enjoy reading your stuff. You've got skills. I think that is part of what pissed me off. Even when I wanted to hate you I knew I would miss reading your articles.
@Nate Dunlevy @Peyton for President p.s. That was a pretty epic thread. I remember staring at the monitor with my mouth open as it devolved into chaos. Definitely one for the CA hall of sh/fame.
@Peyton for President That's pretty funny. I was aiming for delicate understatement -- I'm now rightly terrified of causing the PfP to go into Beast mode. (Plus, if I remember your bio correctly, you lift a lot of weights.) And heck, imagine if you'd snapped so bad that you couldn't still assemble a sentence here. You'd have lost the chance to gloat like a badass mother when Manning throws for 5000 yards next season.
I don't ban people. They ban themselves. Decent people find ways to turn it around. The pyschos don't. I don't back down, but I never ban unless people say racist things or make fun of Dungy's son.
@pierrezombie @DougEngland Understatement of the new year "a little overboard". I think Nate just spit Diet Coke all over his computer screen. lol. I downright snapped, but I appreciate everyones kind words. Honestly, I thought I was going to be banned. I gained alot of respect for Nate for not going that route. Water under the bridge? I hope so. I'm just glad I still have a place to vent. Much appreciated fellas.
@Goéland @pierrezombie @Peyton for President @Snake3 @squirrel @Goeland It wasn't the most team friendly contract possible. I believe it was a perfectly fair contract, but he certainly could have made a much more team friendly one.
If you get rid of all the hyperbole the contract he signed was very similar to signing a franchise tag, except it traded cap flexibility for real dollars. He didn't have to sign that contract because he had so much leverage in the negotiation, so it is true that he gave up some with that contract. Of course, the Colts could have just franchised him as well, so they gave a little.
All in all, with the information all parties had at the time of the deal it looks to me like a perfectly reasonable and mutually beneficial deal. Let's not turn it into any more than that and give Peyton more/less credit than he is due.
@DougEngland Yep, me too. Back in January, Nate about had me convinced that Manning was closer to retiring than playing again. PfP went a little overboard at times in making his case, but I admire the way he stuck to his conviction -- and he sure as hell did his research.
This could all still boomerang back around and hit us in head again, of course, but it's looking like Manning's going to get a big contract from the team of his choice and a chance to make a serious run at another title. I've come all the way back to thinking he'll play like his old self... maybe even better (?!). I'm as excited for that as I am for anything that happens with the Colts next season.
I agree PforP should be President... if only because at my lowest moments when I thought that everything I was hearing indicated that #18 would never play again... and he gave me reason to believe. (And made it sound like he was a freaking surgeon in the process.) And I now truly believe that everything PforP claimed about Peyton's health outlook, is turning out to be true. And playing out just like he predicted it would.
And I'll add that I'm hanging on, too, because to me Manning was a tangible example of true greatness. Greatness that transcends even sports, to stuff in life that actually has, like, actual significance and shit. And that's so rare that it's worth spilling over into an extra news cycle or two, I think.
I almost named you as VP of our camp. (PfP has to be P; just because.) I'd like to nominate Goe´land for Secretary of State, or perhaps Ambassador to NewEra-istan. Nate's our high priest, obviously. Cowan's VP of communications (for the rants on Pancakes, if nothing else). Etc; etc.
@pierrezombie Here is why I am not ready to move on:
In light of what the Rams were able to get for the #2 pick, that Peyton is progressing much better and faster than I ever imagined and that he was willing to renegotiate his contract and stay... and Irsay was never willing to even consider this.
I fully expect Luck to have a very good career.
I fully expect Peyton to win more MVPs and at least one more Super Bowl with his new team...
But I will always believe that #18 would have won more Super Bowls with the Colts. (Where he friggin' belongs!!!)
I readily admit to lacking the proper perspective on this, but we seem to have quickly settled into two general camps here in ColtsAuthorityVille: the 'Ready to Move On' camp and the 'Holding Back the Years' camp.
For what it's worth, I'm firmly in the second camp, as are, it seems, most of the people who write the actual stories up there that we all chatter on about down here.
I don't know what to make of that, but it's an interesting dynamic, and one that's caught me by surprise. I'd assumed everyone would be good for a couple more weeks of teary Manning mania before gearing up for the draft. Guess not.
Maybe it's just a simple progression from the 'New Era' vs. the 'Trade the Pick' debates? I dunno.
@pierrezombie @Peyton for President @Snake3 @squirrel @Goeland Absolutely. I see a lot of comments that basically ignore the fact Manning engineered the most team-friendly contract possible. Sure he´s had a ton of gratitude shown to him, but there´s also been an undercurrent of "there was no other reasonable option, and this path is way better and more exciting anyway", which I honestly can´t wrap my head around seeing how we´re talking about the player who made the Colts what they are and possibly the GOAT. Add to this the fact he´s been accused of selfishly lying to the team regarding his injury, and it explains why a part of us think people have too short memories.
Couldn't agree more. The part Manning played in creating this situation -- insisting on the opt-out clause when he could have just taken the standard, huge contract the Colts offered -- makes me respect him more. I actually don't think he's getting enough credit for that from the fans who are relieved to be moving on with the New Era.
If he hadn't gifted that to Irsay, we'd likely be stuck in the worst case scenario that Nate elaborated on, with both QBs on the roster and unavoidable muti-year cap hell.
Whether Manning imagined that they'd actually use the opt-out or not, from the facts they knew back in August, I don't think there's any reasonable way to paint that contract as selfish on his part.
@19>18 @Peyton for President Nate has written a piece about old QB that shows there is no widespread trend of good QBs having a slow decline in their later years. They tend to suddenly fall off, when their physical limitations are just too much to overcome, but prior to that, their grasp of the mental aspect of the game usually is so much better they can stay at an excellent level. Now I can understand there´s a shroud of doubt about Manning because of the injury, so there is some uncertainty, clearly, but it has little to do with his age and everything to do with his nerve regeneration, and all arrows seem to be pointing upward regarding his arm strength.
@Peyton for President I understand people move on at different rates, but I cannot abide by a moving on strategy that amounts to dismissing the importance of the past. Don´t people realize it is statistically unlikely Luck and Grigson will have half the success Peyton and Polian had?
@Nate Dunlevy @omahacolt @smonroe Per Clayton: "Though that makes sense, don't expect Thompson to do that. He's very strict in following league rules, particularly when it involves the franchise tag. The other thing is the Packers will receive a draft choice as compensation if Flynn leaves in free agency. The Packers would figure to get a third-round compensatory pick in 2013 if Flynn leaves and signs a big contract. Expect Flynn to be a free-agent option for the Seahawks and Dolphins."Talking about Ted Thompson and Green Bay. I assume Clayton is right.
@omahacolt @smonroe 1. Yes, but in this case, teams know the Colts are unlikely to keep him. It would take a serious financial comittment on top of picks to get Freeney, and I can't see anyone making it.
2. I've hunted for evidence of that change and can't find any. I believe it's still 3rd round max, not a 5, but I'm willing to admit I could be wrong. Can't find that anywhere though.
@Nate Dunlevy @19>18 The fact you are failing to consider Nate is the fact that the special players have to be available in order for you to pick them. Marvin and Edge and Freeney don't come along every draft. There are years where the draft doesn't produce virtually ANY special players. 2008 was just a bad draft for example. So you have to get lucky too. Because you need more than just 1 "Game Changer". The Colts drafted Tarik, Marvin, Peyton, Edge, Reggie, Freeney & Dallas almost literally back to back to back. You will not find a single team in NFL History who's came close to hitting on that many "Game Changers" without a miss. I do think it's fair to expect improvement for sure. But if fans use the Manning rebuild as the yardstick, then they are almost certain to be disappointed. Because to hit on that many HOF'rs in that short of time frame is likely NOT going to happen, regardless of who the GM is.
Thanks. I understand your thinking and definitions now. I still disagree with what you think is reasonable to expect . . . but it is reasonable for us to just disagree :)
If he's not, it's not going to happen at all.
The 62% includes teams like the Browns and Lions that by the time of the study had never turned it around.
I'm throwing out the teams that were just run like crap and never found success. Well, not really throwing them out, just placing them as the other option.
The Colts have their 'franchise player'. They aren't in the bin that includes teams that couldn't find one for a few years. Given the Colts situation, it's reasonable to expect one of the extremes, rather than the relatively few teams that had the 'average' time.
@19>18 I've been pretty consistent about my definitions. What Greg's piece showed is that there are teams that 'never' get better. That obviously skews the average length of time.
His piece also shows that improvement starts when a dynamic player changes the team.
That's why I say that it will be soon or never. Luck is either the game changer or he's not. If he's not, I don't expect Grigson to survive long enough to see the turnaround.
I've been saying 2 years to become a borderline playoff team. It might take longer to become a true Super Bowl contender. I don't consider 8-8 with a young team to be 'mediocre'. Yes, the word fits the record, but that's not the way the team will feel to the fans. It will feel young and exciting.
Now, I'm not saying this will happen. I'm saying it SHOULD happen, and it's reasonable to hold Grigson and Irsay accountable if it doesn't.
How does your statement account forr these stats from his piece: "8 teams (38.1% of those listed) were able to turn their teams around in 3 or fewer seasons. 62% of the teams were turned around by the end of the 5th season." He says that 38.1% turn around in 3 years or less which is less than the "most" which you claim, while most do turn around by the end of the 5th year. If you throw out those on the high end you also have to throw out those on the low end or you are just cooking the books to fit a preconceived conclusion.
@19>18 @Nate Dunlevy I have to agree that 8-8 isnt what I would call "competitive". 8-8 means you can't win the tough games but you arent bad enough to lose all the time. Sure Id rather go 8-8 than 3-13 but .500 is no promise for a better future and sadly I fear thats all Grigson will give us. I mean, we are moving forward with a rookie GM, a rookie Head Coach and a Rookie QB (with currently no previous offensive starters on the roster) how could that plan backfire?
@19>18 @Nate Dunlevy Except for the part where Greg clearly explains his results are bimodal, with on the one hand a group comprising the vast majority of teams in the study, that becomes good in 2 or 3 years, and on the other hand teams that were sunk by a horrendous GM and thus ended up taking up to 10 years becoming respectable, which skews the overall results?
I have read Greg.s piece but your definitions/assumptions differ from his. He measures bad to good. and he defines his terms. You used the nebulous "competitive" which you now define as low as 8-8 which I would describe as mediocre. It seems to me that whether you are an owner or a GM or a fan, you dont plan your rebuild to become mediocre so I dont understand why you chose that yardstick; who times a rebuild from bad to mediocre. But at least I now understand the discrepancy between Greg's math coming up with 5.6 years and yours coming up with two.
@19>18 Yes, I have.
It does not take luck and execution to build an 8-8 or 9-7 team. I'm not saying they'll be a Super Bowl contender, just a competitive, on the rise, capable-of-getting-near the playoffs kind of club.
THAT level is not that hard to achieve. Look around the league at the 8-8 teams.
They aren't very good. If you have a good QB, you are most of the way there. Plenty of teams have completed fast rebuilds. It is the norm. The teams that don't do it are the ones whose GMs get fired because they sucked at their jobs.
Matt Millen is the exception not the rule. Greg Cowan did a study on this a few months ago, http://www.coltsauthority.com/coltzilla-2011-archives/september/rebuilding-a-franchise-what-might-the-colts-future-hold.html
You either get better fast (generally because one key player showed up) or you NEVER get better.
If Grigson knows what he's doing and Luck is legit, it will be a fast road back. Otherwise it won't happen at all.
You don't have to be that good to be in 'playoff contention'. Especially not in the AFC which is the weaker of the conferences by far.
@HoosierInaBox Belser/Poole = 0 pro bowls (iffy I know)Mathis/Bethea = 6 Pro bowlsPoole was an expensive version of Nick Harper in my mind. Bethea has a edge on Belser but not huge. Mathis absolutely blows away anyone on that 98 team. I'm not too high on Angerer personally, so I wasn't even considering him. Don't forget we might have Freeney next season too, though I would expect he'll be released/traded if nothing can be done to his contract.
@Nate Dunlevy Come on DZ, don't sugar coat it. Tell us how you really feel about Coyer. (I guess now that you are going to be a full time, highly paid writer, you're having to tone down your feelings.)
@HoosierInaBox Belser and Bethea are the same player.
Poole wasn't that good. They had no one that was the equal of Mathis or Angerer.
The defense last year was also run by an idiot who has been fired.
This defense will have far more talent in 2012 than the 98 team had.
There were a few talented defenders with the team in 98, Belser and Poole standout in my mind at the moment. Currently our defense has Mathis, Bethea and Angerer. Those are really the only standout guys, everyone else I hesitate to even call a starter. This "talented" defense was one of the worst in the league last year. I'll agree this defense is better, but not by much
@rogcohen @Payton I thought It was about the Improvement between 98 and 99 aswell as what was already In place when Manning arrived. Which is why Payton references Faulk not being on the team in 99. Either way, in 98 Faulk was here and in 99 James was here. Both those years the Colts had talent on the roster to back Manning. On the current roster, that talent isnt there. Eldridge, Collie and Brown our currently our best options at their positions. A Far cry from Peytons rookie year with Dilger, Faulk and Pathon (not to mention a young Harrison)
@HoosierInaBox James wasn't on the 98 Colts. The only was not vastly better than the current one.
This isn't about the 99 Colts vs the 2012 Colts. It's about the 98 Colts v 2012 Colts.
Harrison was a superstar for sure but the 99 colts had alot more working for them that year. James rushed for 1500 yds as a rookie (more yds than Faulk ever did as a Colt). Although they were young, the O line was vastly better than the one we currently have in place. As is, the offense is just plain laughable. I have A very hard time beleiving that the series of events that took place between 98 and 99 will repeat again. Manning turned out to be the definetive franchise player. The following year James was far better than anyone could hoped for and Harrison grew to Hall of Fame form. That kind of lightning hitting twice isnt just a long shot, to quote Jason its "absolutely delusional"
@Payton @rogcohen The gap between 88 and whoever Luck has as his number one WR will be a huge difference.
@rogcohen Yes and there are still pro bowlers on the roster . Granted they aren't on offense, but the team does have some talent. Glenn wasn't a PB player when Manning started. Neither was Dilger. That HOF RB wasn't there in 1999. They had to replace him with a *draft pick*. In my view, there isn't really an appreciably large difference in talent level between the two teams, it's just in different spots.