Watch history in the making in an Indianapolis Colts luxury suite
The history of the Colts franchise dates back more than 60 years and spans across two American cities. It includes several league championships, two Super Bowls, and two of the most iconic quarterbacks in football lore.
Though current quarterback Andrew Luck has experienced some success in the league since being selected out of Stanford with the number one overall pick in 2012, he has a big mountain to climb if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. Privileged with the honor of getting to watch these stars over the years, Colts fans endured a long and dark period marred by a lack of success on the field and a controversial and heartbreaking move from Baltimore to Indianapolis under owner Robert Irsay.
Jim Irsay, Robert’s son, is now the owner of the Colts and has seen his team through a momentous Super Bowl victory in 2006, the opening of an incredible new venue at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008, and the transition from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning to his heir apparent in Andrew Luck.
Reminiscent of the season in which Peyton Manning missed every game due to injury, this past season it was Andrew Luck who had to sit out due to an ongoing shoulder problem. A disappointing final tally of 4-12 ushered in the firing of Chuck Pagano at the end of 2017 season. A worried fan base is clinging to their hopes that Andrew Luck will bounce back next season and resume his career as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. He will need to play through pain, but says that another surgery is not on the table right now.
No matter the case at quarterback, there will be a new leader in the Indianapolis locker room. Josh McDaniels, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, was originally tabbed to lead the team, but he declined the offer in an embarrassing public relations fiasco after the announcement was made that he would be the new coach. Rebounding quickly, the franchise made Frank Reich the new Head Coach. He spent the 2017 season as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, winning the Super Bowl.
A former NFL quarterback, playing behind Jim Kelly, Reich is thought of as the best backup quarterback of all time. He played a major role in several dramatic comeback wins. He had been around the league for 13 seasons as a player. After taking some time in retirement, Reich spent the last 10 years bouncing around the league in various coaching positions. His immense background has given him the confidence to know how to handle tough situations. He believes he can turn this team around quickly.
To do that, he will need to get the best from his players. Luckily, there is a wealth of talent on this roster including star receiver TY Hilton, tight end Jack Doyle, and Marlon Mack, who is ready to take on the starting running back spot after the departure of Frank Gore. Add to the offensive line Quenton Nelson, the number six overall pick in the 2018 draft who can open up some big holes and the running game gets a boost. Luck, too, will benefit from the protection of his new guard out of Notre Dame. Canton-bound kicker Adam Vinatieri has signed back on with the club and will undoubtedly have great success putting the ball through the uprights in Indianapolis this season. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett will be dressed and ready if ever Reich needs his backup to take over. One big loss for the team is Donte Moncrief, who departed for Jacksonville in the offseason.
While last year’s team was on the outside looking in on the playoffs, the goal for 2018 is to get back into the postseason and to add another Lombardi Trophy to a franchise that has been home to such enormous talents as Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Dwight Freeney. Click here for more information about the Indianapolis Colts.