Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Indianapolis Colts had a very unpredictable 2013 NFL season. From the very first game which they barely won against the Oakland Raiders, things didn’t appear to be normal. Then they lost against the Miami Dolphins. They had a great record against the teams that eventually made it to the playoffs. In fact of the four teams left the Colts are 3-1. They still seemed to struggle on all sides of the ball.
Injuries were a major wild card this season. The Colts suffered offensive injuries early on with RB’s Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw. Those injuries were followed up by a devastating injury to Reggie Wayne and finally an injury to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Defensive Injuries also piled up including injuries to Bjoern Werner and Greg Toler. Some of the replacements for these guys had shining moments followed up by moments of disaster.
All things considered, this was a positive season for the Indianapolis Colts. Robert Mathis showed that he doesn’t need Dwight Freeney to be effective. Andrew Luck set his own record of most passing yard in the first two seasons. Regardless of his playoff performance, he had minimal interceptions and sacks.
Even though the season didn’t end the way any Colts fan or player wanted, it still leaves us looking to a positive future. A future that is now being laced with bold claims and big promises. Let’s take a look and some of the claims being made regarding the 2014 Indianapolis Colts.
The loss of Reggie Wayne meant that we got a new coach on the sidelines. Reggie jumped right into the role of coach and mentor to the Colts very young wide receiver core. After his injury no one was exactly sure what to expect.
At 35 years old, many began to question if this was the end of Wayne’s playing days. Wayne and Pagano both made it clear through interviews and press conferences that he was going to work hard to come back.
Coming back is no longer the only goal. It appears that Wayne wants to pull off a Peyton Manning and come back stronger than he was when he went down. In a recent article by Mike Wells Reggie was quoted as saying, ”I’m very very very confident I will come back better than I was.”
That’s a bold claim for someone who is undergoing rehab for a torn ACL. Not every athlete can come back from that. Then again, Reggie is not your everyday average athlete. He’s a future hall of fame member who has records of his own to break.
Not only did Robert Mathis have an amazing season in 2013, he had the best season of his career. That’s saying something considering that this is was his 11th season in the NFL. He finished the season leading the NFL with 19.5 sacks. He scored a safety for the first time in his career. He also led the league in forced fumbles.
Mathis obviously gave his all this season. He apparently believes he has more to give. On twitter he claimed, “I WILL help bring another ring to the #GreatStat… Stamp that with blood sweat n tears! #MyWordMyBond … Thanks ColtsFans for loving us!”
He WILL bring another ring? He even followed it with #MyWordMyBond. That’s pretty bold. It looks like Mathis is planning on coming back strong with Wayne.
Another question hanging over the Indianapolis Colts is about their midseason trade. The Colts traded this year’s first round draft pick for Young RB Trent Richardson. Trent Richardson has been surrounded by a lot of promise. Fans were excited to see him on the field in the absence of any solid running game. What we saw form him was anything but a solid running game.
We saw Trent block and catch the ball pretty well, but that’s about it. Whenever Trent got the ball handed to him it seemed like he could get nowhere with it. A few times he missed some tackles and made something out of nothing but most time he was stopped short. The question will be, is he worth the draft pick that the Colts will miss this year?
Fans have been told time and time again that Richardson will get better and will fit into the scheme. He needs to learn the system. That makes some sense. It’s hard for any player to come in fresh to a new system and be expected to play with no training camp or preseason games.
Fans are being promised a better Trent Richardson next season. Chuck Pagano says, “He wants to be great… He’s got all the talent; he’s got all the ability… We look for him to have a great offseason and have a great 2014 campaign.”
A great 2014 might be a lot to ask for. Hopefully Pagano and the rest in the organization are right. Hopefully he will be great, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Honestly there’s not much coming from Irsay at this moment. The man who’s in love with his own twitter account has been relatively calm so far. He’s limited his reactions to things like, “Looking forward to a great 2014” and, “Excited about the future!” That’s it so far, but you can bet that he’ll have more to say once things settle in and the Colts start making player and business decisions. For bold promises keep an eye on @JimIrsay.
Hopefully all these predictions and promises won’t come up empty, but only time will tell.