The Indianapolis Colts have already had a troubling offseason, and it’s only February 4th. Today, starting inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was the latest Colts player to get in trouble with the law, as he was reportedly charged with assault for hitting a pizza delivery driver in Washington, D.C, over a parking spot dispute early this morning.
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Andrew Jackson (54) against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
He joins other fellow Colts linebackers who have been previously formally charged with transgressions as of late. First, Josh McNary was formally charged with rape in Mid-Janury. Then, rookie linebacker Andrew Jackon was arrested for a DUI in Kentucky later last month. It’s been a disturbing offseason for the Colts to say the least, and it’s only just begun which is frightening.
Teams frequently worry about their players in the offseason because they have too much free time on their hands and can get into trouble after following such a regimented schedule during the NFL regular season. A handful of Colts players have already served as prime examples of this sentiment.
Forget the “Deflate-Gate” controversy and what other teams like the New England Patriots are improperly doing though. The Colts would be better served to worry about the players under their own roof. Deflating footballs seems awfully trivial after all, compared to some of the offenses formally charged to a handful of Colts players now.
It’s time to clean it up.
The Horseshoe emblem has always embodied a high character and classy organization, but it’s becoming increasingly tarnished this offseason. The team needs to take a closer look at what kind of character individuals they’re bringing into this organization, and whether that’s indicative of the players they truly want to represent them both on and off the field. Players can make mistakes, but should still be held wholly accountable
This isn’t an intended slam at D’Qwell Jackson, who by all accounts had been a model citizen and a veteran leader for this Colts team after signing a 4-year, $22 million dollar contract last offseason. However, as a coined veteran leader, he’s also responsible for setting an example for the rest of the team and its players. This may be an isolated incident (and to be fair, we don’t have all of the facts), but it still reflects poorly on his decision-making and perhaps his overall character in the public spectrum, right or wrong.
Yes, the Colts and their fans want to get better at football. However, high character and integrity should not be compromised because the team simply wants to win more games on the field. Both parties would rather have a group of players that they can truly stand behind and root for because they represent what the Colts organization and its fans are all about.
Winning and high character players can still go hand-in-hand.
Oct 26, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (52) reacts to a play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of their game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports