Colts Players: “Our Time is Now”
By Evan Reller
Millions spent on big name free agents. Coaching contract extensions denied. Surprising draft choices. All done under the unspoken words: Super Bowl or bust.
To say the Indianapolis Colts have gone all-in on the 2015 season would be an understatement. They were far more aggressive than normal in free agency. They signed a number of Pro Bowl players to the roster (albeit from 2010) and Chuck Pagano turned down a one year extension on his deal.
All the offseason moves are designed to get the team past the New England Patriots and to the Super Bowl. Actually, that should be the goal of any team in the NFL but having come so close in 2014, the Colts want to make the final jump to greatness.
The players know just how important the coming season is. Lindsay Jones from USA Today spoke with a few of the Colts about this win-now mentality.
Tight end Dwayne Allen spoke about the importance of winning to the new veterans on the roster.
"“They want to win, and they want to win now — there is no hiding from that point,” Allen, a Colts tight end, told USA TODAY Sports.“From the owner down to the GM down to the head coach, we know that our time is now.”"
Allen isn’t the only one who’s expressed this train of thought. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson noted how important it is to beat the Patriots.
"“We understand you’ve got to address the elephant in the room,” Indianapolis linebacker D’Qwell Jackson told USA TODAY Sports. “They’re the team to beat. Year in and year out, if you’re in the AFC, you have go through Denver and you have to go through New England. Everyone in this building is well aware of that.”"
Jackson also spoke about the difference in mentality between Indianapolis and the Cleveland Browns. Jackson was on the Browns just two years ago, a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since 2002.
"“There is only so much you can plan for in the future. If you have a chance to do it now, do it now,” Jackson said.“Trust me, I’m all on board for it because of my history in Cleveland where … we didn’t make moves to win right now.”"
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The Colts moves have included signing Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, two players with Hall of Fame credentials and 12 Pro Bowl appearances between them. While the defense has been the area of clear need, scoring just seven points in the AFC Championship game isn’t going to cut it.
Even with all the new talent on offense, Allen says he isn’t worried about his touches. Or rather, he can’t afford to be worried about them.
"“It’s a lot of mouths to feed, and if you worry about that, you’re not going to play well,” said Allen. “The best thing you can do for yourself is know that off-field stuff will take care of itself.“That’s one of the things Coby and I said at the start of OTAs — we never had a competitive nature between us, we’ve always understood that we play on paper the same position. But we’re two different athletes, two different players. So this year, what we want most is to help our team win it all but also have as much fun as possible."
Many are quick to note that aggressive free agency moves rarely pan out the way teams hope, but those sort of moves usually feature teams lacking the most important piece of the puzzle: a quarterback. Andrew Luck has carried the team and made players around him better. He will easily be the best QB that Johnson and Gore have ever played with in their illustrious careers.
Everyone on the roster, from the GM to coaches and on down, will have to be better in 2015. The Colts are primed for another outstanding season, but they still have a long road to the Super Bowl.