The Indianapolis Colts went from 1-5 to 10-6 to get into the playoffs last year, thanks to the combination of General Manager Chris Ballard and Head Coach Frank Reich.
To think back to this time last year – Andrew Luck was not the starter, our defense ended last in the league (nothing new, right), Chris Ballard and Frank Reich were new hires on the Colts – it’s hard to imagine a playoff run like they had last year.
As a Colts fan for the past 11 years, I was shocked at how our team turned around, especially on defense. Ballard drafted an incredible team and continues to look forward into the future.
In a recent interview with Colts reporter, Caroline Cann, coach talked about how much he appreciated working with Ballard.
When asked about how it was last year with this year:
"Man, last year was like night and day…….there was nothing normal about it. I mean, the way everything happened – referring to Josh McDaniels pulling out of the head coaching position at the last minute – and the way I got the job. Andrew’s situation, a new team. I mean the whole thing."
When asked about what the playbook was for last season, he responded about his new GM Chris Ballard:
"I’ll tell you what I got though, I got Chris Ballard. You know, getting a first class guy and leader. So he made it easy getting guys like Andrew, you know, Jabaal Sheard, Adam Vinitari, guys like that, man, they make all the difference in the world."
Recently, the Colts made some moves to improve the defense by signing Margus Hunt to a two-year deal, keeping him in Indianapolis until at least 2021 and at a great price – just $9 million. What’s better is Hunt was a key part of the defense going from last to 10th overall in just one season. He posted career highs last season with 5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 30 overall tackles.
In his first year as GM of the Colts, Chris Ballard was named Executive of the Year and also drafted the leagues best draft class in 2018. Not to mention his first hire of coach Frank Reich won the AFC Coach of the Year.
Things are looking up for the Colts this season. Both coach Reich and GM Ballard are looking to build on last year’s success and take Indianapolis from a Wild Card winner to a Super Bowl Champion.