In ESPN’s latest edition of the ‘Futures Power Rankings’ there is a new team atop the mountain.
The news of the Colts being the number one team in the league may have been a surprise to some, however to Colts fans as well as NFL analysts and personalities the ranking was well deserved and ‘accurate’. The man who had known this day was coming all along and constructed this rebuild in precise fashion, was Chris Ballard.
Chris Ballard, is a God send for the Colts he stepped into a dysfunctional organization with an injured quarterback, old aging roster, head coach that needed released (in Chuck Pagano) and a team stuck in mediocrity with a handful of seasons ending in a mere 8-8 record.
In just two years he shifted that broken incapable team into a feared athletic young group of men, not just gifted with talent but strong character individuals creating a culture in Indianapolis that isn’t like any other in the NFL. Ballard’s ability to scout talent, build a roster and time after time find gems in the draft, shows there is a genius at work in Indianapolis that completely turned around the organization.
The trickle down of Chris Ballard is his decision-making, such as the draft picks he and his team of scouts/analysts make as well as the signings and free agents they acquire. All of these decisions they have made sparked a ‘Youth Movement’ and has transformed this team into a young and dangerous club.
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In 2015, the Colts were the oldest team in football aging and not performing, Colts needed a culture shock and something new now the squad is currently the eighth youngest team in the entire NFL at a springy combined average age of 25.6 years.
Last but definitely not least is the experienced coaching staff. The Colts have a three-headed monster in Reich, Sirianni and Eberflus, the lead of it all is the second year head coach Frank Reich. Reich has a combined 14 years of NFL coaching, those widely from other organizations in the Chargers and Eagles being the Offensive coordinator.
In his first year of being the head coach of the Colts he had started with an unimpressive record of 1-5, however things shifted going into week 7 and the team rallied to make the playoffs and eventually exit in the divisional round to the Chiefs.
This was only the second time in NFL history that a team who started the season 1-5 would come back to make the playoffs in that same year (not too shabby for a first year head coach). Nick Sirrianni (offensive coordinator) and Matt Eberflus (defensive coordinator) were transitional pieces to the puzzle and enhanced the teams play and attitude on and off the field.
Back to man who knew it was coming, with a vision that created a powerhouse and the opportunities to make it happen. The best executive in football, Chris Ballard, has put together a team of young, talented, athletic game breakers that are on the rise and will be the ‘Next Dynasty’ in the NFL.
With a group of coaches with a combined 58 years of experience, a generational talent behind center in Andrew Luck and a group of high character men with the willingness to win, translates to… The number one team of the NFL’s future.