With the Philadelphia Eagles going to Super Bowl 57, the Indianapolis Colts should be looking to replicate Philly’s path in recent years.
In 2019, the Philadelphia Eagles won nine games. That was enough to get them into the postseason but they lost in the wild-card round. Philly followed that season up with an abysmal 4-11-1 season in 2020. The Eagles franchise understood things needed to change so they began an aggressive approach to fix things. Following a few changes, the Eagles won nine games in 2021 and returned to the postseason. Understanding that they were on the right track, Philadelphia became even more aggressive in making changes and now they are in the Super Bowl after a 14-win regular season.
The start of that journey is very similar to the last two years for the Indianapolis Colts. Like the Eagles in 2019, the Colts won nine games in 2021. Just like Philly, Indy followed up with an abysmal season that only saw four wins and a draw. Now Indianapolis is at a crossroads. The franchise has a lot of important decisions to make. The next few years for the Colts could have the kind of success that the Eagles are currently having, but that all depends on if Indy’s general manager Chris Ballard is willing to make the kind of moves that Philly’s general manager Howie Roseman did.
Howie Roseman should be an example for Chris Ballard and Colts
Following Philly’s four-win season in 2020, the team parted ways with Doug Pederson. The Eagles then hired Nick Sirianni, a move that wasn’t all that popular initially. Philly also gave 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts the starting quarterback job and decided to build around him by trading up to draft talents like wide receiver DeVonta Smith and offensive lineman Landon Dickerson in the 2021 Draft. As a result, the Eagles won nine games in 2021 and showed that they were a promising young team.
However, Philadelphia also had eight losses and was beaten in the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-15. Philly had improved but it was clear they weren’t near being serious contenders yet. So what did Howie Roseman do? He aggressively attacked the offseason to address all of the Eagles’ needs. The moves he made not only landed his team in the Super Bowl but it earned him the PFWA Executive of the Year award.
In the 2022 offseason, Roseman traded for wide receiver AJ Brown, and defensive back CJ Gardener-Johnson. He also signed edge defender Haason Reddick and cornerback James Bradberry. Additionally, once the season started and the Eagles were struggling to stop the run, Roseman went and signed Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph, turning the team’s biggest weakness into a strength. Whatever the need was, Roseman didn’t make any excuses, he just did whatever was necessary to address it.
Now, the Eagles are playing for a Super Bowl. While Jalen Hurts is an elite quarterback and Nick Sirianni is a good coach, this Super Bowl appearance isn’t possible without the aggressive moves made by general manager Howie Roseman. If the Colts want to find themselves in a Super Bowl in the near future, Chris Ballard has to be far more aggressive in addressing Indy’s needs.
That is starting with the coaching search, and Ballard has been thorough, interviewing an extensive list of candidates. Once a coach is named, Indy will be hoping to find its franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. Those can’t be the only two major moves the Colts make this offseason though. Ballard must be willing to spend big in free agency and also make aggressive trades. The Eagles are proof that aggressive offseasons can significantly turn teams around, so if the Colts want to return to contender status, Ballard and company knows what needs to be done.