Indianapolis Colts 2006 Super Bowl team could still be teaching us lessons

The Indianapolis Colts 2006 Super Bowl team was one of my fondest memories and could still be teaching us lessons on how to build a team.
Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts v Chicago Bears
Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts v Chicago Bears / Jed Jacobsohn/GettyImages
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Offensive lessons to learn from 2006 Colts

The bread and butter for Indianapolis in the 2000s was the offense. The legendary Colts offense included Marvin Harrison, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne and it was led by the all-time great Peyton Manning. The former teams included Edgerrin James, Tarik Glenn and a host of others.

At this point in time the NFL was transitioning from a run-first league to a passing league that we know and love. The teams that spearheaded this were the Colts led by Peyton Manning, the Packers who were transitioning to Aaron Rodgers from Brett Favre, and the Patriots, led by the legendary Tom Brady.

The Colts offense was built to play in the shotgun and run draw plays to fool the defense. Manning was one of the smartest players who always expected and applied 100% of himself to the field. The Colts receivers were key to the success and so was their tight ends. Indianapolis was unique in that they could attack on the outside, in the slot, at the tight end position, or even with the tight end in the slot. Tony Dungy, despite being a defensive coach, ran largely crossing patterns to beat man coverage and deep posts and go routes to beat zone.

With the league being a pass-first league right now, the lessons we can take away are to have super athletic tight ends who can play in multiple different areas on the field including blocking and the slot, along with receivers who can do it all. Reggie Wayne was an excellent route runner and Marvin Harrison was one of the best catchers in the league.

Even more important was the 1-2 punch of the running backs. The Colts had Joseph Addai and Domonic Rhodes who had different running styles. Rhodes was the third-down back who could power through a linebacker for that extra yard and Joseph Addai was the smooth, one-cut runner who took advantage of linebacker matchups.

To a large extent, the Colts offense was set up to be unstoppable and the only people who could stop them was themselves. Indianapolis' offense was legendary and broke many records, but one thing that always stood out was the skilled positions were top tier. This offseason the Colts have a major decision to make regarding Michael Pittman Jr. and in my opinion, they should send the bag to him to keep him in Indianapolis. His comments regarding free agency tell me the Colts and him are either very far away on guaranteed money or they are not willing to give him long-term deal. Pittman has been successful with seven different quarterbacks, two different head coaches, and four different OCs.

If there's one offensive lesson the 2006 Colts taught us it is never to let good receiver talent walk out the door.