6 Things That Must Change for the Colts in 2013
There is always room for improvement, and the Colts are not an exception to this rule.
The Colts are entering phase two of the rebuilding phase as Luck and Co. The team did well last season, but they can be better.
These are six things that the Colts must do to improve in the upcoming 2013 season.
This is the most obvious thing that must change for the Colts.
Andrew Luck is the jewel of the Colts' crown right now, and he must be treated as such. The talent and toughness he displayed in his rookie year was impressive. The fact that he managed to do as much as he did while getting sacked 41 times in the season is amazing.
The offensive line has to be rebuilt to protect Luck so he can do his thing. This will be another big year for the Colts, and the last thing they need is Luck injured.
Rushing the Passer More (More Sacks)
While the Colts’ offense had a stellar year (all things considered) last season; the defense did not have a good season. It is time for the Colts to improve their D and rush the passer more. The Colts managed to rank 23rd in the league with 32 sacks. They must improve that stat.
The Colts need someone who is capable of running the 3-4 defense scheme while still being an effective pass-rush specialist. Unfortunately, Freeney could not adapt to the new defensive scheme, so it’s time that the Colts up their stats with some new blood in this position. Sorry Freeney, you are still a legend.
Improved Cornerback Position
Oh, how badly the Colts need a better CB.
First, the Colts cornerbacks are currently Vontae Davis, Sergio Brown, Marshay Green, and Teddy Williams. Just taking a look at what they currently have in talent from these players illustrates their need for a depth guy.
Davis can show a little bit of talent as a depth guy; but like the others is more of a special teams guy than a depth guy. The Colts need a stronger starter. They need someone better than anyone on their roster. This must change.
Devote to the Run
In the previous season, Arians had the offense focused on a vertical passing game.
While Luck was successful with this type of offense, you cannot argue with the new offensive coordinator and Luck's success.
Pep Hamilton, the new offensive coordinator for the Colts will be introducing a variation of the West Coast style of offense. This will feature a shorter passing game with emphasize on a power-running game. It is a beautiful, unstoppable style of play if it can be mastered. For it to be successful it will require the Colts to get big, gruff offensive lineman and to devote themselves to the run.
Some will argue that the offense in the previous season was not broken, so, why fix it? My response to this is that the option to not change the offensive scheme is out of the hands of Colts fans. With a new OC, there will be changes.
Hamilton is more than qualified to make them, especially considering the success that Hamilton and Luck had at Stanford with this variation of West Coast offense. Now, the Colts just need to adapt to the scheme and have the right talent available to work it effectively.
He’s an icon of the Colts. He’s been around for 17 seasons and he has earned the respect of the Colts fans. He made his legacy by being counted on as a clutch kicker. There has been more than one game where his kick won the game.
However, it is time to be realistic and not sentimental.
Vinatieri is no longer a top of the line kicker. He is, well, old, and his leg strength is not what it used to be. He is no longer worth the $3.4 million his contract will cost against the cap in 2013.
Of course, the Colts have a lot of money to spend this year-but if it came down to needing some more money for a much-needed space to fill, Vin can go. McAfee is capable of taking over and has expressed interest in doing so. He already handles the kickoffs.
I’m not saying that Vinatieri is not a legend and a much loved Colt. I just think it’s time to retire.
Rebuild Through Free Agency and Not Just the Draft
It’s a new year with many needs. This will not be a year that the Colts build through the draft Polian style.
It’s time to spend some money! Show me the money!
The Colts have the most cap space out of any other team in the league, according to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. They will have to spend some of it on their own free agents, but there will be a lot left. So, they rebuild through free agency and the draft this year.
The only hope is that Grigson does not spend it all in one place and pay a washed-up player a prime price. But, let's not kid ourselves. They're spending some dough this year.