Posted on August 5, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Sports fans are accustomed to hearing promises from team owners. Fans of the Indianapolis Colts certainly heard quite a few last season. They were led to believe that their quarterback, Andrew Luck, was going to be ready to go Week One. The offensive line issues were supposed to be solved as well.
Luck never played, and the line led the league in sacks allowed (56). So, why on Earth should fans listen to anything Irsay has to say this time?
After practice Friday, Irsay spent some time talking to reporters and was quite emphatic about how “a great renaissance period is about to unfold.” He went on at length as to why he feels the way he does. As could be expected, he talked about the return of Andrew Luck (Indystar):
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“Trust me when I say this, it’s made him a better football player, and a better man, a guy in the end who is going to give us even a better chance for greatness.
He went on to say that he was surprised that Luck ended up missing the entire season. However, that would be easier to believe if Luck had started throwing shortly after the season ended. But that was not the case at all.
Luck is throwing no, though, and Irsay made it clear that he likes what he sees:
“He has a fire burning deep in his heart and his soul to win and to really kick some butt. Really deep inside of him. That is what you look for, that is what you want in guys like that.”
He did go on to list several other reasons why he is so high on his team including his new head coach, Marlon Mack, and this year’s first-round pick, Quenton Nelson.
“I think we got a chance for real, real greatness.”
As the owner of the team, of course, he is going to think they have a chance for greatness. He’d be foolish to say otherwise. But oddsmakers are a little more pessimistic. According to Betway.com (as of August 4), they only have a 4-1 shot at making the playoffs (lowest in the division; among the lowest in the league).
Expectations for their win total aren’t encouraging either. The odds they win more than 6.5 games have been set at -153.85; odds for under is +115.00.
The oddsmakers don’t appear as confident in the Colts as Irsay. So—who’s right? Can fans believe in what Irsay says or should they side with the oddsmakers?
Irsay is talking the talk but doesn’t appear as ready to walk it just yet. As confident as he is in Luck, he is not interested in trade offers for backup Jacoby Brissett. Brissett started 15 games for the Colts last season, and considering the circumstances, didn’t do a bad job.
Why not get something for him while you can? Easy—because you never know what might happen. If you are lucky enough to have a talented backup quarterback, you want to hold onto him.
As for this season, don’t put your money where Irsay’s mouth is just yet. Even if Luck does come back better than ever, Marlon Mack may not pan out as a primary running back. The offensive line is unproven, and someone needs to step up alongside TY Hilton. The defense is going to be relying on lots of people stepping up to succeed.
Irsay is talking about the long-term future of the team as well as this coming season. The future does appear promising—but this season?
Forget about it. The AFC South will belong to the Jaguars or Texans this season. The Colts have too many holes in their roster to have a chance.