I was speed reading through an article early today about the needs of the various teams in the NFL. I found the headline for the Colts a little on the obvious side--a transition from the Peyton Manning Era.
With or without him, that is exactly what the team is going to have to do next season. What I did not envision at first was that the Peyton Manning Era would not just include the famed QB, but quite possibly many of the key players still on the roster.
I have been hearing that Peyton's only center, Jeff Saturday, might be calling it quits; Ryan Diem too. There has been talk that the team might do away with Reggie Wayne, Gary Brackett, and even Dallas Clark, but want to keep Robert Mathis and Pierre Garcon.
I'm with you on Mathis; he and Dwight Freeney are easily among the top three defensive front duos in the league. Garcon? He's young and has break-away potential, but he's also lazy and prone to dropping balls. If Austin Collie didn't have all the concussion issues last season I'd say the team should worry more about him then Garcon.
I digress....after reading how QB is the biggest concern immediately thought that a few other concerns were not too far off. The line will need to be even better than it was during Manning's day in order to give a rookie QB the protection he'll need to learn the pro game without getting killed. I firmly believe that the Colts did not win more Super Bowls with Manning because their running game always sucked; for that we need guys that can run block as well as a better runner than either guy we have right now.
That's not the end of the Colts concerns though.
The secondary was atrocious last season. A guy in my fantasy league picked up the QB of whomever the Colts were playing (if available meaning he got what would normally be a scrub for fantasy football purposes) and each time he did he outscored his regular starter easily. Those guys were just plain bad. Now hopefully Melvin Bullitt will be good to go next season, but that still leaves us short a pair of cover corners.
So in summary, we need a QB, an offensive line, running back, and a secondary; and if the team dumps Reggie Wayne a legitimate No 1 receiver as well (Garcon is not a No 1).
Umm...good luck Grigson. You got your work cut out for you.