Yes, I know that must seem a little crazy with Peyton Manning done soon if he already isn't. Jim Irsay made it clear that he will likely have the team pick the Stanford QB should he be available whenever the Colts pick in the 2012 draft.
On a slightly related but sort of not note--I am a little surprised at the NFL's logic behind its decision not to fine Irsay for his comments about Luck. For those of you that have not heard, Irsay pretty much commented on how highly the Colts look upon Luck, all but saying that the Colts will be taking him in the draft if they can.
Technically, what he said is illegal under NFL rules. Teams are not allowed to influence college players into entering the draft early in any way, whether it would be indirect like with Irsay's comments or by directly stating an intention to draft a player.
I had never heard about this rule till I was reading about Irsay not being fined, but after looking into it I think it's a good rule that Irsay did indeed violate. The NFL has declined to fine Irsay in this case because since it is generally accepted that Luck would have been a top 5 pick had he entered the last draft.
So I guess that means since Luck is perceived to be a high pick whenever he enters the draft no one could influence him by claiming they want to draft him. I don't know about that one folks. Something doesn't seem quite right to me about that decision, but I don't know what. I will say that it almost makes me hope that Luck stays in college one more year (he's only a junior).
Anyway...that kind of brings me back to my point. I think that maybe the Colts should consider not drafting a quarterback with the first pick of the 2012 draft.
Part of me is still holding out hope that the team will rebound and have a decent season here, but the cold reality of the situation is that they probably will not. At least that sets them up with a high draft pick though, and gives them an opportunity to pick the leader of tomorrow (Luck) or perhaps a more pressing need--running back.
The Colts have been able to get away without a top-notch running back because they had the likes of Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison among other talented players catching balls the last decade or so. It's worked for the team too. They are a perennial playoff contender and have made it to the playoffs for more than the last decade including two trips to the Super Bowl.
If the team had a good running game, they might have won more than just one Super Bowl.
The one-sided Colts were always a threat to win it all, but more often than not there was at least one team that could slow down the passing game enough to beat them in the playoffs. Since defenses never had to worry about the rush, they were able to concentrate on the pass.
You can say they tried to get one when they took Joseph Addai in the first round in 2006 with the 30th pick. His stats at LSU were good, but not exactly first round worthy. That becomes easier to say when you see that guys like Maurice-Jones Drew did not go till late in the second round.
Donald Brown was also taken in the first round (but from a school known for basketball). Sure would be nice to have a guy like LeSean McCoy whom the Eagles took late in the second round or Shonn Greene whom the Jets took early in the third.
Part of the blame for thee lack of a running game has to also be laid on the offensive line, but a line that can keep guys off of Peyton Manning as well as they have can open some running lanes too. Since teams will be so afraid of the pass, they would not even need to be big ones.
Of course, the best running backs will suck without a passing game to take the pressure off of them. Should Peyton Manning come back for another season, that will not be an issue. If he doesn't I say Jim Irsay needs to honor the rest of Peyton's contract and keep him on as the most expensive QB coach for either Curtis Painter or whomever they draft in the second round (Brandon Weeden could be a good fit).