There is certainly a lot of positive energy surrounding the Indianapolis Colts now that Ryan Grigson is gone. However, people need to remember the difficult state this franchise is still in.
There were numerous reasons why Jim Irsay fired Grigson. Though, the main reason was he absolutely depleted the Colts’ roster through bad trades, signings and draft picks. Now, the next general manager and Indianapolis’ staff has to fix his mess.
Right now, the Colts cannot win the AFC South, the NFL’s worst football division, and have not won for two years now. The division could be getting better too because Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans have shown solid improvement in the past two seasons.
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Offensively, the Colts’ roster is filled with solid offensive players like Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, and Ryan Kelly. Meanwhile, they also have a handful of players that are either not living up to potential or are flat out busts (i.e. Phillip Dorsett).
They have young offensive linemen with some talent. However, they still need to see that potential translate into a game consistently. The unit surrendered 41 sacks this past season, and remember, Luck just had shoulder surgery from getting hit too often.
At the same time, Frank Gore is not getting any younger. He turns 34 in May, and Indianapolis does not have an heir-apparent on the team.
Defensively, the defense is old, slow and not overwhelmingly tough. Statistically,it was one of the five worst defenses in the league this years. Pro Football Focus ranked it as the second worst defense.
They have some potential along the defensive line, but they are a mess elsewhere. They do not have any edge pass rushers, and Robert Mathis retiring makes them even more inept in that area. Also, they may need to find a replacement for aging inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
They also need to rework the secondary. Vontae Davis and Clayton Geathers are the only constants of the group. T.J. Green was the worst safety in football according to PFF, and they still do not have a reliable second cornerback despite signing Patrick Robinson in 2016.
Clearly, the Colts have a long list of issues on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, they might not be able to resolve them all this offseason. Regardless, this is an important offseason for the Colts.
Once they find a new general manager, they need to fix these issues with limited resources. They have about $58 million of cap space and at least six 2017 draft picks at their disposal.
The Colts should be in for some brighter days ahead now that Grigson is gone. Unfortunately, his presence can still be felt given all the personnel issues he left behind. It will be interesting to see how Indianapolis uses their resources to re-tool and re-shape their roster.