Should the Colts ditch Manning for Luck?

Roberto Campos

I can honestly say that this season was the most disappointing season we’ve seen from the Colts since Peyton Manning has arrived in Indianapolis. As our season ended weeks ago and we clinched the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, sports analysts and fans alike have begun to speculate on what our once dominate team should do.

The Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has begun to reshape his team and in dramatic fashion he has started by firing vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian, which happens to be Bill’s son.

This is a step in the right direction, the Polians were at the forefront of the Colts’ problems. During Jim Irsay’s press conference, Jan. 2, he stated something that perfectly reflects the state of our team.

“Less than two years ago, we were getting ready for the Super Bowl,” Irsay said. “It’s been a very sharp decline. Even last year, when we were getting ready for our playoff game, if someone would have said you’ll be having the No. 1 pick, no one could possibly believe it.”

Over the years the Polian’s have drafted greats like Manning, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney, but in recent years, poor drafting has led to our team getting older and us left with little younger talent to fill those holes.

They have much of the blame in the situation that we face now and firing them, while bold, shows Irsay’s commitment to returning the Colts to their former glory.

The state of head coach Jim Caldwell’s position is questionable as of right now. But I would expect a decision will be made on whether he returns or not to be made when the Colts acquire a new general manager.

The most pressing issue now is what to do with Manning. From the press conference, Irsay’s body language and overall tone told me we are going to draft Stanford quaterback Andrew Luck and Manning will never wear blue again. I would like to see a move like this. Arguments made for Manning in my opinion are made based on nostalgia.

We know what Manning used to be, but now if he gets tackled once it could be more than career ending, he could be severally paralyzed. For the Colts, the future isn’t two more years with Manning. It’s 10 plus years with Luck in command.

In an odd and scary way, Luck looks like Manning when he came out of college, but he has one asset that Manning doesn’t: he can run and throw on the run accurately.

Also, Luck cost less than Manning, and there is no guarantee that Manning will ever be able to play again. So when March 8 arrives, I hope we don’t take a $28 million gamble on a player that had three major neck surgeries in 18 months.

Luck has all the tools to become a great like Manning, maybe even better. We have to face fact and realize Manning is in the past. Another problem we face is how many key players, like Wayne. We are losing because of free agency.

This might sound radical, but I believe the only one we need to keep is Robert Mathis. Freeney needs Mathis and the two are a powerful combination. Our team needs to start fresh, we are in rebuilding mode, and that means clean house.

Obviously what we were doing wasn’t working, and Irsay has released that and has started to clean house. When the draft rolls around the future of next season will be clearer.

We need Luck along with younger players out of the draft to fill offensive and defensive positions. If the Colts do that, it will give them the tools to create a team that can compete for Super Bowls again.

No team able to compete for the Super Bowl was ever made by playing it safe, and that is something Irsay understands. That’s why I’m excited for the future of the Indianapolis Colts.