After a summer of denial about the severity of quarterback neck injury and more than two months of downplaying the lack of results on the football field, vice chairman Bill Polian to own up to the sorry state of his team. When Polian took to the airwaves for his weekly radio show on November 14, he admitted for the first time that the franchise is considering selecting a quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft, and that Manning is on-board with that line of thinking. I’ve been reluctant to join the pining for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, because I thought that Polian’s stubborn streak would preclude that possibility, but now I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon with the rest of the Colts fans.
I’m not any kind of a football talent evaluator, but there are enough expert-type folks touting Luck as the best college quarterback since Manning tore up the hash marks in Tennessee to make me cautiously excited about the possibility. If Manning can return to form for a couple of more good years and then hand the ball over, amicably or not (see and ) to his own second coming, then the Colts have a chance for sustained excellence that is seldom seen. Joe Montana gave way to Steve Young, but Young wasn’t, well, all that young. Favre finally “retired” and gave Rodgers his chance, and Aaron may end up being even better than the Gunslinger. And that’s about all she wrote in terms of a direct line of succession in terms of multiple top-drawer passers for one NFL team.
If the Colts pull off the Manning-to-Luck morph and manage to have just this one terrible season in the process, then Polian’s legacy will likely be sealed if it hasn’t been already. He would have built the nearly-there in the 1990s and the Manning-led Colts of the 2000s and the Luck-y Horseshoes of the 2010s and 2020s. It all sounds pretty tasty right now, especially sitting here staring at that 0-10 record on my laptop screen.
Of course, there are still six games to go before the end of the season, and Polian’s biggest challenge may be continuing to mold the 2011 Colts into a team that can back out of the end zone without raising too much suspicion. Good thing he has head coach Jim Caldwell as an accomplice.
Adam Hughes was raised, and still lives, in rural Indiana. He has been a Colts fans since the team arrived in Indianapolis on a snowy morning in 1984. The Blue and White eventually replaced the as his #1 team, and Super Bowl XLI was a dream come true.
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