Tyler J. Coia is a proud Fort Wayne, Indiana resident who has been supporting the Colts for as long as he can remember. As a 35-year-old, much of Tyler Coia’s fandom has been in the Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck eras. As most Colt fans can tell you having a league leading quarterback is pretty nice, so the last few seasons have been tough for Tyler J. Coia and the Colts. Today, however, there is a renewed hope going through Colts Nation as Anthony Richardson, the first round pick out of Florida, will be under center leading the youngest team in all of football. In fact, Tyler J. Coia, notes that this Colts roster is the first to not have a single player on it over the age of 30. Can the youth movement bring success to a team coming off a 4-win season? Let’s take a look.
The good news for Colts fan is that they were finally bad enough last year to make considerable changes to the roster and the staff. In the years post Andrew Luck, Tyler J. Coia notes that the team was in a bit of a football purgatory. They would be competitive enough to stay in the playoff hunt but never good enough to compete for a title. Tyler J. Coia would always prefer to rebuild and give the franchise a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
The Colts enter this season with Shane Steichen at head coach. Coach Shane Steichen was the offensive coordinator for the NFC championship winners last season. Jalen Hurts has credited Steichen for being a major part of his quarterback development, which is a good sign for Colts fans. Tyler J. Coia notes that quarterback Anthony Richardson is similar to Hurts in that he can carry the football just as well as he can rifle it down the field. The biggest question marks surrounding both the coach and the quarterback is a lack of experience. Richardson only started 13 career college games and Steichen has never been the head man in charge. Both will likely need some time to grow. Tyler J. Coia can be patient, but owner Jim Irsay must show that same patience and allow these two to grow together.
One of the things Tyler J. Coia is most bewildered by this offseason has been the handling of the Jonathan Taylor contract situation. The star running back was clearly the Colts best player last season and is likely the best player on the team this year as well. Taylor should be on the field as a security blanket for a young quarterback developing against NFL defenses. Instead, Taylor missed most of camp after a trade request and will now miss at least the first four weeks of the season. Understanding that teams don’t typically pay running backs as much as they pay other positions, Tyler J. Coia was only further confused when the team apparently asked for Jalen Waddle in return for Taylor in a proposed trade with the Dolphins. If the team holds Taylor in the same breath as Waddle, they should just pay the man. It also helps that the Colts have a quarterback on a rookie deal, so there’s more money to go around. Tyler J. Coia is hopefully the two sides can come together as Richardson would really benefit from a great running back behind him.
Las Vegas has the Colts win total set at 6.5. What has Tyler J. Coia hopeful that the Colts can surprise some people and go over their projected win total is that the division they play in is simply not that good. The Houston Texans will also be starting a rookie quarterback, but there defense and supporting cast is not as strong as that of the Colts – at least on paper. The Titans are in a state of flux as they seem to be in that football purgatory Tyler J. Coia mentioned earlier. If they struggle out of the gate, it will not surprise Tyler to see them sit down their quarterback and look to get a better draft pick in next year’s draft. The Jaguars enter the draft as the clear favorites, but they haven’t been the leaders in a while. How they respond to that pressure will be interested to see.
Whether they are better or now remains to be seen, but they at least have a direction now that they did not have before. Tyler J. Coia is thankful for hope as that’s a whole lot better than the dread of another so-so season.