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Indianapolis hoping offseason gambles produce Super Bowl run

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Colts are going all in on a Super Bowl run.

They’ve surrounded their perfectly groomed franchise quarterback with more speed, more power and a stronger defense. They’ve made no secret of their goal.

Now it’s time to see if Indianapolis finally has a strong enough hand to trump New England.

“Robert (Mathis) pointed up to the 2006 (Super Bowl) banner and he said that needs to happen again this year,” tight end Dwayne Allen said after a June practice at Lucas Oil Stadium. “It’s one of those things where, again, we all know the type of team that we have and we know what lies ahead.”

Training camp opens Saturday at nearby Anderson University, and nobody expects the next step on Indy’s journey to come easily.

The Patriots still pose the biggest obstacle in the AFC, Peyton Manning still plays in Denver, Pittsburgh still causes matchup problems, and the Colts still must prove they can defend the league’s top offenses.

Then again, the Colts have beaten longer odds.

They gambled by releasing the injured Manning in 2012 and turning the franchise over to the talented but untested Andrew Luck. All Luck has done is lead Indy to 11 wins and playoff appearances in each of his first three NFL seasons, two straight division titles, and taken the Colts one step deeper in the playoffs each year.

What’s next? Winning a championship, of course.

So the Colts put big money on Trent Cole, Frank Gore, Todd Herremans Andre Johnson and Kendall Langford, and now they’re about to find out if the investment pays off.

“He (owner Jim Irsay) has the same goals we have, to hang another banner up and to win that Super Bowl,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “That’s what we want to do and that’s the plan.”