Indianapolis Colts

Colts leadership ready for kickoff

Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard talks during a videoconference.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Game Week rolls on!

The official start of the NFL season is just days away, and, now that the rosters have been trimmed to 53, the front office can finally reflect on their 2020 expectations in Indy.

Twas’ the week before kickoff, and all through Lucas Oil’s land, Colts football is officially dialed in.

After an offseason of uncertainty over the coronavirus and a preseason that never came, it’s finally time for depth charts, and rankings, and an actual opponent on Sunday afternoon.

“This one is even more important because it’s a division opponent and it’s on the road. A win against a division opponent on the road against a team that we haven’t played well down in their stadium,” Head Coach Frank Reich said. “We have a lot to prove and we know this is a good football team. I also know it’s important because every year – just talking to Mr. (Jim) Irsay. He stresses to me the importance of the opener.”

So, the front office has checked their list and checked it twice. They think an early-statement win in the AFC South would be nice.

The ghosts of seasons past can no longer be found, so according to General Manager Chris Ballard, the Colts roster is finally well-rounded.

“Look, I don’t ever want to take away from the quarterback position and the importance of it. … Saying that, you’ve got to have a team around them that can carry them so the quarterback doesn’t have to play lights out each and every week for you to win,” Ballard said. “It’s got to be about every player on the roster, every phase, and we feel like we are in a good spot right now. We feel like we have a good, young, defensive football team with a good mix of veterans, and we feel the same way on offense, and really on special teams, too, with the ascension of Nyheim Hines giving us at the end of last year an explosive returner that is a threat to score every time you punt to him. That’s a beautiful thing on game day to have. We feel good about where we’re at.”

So, there is depth at O-Line, specialists galore, and don’t even get them started on the linebacker core.

“Then the linebacker group speaks for itself. I think you know my opinion on our linebackers. We kept seven because we have seven good players and they all fill a specific role,” Ballard said. “I’ll never forget when we first got here saying we knew that there was going to be a ton of work that needed to be done on the defensive side. I’m proud of the work. That’s what you want. You want disruptive players and good players at every level and we think we’ve done that and now we have started to build some depth. … Excited about where we’re going, and ready to get started.”

Reich said, “He’ll give Jacksonville our best effort. We’ll be focused and get ready. We want to start the year off right with a win on the road against a division opponent, a good team.”

Happy game week to all, and to all a good fight!