The Indianapolis Colts have found the leadership they may have been lacking since Phillip Rivers retired. The result? When I attended the Colts’ practice this week there was a high energy level and a great deal of excitement. One of the main reasons for that excitement is the stellar play— and aforementioned leadership— of new Quarterback Matt Ryan.
After being drafted third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan spent 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. The former MVP was traded to the Colts in March for a third-round draft choice. I think he’s already adapted to his new surroundings and is providing the Colts with much-needed leadership.
So Far So Good for Matt Ryan
I thought Ryan looked as good as ever in practice. His arm strength was good, and it was apparent he was already growing comfortable in the offense. The quarterback will have an excellent running game to look forward to, led by running back Jonathan Taylor. Their only established receiver is maybe Michael Pittman Jr, but the team used rookie Alec Pierce a lot in the redzone during drills. Ryan has the chance to be the leadership element this offense has lacked since the departure of Phillip Rivers.
The Colts also feel they have an edge because they are one of just five NFL teams holding training camp outside their regular practice facilities. Colts’ General Manager Chris Ballard feels it gives his team an edge thanks to the camaraderie these first few weeks of the year help build.
New Coaching Leadership
Matt Eberflus, the Colts’ Defensive Coordinator last season, left to take the head coaching job in Chicago. It’s now up to former Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley to provide the Colts leadership on defense this season. Bradley’s system isn’t too different, but there will be some tweaks and adjustments to what they do defensively.
The way the Colts win games this year is to play rock-solid defense, run the ball, and then let Matty Ice take his shots down the field.