INDIANAPOLIS – During last April’s NFL Draft, the Colts went to the well for skill position players.
Beginning with quarterback
With the skill positions in good hands going forward, the 2013 offseason has focused on the areas surrounding that young talent.
Enter a pair of veteran offensive lineman, a Pro Bowl safety and a total of seven free agents under the age of 28 looking to continue to build the monster.
“Obviously, the draft is a wise one and it’s usually how you build a team and you build for sustain success. But I really feel like you need to strike a balance and if there’s players that you can get and help create more competition and raise the bar and you know is going to make your team better as a whole, you have to at least explore those options.”
Those options became realistic Tuesday afternoon when the Colts began acquiring players in a hurry.
Head coach Chuck Pagano spoke for his entire coaching staff in appreciating the effort done by the Colts personnel department in signing some important pieces for next season.
“I just want to thank Ryan, (Vice President of Football Operations) Jimmy Raye, the entire scouting staff. I don’t think there is anybody in the entire National Football League that grinds like Ryan and his crew grinds and the process that they go through, the evaluation process is unbelievable,” Pagano said.
Along with Pagano’s thanks of the entire scouting department, Grigson knows none of these signings would be possible without the support of Owner Jim Irsay, along with Vice President and General Counsel Dan Emerson and Director of Football Administration Mike Bluem
“(Irsay) just really trusts Chuck and I,” Grigson said. “I explained what our game plan was and gave him updates through the whole process. He gets excited. We get excited. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s a grind and there’s some sleepless nights but we feel very, very happy with how it all transpired.”
The marquee name of the seven-man group came late Wednesday evening when after most of everyone had put their heads to rest, Grigson and company were up grinding away for the services of Pro Bowl safety Laron Landry.
From his days with the Eagles organization, Grigson has seen Landry up close when Philadelphia met the Washington Redskins but now he will get to see the ‘game-wrecker’ in his own uniform.
“He’s an impact player (and) we think he’s special,” Grigson said of Landry. “His film, I could have my 89 year old grandmother put on the tape and she’ll know he’s a special talent after three plays.
“It’s like a stick of dynamite going off when he hits somebody. His range, his top end speed, his versatility; the word freak is thrown around a lot, at nauseoum, but he is a true freak.”
While Landry will be the making the highlights next fall, Pagano wanted to point out to a pair of guys in the trenches that will help protect a precious important of Colts cargo.
“I feel really good (with ) what we have coming back and then adding Gosder (Cherilus) and Donald (Thomas),” Pagano said of the offensive line. “It’s hard to find guys like that. Our top priority is we’ve got a really special guy under center. When (Andrew Luck’s) upright, he’s healthy, and we keep him clean, then we’re going to continue to win a lot of football games around here. So adding those two guys was huge and paramount to us moving forward in our success.”
With a little over a month remaining until the NFL Draft, the Colts will continue to evaluate and explore all options across their roster in the hopes of fine-tuning a team that experienced the playoffs last year.
Finally appearing from his ‘bunker’ Friday afternoon, one could see the relief Grigson had knowing that he, along with many others, have added layers to an already firm foundation.
“I had the complete support of a great owner who’s been ultra supportive in this whole process,” Grigson said. “When you talk to him, he wanted to be aggressive. I wanted to be aggressive. Chuck did because we want to win. I think you have to take these opportunities to acquire talent, whole-heartedly and I feel we did as an organization.”