INDIANAPOLIS — Each year, by the time the Super Bowl is over with and the big-name free agents start finding their new homes, there’s inevitably a team or two across the NFL that always seems to be in the headlines — for reasons that could be considered good or bad.
And, accordingly, those teams head into the subsequent regular season with a ton of hype.
But after a mostly quiet, calculated approach to free agency, followed by a non-flashy — but productive — NFL Draft haul, the Indianapolis Colts haven’t exactly been contending for that title of “offseason champions” this time around.
No, the focus in Indianapolis this offseason has been continuing to fill holes and, more recently, beginning to define roles for the players, both new and returning, in the offensive and defensive schemes (both of which, under new head coach Frank Reich, are drastically different than those utilized in Indy a year ago).
Add all of those factors together, coupled with the team’s 4-12 record in 2017, and the Colts have been one of the least talked-about teams, at least nationally, this offseason. That’s reflected in post-draft “NFL Power Rankings” by various sports media sites, most of which have Indianapolis near the bottom, if not dead last, in the entire NFL.
But the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football crew — well, two hosts, at least — aren’t among those ignoring what’s being built at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
On Monday morning’s show, the hosts were tasked with answering the question, “What team is flying under the radar” entering the 2018 season? And Peter Schrager and Kay Adams both agreed: it’s the Indianapolis Colts.
Here’s what Schrager, donning a “Colts Forged” 2018 NFL Draft hat, had to say:
“I’m going with the Colts. I like what Kay was saying in the opening of this show — you’ve now got an offensive line that can protect Andrew Luck. … No, they’ve got a line, dude. They’ve got a line, you’ve got Andrew Luck and they’ve got a new coach in Frank Reich. Look, I think that this team, if they were up to their full potential and they were all healthy last year would’ve competed in the division; they weren’t. Andrew Luck, when healthy, is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL — let’s put that out there. I’m saying no one’s talking about the Colts; I’m giving them a shot.” — Peter Schrager, "Good Morning Football" (June 4, 2018)
Schrager then passed the hat along to Adams, who said:
“I’m doubling down on the Colts. I feel like we don’t talk about them enough. I think we, frankly, disrespect T.Y. Hilton on a regular basis on this show — never talk about him. And Andrew Luck, like you said, he took a, what, a 2-14 team — what did he do? Take a team with two wins to the playoffs (in a) great rookie season? If he is healthy — if he picks up that Duke — it’s the Colts.” Kay Adams, "Good Morning Football" (June 4, 2018)
Other teams in the running for "under the radar" were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos.