WESTFIELD, Ind. – Noting that his team has the fourth-most wins (217) in the NFL since 2000, Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay on Wednesday discussed his belief in the players, coaches and personnel assembled in Indianapolis to bring the franchise into a new era of success.
"This is a time to set up another generation of greatness," Irsay said. "We were there with Peyton Manning, we did all the things with Peyton and Marvin and Edgerrin that's well-documented, 115 wins in a decade, going to two Super Bowls, winning two home AFC Championship games.
"But now's the time to create another era. It's been created in Pittsburgh, it's been created in Green Bay, it's been created in Denver, so you have to do that. It's about greatness with the Horseshoe and continuing to show that eras don't last forever, but great organizations do and it's up to us to go get that next world championship and create this new era.
"And I believe the players we have, the leadership we have, I believe in Frank Reich, Chris Ballard in the bottom fo the my heart, that's why I extended both those guys. So we're set up for excellence. Now we just have to go do it."
Irsay sees the 2022 Colts as an "outstanding football team with a lot of veteran leadership" led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons in March.
"Matt Ryan's been everything we hoped and dreamed for," Irsay said. "I know how happy the whole organization is having his leadership going into the season and obviously we think we have great backups there as well. We're really, really excited, I think we have a reason to be."
The first step toward establishing that new era of Colts football, then, will be to win the AFC South.
"We know going into it, it's about Tennessee, it's about winning the division, it's about going against those guys who have been very tough," Irsay said. "And they do a great job there getting their players ready to play football in a tough, physical way, so it's always tough going against those guys. But we know that's what we have to do, that's what we have to overcome if we want to get where we want to get."