INDIANAPOLIS --- NFL Network Anchor Rich Eisen emceed the Colts 2015 Kickoff Luncheon at the J.W. Marriott Wednesday afternoon, but before taking the stage, he shared his thoughts on the Colts from his national perspective.
Where do you think the Colts stack up in the AFC?
"Well, I think the Colts fit in right at the top? I think certainly with what the Colts have proven each and every year of the Luck-Pagano administration is that they made the playoffs the first year and have taken it one step further every single year. Taking it one step further this year would mean actually going to the Super Bowl.
Going to the Super Bowl for the Colts this year means Luck gets to go to Northern California, where he began to make his bones on a national level. From somebody like me, in terms of looking at storylines and how things usually play out, I like the Colts chances of doing that.
Certainly with the flux surrounding the Patriots and Denver sort of being up in the air a little bit, that might prove in my mind to be their most stout competition, which would be from my perspective epic if Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck should meet in a game like that.
I really like what the Colts have done. I think Andre Johnson and Frank Gore are stupendous additions. I like the Trent Cole acquisition that few people are actually talking about, because the team that gave him up has taken up a lot of the national media oxygen on that front. So, I really like what the Colts have done. Robert Mathis is technically an addition. I'm very high on the Colts."
I'm not sure if your Courtyard by Marriott commercials are better or if Andrew Luck's new commercials are, but what have you noticed about Luck from a national perspective in his maturation?
"Luck is clearly a guy who has a head on his shoulders that's different from most. I did an interview with him for my show, The Rich Eisen Show, and he dropped a Pavlovian dogs reference and then swore he was not a luddite, dropped the word luddite (a person opposed to new technology), which I think a lot of the players in the NFL might think is the name of some form of kitchen appliance, as opposed to the way Andrew used it.
He obviously had the opinion that he should earn his national appearances, stripes, as opposed to just getting them, as he could have being the first overall pick in a draft which such hype surrounding him.
I think he should get out there a little bit more and show off who he is, because fans want to know. They really, really do. They really want to know what makes the players they love tick, and next time you and I speak, he might be the MVP of this league. There's a lot of people who believe he's going to have another great step forward season for a team that is built around him in a very smart and efficient way. I'm not just saying this. I would have said this for anybody, not just (because I'm hosting the Colts kickoff luncheon). I like the Colts a lot to win the AFC...the NFC is more of a toss-up. I really think the Colts are the favorite in the AFC."
Which of your NFL Network analysts is your worst nightmare when your producer is screaming in your ear to get to a commercial break?
"Oh gosh, that's Michael Irvin. He runs through more stop signs than, well, I shouldn't say. I don't think there's anybody that runs through more stop signs than him. There are two I's in Irvin and one in Michael, and that's okay.
I know who he is, and I love him. He was at my wedding because my wife worked with him at FOX Sports. I'm married now 12 years. He spoke at my baby naming for my daughter. So I get to scratch off a bucket list, the note that I had a rabbi introduce Michael Irvin in front of a group of people.
I love the man, but he can talk."
Our sincere thanks to Rich Eisen for spending some time with Colts.com before Wednesday's Kickoff Luncheon.