Indianapolis Colts Football

Is this the end? or a setback?

Posted by coltsindianapolis on December 26, 2011 – 6:48 pm

Every week Colts.com features a blog written by one of our fans. This week’s blog was submitted by Ken Truckenmiller.

Reality can be painful, at times. I have been a Colts fan since 1968, so I have had some years like this to deal with , in the past. It’s never easy and certainly not fun. I seem to have a very different perspective on this season than most EVERYONE, maybe that’s due to having dealt with it before or …..something else.
I have to start with the most telling stats:
115 wins in a decade-NFL record
7 consecutive 12 win seasons- NFL record
9 consecutive playoff appearances-NFL record
23 consecutive wins-NFL record
There is a pattern here, the NFL has been around for 91 years, yet no team has ever done it before, I have to repeat-EVER! There have been some very dominating teams over the years and in todays salary cap era, domination isn’t supposed to happen, the system is set up to keep teams from dominating, yet the Colts did.
The one thing that I think really dictates greatness in the NFL, is track record, if a person or team have a great track record over many years, that dictates greatness! It is a short list. When a team has that degree of success, it indicates…..great leaders (top to bottom) great coaches, great players, a great system, there is no other explanation.
Peyton Manning is one of, if not the best ever to play his position, but to think that he did all of that, all by himself, is naive and ……………
I have read all year, everywhere, that the Colts are done….rebuild, start from scratch, severe lack of talent, leaderless, how can it get so bad, so fast………
What’s the true indicator, one year or a decade? I know this is a what have you done lately business, but when a team has shown greatness over an extended period of time, that has to be considered in the thought process.
Football is complicated and at the same time , very simple. There are win-loss records,stats,etc…….but there are also reasons and you have to really watch, really look and really understand to see why. You have to really want to know why.

It starts at QB, if you do not have a quality QB ,winning is very difficult. If you have a great defense and/or running game, you MIGHT make up for that. The best you can hope for is some wins. maybe .500, maybe. If that player happens to be one of the best ever to play the game and he isn’t playing, the consequences will be very severe, “any” QB who tries to fill in, will come up ….short. Add to that a rebuilt O-line, with 4 “new” starters and it can get kind of crazy.
Injuries are part of football, epidemics are not, if you lose 1/3 of your starters and many more missing games, that makes a bad situation worse. Young players need time and reps to develop, they learn as they grow, if they are forced to play before they have gained that experience, it can look …ugly. When “that” QB isn’t playing, opposing teams have a totally different game plan, not a game plan of keep up, which is how the defense is built, but a game plan of keep away and a run the ball-time of procession style of play, which is not how the defense was built. It’s all part of that system.
Winning one game in the NFL is very hard, teams that have a history of success tend to make it seem easier than it really is. There are a small handful of teams that have dominated for an extended period of time, there is a reason for that, it’s not the norm. They are the exception, not the rule. They have proven over time, that it takes a total, complete system in place, to cover all of the countless decisions that need to be made, for that success to continue.
When we view this season, the losses, the stats, it looks hopeless, it’s not, far from it. The system is still in place and it’s proven, that’s hope in itself. What comes next is talent level, how good is it? There is a difference between a bad team and a team that is playing bad, bad teams lack talent ( and leadership) teams that are playing bad, usually are making (critical ) mistakes (fumbles, interceptions, penalties,missed tackles, missed assignments,etc). There is a difference between a bad player and a young player, young players will make mistakes, that’s a given , even great young players will make mistakes. It can take 2-3 years and even more, in some cases for players to adjust to the NFL and play like they are capable of playing.
What we are seeing this year is a team without it’s best player, missing 9 players who were either starters or part of the starting rotation ( we are getting close to half the starting lineup) and too many other players who have missed time, to compete on a weekly, consistent basis. Consistency is really the key to the year, good in spurts, but not for a full 60 minutes of football.
The system is in place, the leaders are in place, the talent level is fine ( when healthy-and it has nothing to do with conditioning) you can thank the football gods for that. When everything is in place, the only thing left is time (patience) . There is no reason to panic, or over react. With a 91 year history, there really isn’t much that happens now, that hasn’t happened , many times before, so there are plenty of scenarios that can be looked at, to get the needed perspective.
The final pieces of this puzzle, will take place this off season, when many decisions will need to be made, who stays, who goes. It’s still early, but the signs are pointing to Peyton being 100% next year and if he returns ( and he better be ) I feel very strongly that drafting a QB #1 overall, is not a good way to win championships, it is a great way to win games-but not championships. My hope is that we have that pick, trade it away and re stock what I think is a very good team already.
There are so many clichés used in this league and most of them are quite accurate, it’s never as bad as it seems, when you lose……
It’s not excuses, it’s not blue colored glasses, it’s reality.


Posted in Fan Feature


22 Responses to “Is this the end? or a setback?”

  1. By Brian Jones on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a Colts fan since they moved to Indiana. I really don’t care that they have had an off year this year. It is going to happen. You can’t start firing people and say ” Start From Scratch ” just because of this year. Look at their past record. The coaching staff are not totally to blame, the players are not totally to blame. Losing Peyton this year didn’t help but that is not the main blame either. NO one team is going to stay on top forever. It just isn’t going to happen. So all you nay sayers need to sit back, catch your breath, and see what happens next year. If this continues, then maybe it will be time to start making some changes, but give em a chance!!!!!!

  2. By Maureen on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I am fine with waiting to see what happens. One game at a time, play to win
    I agree with Robert Mathis’s tweet

    So proud of the way my boys fought last night!! its pretty disgusting that we are being rooted against for a draft pick. #KeepFightingFellas

  3. By David West on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Well we need help on defense and a quarter back for the future and I am TIRED OF HEARING NEXT MAN UP I will like to see more back up players play more and share more playing time that way you can keep a strong team and players getting hurt all the time because fatigue and a money cap problem. you will keep fresh player.

  4. By Brenda Fritz on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a Colts fan foronly 7 or 8 years. I do understand what is happening and people should not say “Peyton” was the team. He is not the only 1 on the team. I hope that he will come back with fire in him, but I just don’t see it happening. I’ve had neck surgery and it’s not fun…I really think that the Colts just need to start rebuilding. Let him stay and help coach or something. He has had his time, now let someone come in and shine. I DO LOVE THE COLTS!!!! Just remember we get older not younger!

  5. By Ryan Armstrong on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with almost everything you said, great article. But I think the question of how long Peyton will be around is still being overlooked. You asked the question about whether or not he will be ready to go, but I wonder… if he is ready to go, how many seasons will he go for. This abysmal year, which as you said, is definitely an anomaly given the talent of our team, gives us a great time to draft a young quarterback if the early rounds. Maybe it isn’t the right time to completely leave Manning and draft Luck (or maybe it is…), but the idea at least needs to be considered, in my opinion.

    Go Colts!

  6. By Thomas Hallford on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    So all the bandwagon jumpers are pissing and moaning now huh…Can’t say I’m really surprized.Yes this season has sucked yes one of our key players are out and yes I think that there are some players who are out of there league but this is football you have to take the good with the bad.I still wear my #18 manning jersey with pride still Drink my morning coffee out of my Indy Colts cup and if you cut me I’ll bleed blue and white so I’m in it for the long haul

  7. By Vickie Martin on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I have never ever rooted against the Colts for a draft pick or any other reason.

    We’ve had a bad year. Its not the end of the world or the end of the Colts.

  8. By Steve on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I myself have been a Colts fan since the late 60’s, Friends and co-workers can’t figure out why i’m not going around all depressed and moping around. I tell them being a Colts fan this long i’ve had simiular years. Plus a true sports fan supports his team win, lose or draw. I even have the Blue Horseshoe tattooed on my right forearm so i’m in this for life.

  9. By Larry McClain on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a colts fan for 35 years in the 35yr’s over all it’s been GREAT for you new fan’s do you know you came to be a Colts fan? Because there winner’s and they will have good record next year, and great one the year after that! MY SUV has colt plate’s will have for long time. IT’S GOING to be ok.Look how many fan’s will be for the SUPPER BOWL now let show them that we do it right! p.s. GO COLTS!!!!!!

  10. By ken on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    The main focus of my blog was that it’s not as bad as it seems,regardless of the record. If fans understand why we were so great, for so long and why this year, we haven’t been, there won’t be the overreaction that I see on a daily basis.
    With 4 years left on his contract, I don’t see the need to draft his successor, for at least 2-3 years down the road, I can’t see a franchise-type QB, sitting for 4 years. So the whole Luck and Manning can co-exist talk, really makes no sense to me. If he is drafted, he will be playing by year 2 or 3 and that means #18, won’t be.

  11. By Kelly Lee on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    Great article! I agree 100%. If we end up with the #1, or even #2, pick then trade that baby off for more pics. I would like to see the running game get back to what it used to be when Edge was still on the roster. A nice shut down corner or beast of a LB could be nice as well. Lastly, for the love of God, please get a DT that can actually stop the run and put pressure on the opposing QB!

  12. By pgrimes on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    instead of andrew luck draft kellen moore. i like his gawdy stats and grit. get rid of caldwell he is liveless and unemotional. dungy was quiet strength but you could see the wheels turning on the sideline.

  13. By scarecrow on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    Been a Colt”s fan since i was a boy in 1966. there is no way I would trade away an opportunity to draft Andrew Luck. Does anyone remember there was only one playoff game between 1977 and 1995 that being in 1987. We had the opportunity to keep John Elway, but Bob Irsay fell for his bluff of playing for the Yankee’s.What if Peyton comes back and get’s reinjured? The time between Bert Jones and Peyton was too long because of the elway mistake! Let;s not let this happen again. PS there is noway that i am forgetting Capt. Comeback but that was for only 2 playoff appearance’s.

  14. By Justin on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    This article is pretty much dead on. If Peyton can come back, let him come back for another year or two because that is probably all his body has left. Trade out of the top couple spots, take a young QB that Peyton can groom, get draft picks to re-tool. That will be a winning formula. As far as coaching goes, only the players really know what the locker room is like and the leadership from Coach Caldwell. Just like you can’t place all the credit on Peyton for winning, you can’t place all the blame on Caldwell for the losing. And please for crying out loud stop asking the Colts to lose this week so they can get the #1 pick. Anyone who has ever played at a high level of competition knows that losing is not an option. As Herm Edwards said “You play to win the game!”

  15. By Bonnie on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    Why does everyone feel they have to put their resume on how long they have been a colts fan for before they post their comments? It pretty much has zero bearing on what we are reading. Thanks- please correct ASAP.

  16. By Brian on Dec 30, 2011 | Reply

    I have to totally agree with the article. We shouldn’t panick so quickly after this much sustained success. I have a personal perspective on the Peyton Manning injury. I had a more extreme version of his operation less than 2 years ago, having my C5-C6 vertabrae fused with titanium screws and plate inserted in my neck. No, I don’t play football, but my neck is fine, and I have 98% of my mobility back. He will be fine, and so will the Colts!!!!

  17. By ken on Dec 30, 2011 | Reply

    I stated how long I have been a Colts fan to back up the fact that I have seen all of this before and it does matter, that’s part of the point, it’s happened before, it’s going to happen again, perspective is key. How long someone had been a fan says alot about what kind of fan they are. When a person became a Colts fan does matter, it’s not written in stone, but if they became a fan, when the winning started…do the math.
    I have been a fan my entire life, so I know the history and from the mid 70’s to the late 90’s, it wasn’t real pretty. That’s diehard, that’s being a fan , win or lose. That is the definition of fan, to me. There are some diehards that haven’t followed the Colts-forever, this year has been a true test for so called fans, it has shown who is a fan and who is just tagging along.

    As far as Luck , or any QB drafted #1 overall, history dictates that they will not win multiple championships, look at the best “winning” Qb’s of recent era….Montana,Brady,Aikman,Roethlisberger,Simms,Plunkett,elway ( multiple-championships)….elway and Plunkett were not “saviors” they won at the end of their careers, all the rest were not #1 overalls, Aikman is the one exception (helped by the Vikings desire to make the Cowboys a dynasty by trading away their drafts’)It just doesn’t add up, even this year (the year of the QB) Brady, Rodgers, Brees….no #1 overalls. A great team, with a very good QB is going to beat a very good team with a great QB, ALMOST every time.

  18. By Jaggededge on Dec 31, 2011 | Reply

    Great blog Ken, and congratulations on your being featured on Colts.com. So..the Colts win the battle but lose the war? Provocative argument is it not? In the end I am of the opinion that the coveted number 1 draft pick should go to the team who needs it most. That in theory is how it is suppose to work. If the Colts are that team then they will get it despite their best efforts. If they are not that team they really do not deserve to get it in spite of how we feel about it. Just like you Ken,I would like to see us get it but I do not think that is in the cards. The Colts win tomorrow and the Rams will lose. We will draft second because that is what is written in the stars. Jaggstradaumus prediction: Colts 20 Jaguars 17. (I would love to be wrong though.:)

  19. By Kalley on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Greab blog Ken! Very true and honest! You should really meet the COLTS, you are a true and smart fan!

  20. By J IOWA! on Jan 11, 2012 | Reply

    I to have been a COLTS fan since 1966. Your’e article couldn’t have said it any better. 1 thing I disagree with is are coaching staff. With 5 Past Pro Bowlers on the team, we should have been able to compete better. That comes back to coaching. Parts of our coaching staff have been subpar for years. Even with Dungy special teams and deffense were NOT good. This year we were just plain BAD ALL AROUND! As far as players go, we still have talent and I agree there is NO need to panick. I also feel we should trade the pick and draft as many QUALITY players as possible. Including a QB in a later round. This is a QB loaded class and there should not be a problem finding a good undestudy to learn the game of PRO FOOTBALL from the all time greatest QB.(Sorry Johnny U!) I travel 760 miles round trip to see my team and did that 3 times this year, even though my team looked so bad. But thats what TRUE fans do!!! People who sat in the stands and cheared “SUCK FOR LUCK” should have there ticket rights revoked! You should feel VERY fortunate to have an NFL team and should support them at ALL COST!!! Best wishes on the 2012 season! GO COLTS!!!!

  21. By InternetRead on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Αwesome post.

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