The new era of Indianapolis Colts football began with a few simple words from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, "With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select...Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford." And so it begins Colts fans.

After months of speculation and analysis, the Colts officially made Andrew Luck the new face of a franchise that was one of the worst in the league last year in the absence of Peyton Manning. Even though earlier this week Colts GM Ryan Grigson confirmed an ESPN report the team had already informed Luck he was their guy, I still stood in the break room of the station to watch it become official.

Now the work begins. And there will be a lot of it. As any Colts fan knows, as nice as it is to have the man most people who make their living scouting football players believe is the closest thing to Peyton Manning since, well Peyton Manning, the team is riddled with holes on both offense and defense. They need offensive linemen to protect their new QB, they need young receivers that he can throw the ball to, and while they're at it, it may not hurt to pick up a running back because I don't think Donald Brown is the guy.

New coach Chuck Pagano will be installing a completely different defense than what the returning veterans are used to which means they need to pick up a few guys that played a similar system in college and could adapt quickly if called upon.

The end result will be a completely different Colts team than what we fans have been accustomed to watching for the past 14 years. I for one am excited to see where it goes from here. If Luck is everything they say he is and can be, and if management provides the right supporting players around him, we're only 2-3 seasons away from the team being Super Bowl contenders again.

My plea to Colts fans everywhere is to give it time. Don't be surprised if the team ends up with another 2-14 record in Luck's first year (although personally I think they can get at least 6 wins next season). Remember, they went 3-13 in Manning's first year before turning it around and going 13-3 the following season.


And please, whatever you do, don't compare him to Manning. Yes, I realize that if Manning's neck had stayed healthy, I would be writing an article about who the team took with the 28th, 29th, or 30th pick in the draft. But his neck didn't stay healthy and now he's a Denver Bronco and Andrew Luck is our new quarterback.

I still believe that even if Manning's neck stayed solid, it would have done nothing more than put a 2-14 season and the first overall pick in the draft on the back burner for 3-4 years. Then where would have been? We wouldn't have been looking at a player like Andrew Luck sitting there waiting to for someone to draft him. More than likely we would have taken a player with less talent and potential that would leave the team stuck in a mediocre quagmire for several years instead of only one or two like we'll sit through this and maybe next season.

I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I believe Andrew Luck is the guy that will take us there.

We just have to give him time.

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