The 2012 season proved one thing. There was no way to go wrong whether the Indianapolis Colts picked Andrew Luck or RGIII. Now their business is arming him with better players. Are Dwayne Bowe and Branden Albert possible options?
Chuck Pagano Must Understand Luck Is His Ticket to Success
Jim Irsay was a little selfish in his plan to rebuild his Colts after the departure of Peyton Manning. Not only did he make Luck his prized draft pick in April, but in the spirit of Tony Dungy he hired defensive specialist Chuck Pagano to run the team. Sadly no one saw leukemia coming when he took the job, but Indianapolis didn't make excuses. They rallied around Pagano and their star rookie quarterback. Even with a playoff spot still very possible it's clear Indianapolis has work to do. Their defense is an imperfect mixture of raw youths and old veterans who aren't familiar with the new schemes. On offense it's less about game plans and more about sheer talent. Aside from Reggie Wayne, there isn't a player of note who's drawn attention in the Colts huddle, especially on the offensive line. Luck hasn't had good protection all season and it came up again in a tough game against the powerhouse Houston Texans. J.J. Watt led the team with three sacks as Luck was downed five times total, making it 37 for the season. Most quarterback can't win getting hit that much, which is a testament to how good Luck is. That is why Pagano must curb the urges to focus on his defense in the off-season and work to keep his franchise player healthy.
Bowe and Albert May Both Leave Kansas City Chiefs
Ironically, two players that could assist in that quest don't just play on the same team, but also the worst team in the NFL. Dwayne Bowe and Branden Albert don't get much attention because the Kansas City Chiefs are 2-12 and off the late-season radar. Yet analysts could put a convincing argument forward that those two players are among the five or six best at their positions in the league. After a rough start to his career Albert has developed into a solid anchor on bad offensive line, excelling most in pass protection. Meanwhile, in another ironic twist, his teammate Bowe may have gotten some leverage in his contract talks after breaking his ribs and going on injured reserve. Without him, a bad Chiefs offense became a useless one. Since his injury, they've scored seven points in two weeks. To think the team might let them go while bringing in a new quarterback at the same time is hard to believe. Still everything comes down to money. Kansas City doesn't want to overpay for players a new coaching staff might not want. This is good news for teams like Indy.
Dwayne Bowe or Branden Albert would fit nicely in an Indianapolis Colts jersey. Andrew Luck isn't the general manager but his success is tied directly to the team's. If Chuck Pagano is half as smart as he is courageous, then that mission is clear.
Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott