During the era of Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts fans became accustomed to a quick offensive strike that contributed to their success. The Colts focused their offensive scheme on Manning's physical talent and mental abilities. This worked for the Colts while Manning was healthy, but problems arose when the quarterback was sidelined for an entire season due to injury. The Colts have since aimed to further develop other aspects of their offense.
With the acquisition of Trent Richardson in 2013, the Indianapolis Colts made it clear they planned to focus on their run game. The Colts traded their first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns for Richardson last September. At the time, Colts Offensive Coordinator, Pep Hamilton, was focused strengthening the running game in Indianapolis while the team underwent growing pains.
"Our mentality has not changed; we have to be physical at the point of attack. We have to try and knock people off the ball and wear them down physically," Hamilton said. "We have to have a sense of balance and still have a physical mentality, make up going into games so we can wear our opponents down how we see fit."
Having a strong running game is very beneficial for any team in the league. A physical attack allows the offense to tire the opposing defense. It also gives a team more options to outsmart the defenders. Run plays also take more time off the clock. This can, if successful, keep the other team's offense off the field for a substantial amount of time.
However, it goes without saying that a team is more efficient, in respects to scoring, when they employ a strong passing game. Without a doubt, the Colts' 2013 season was a success, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to the NFL.
"We're going to be a score-first team," Hamilton explained " We're going to do whatever we need to do to score one more point than our opponent."
With running backs Richardson, Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw, Hamilton claims the team will still work towards a physical running game. The Colts, however, look forward to better utilizing the talents of their young quarterback, Andrew Luck, in his third season in Indianapolis.
"When you have Andrew Luck," Hamilton said, "that really gives you an ability to adapt to whatever the circumstances are and have a chance to be successful."
The Colts lost two of Luck's primary targets last season when WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dwayne Allen were sidelined due to injury. That left the young quarterback to rely on T.Y. Hilton, Griff Whalen, Da'Rick Rogers, Weslye Saunders and Jack Doyle. With Wayne and Allen returning and the addition to veteran WR Hakeem Nicks, Luck will certainly have plenty of targets to utilize in 2014.