Chris Ballard On Colts Outlook Amidst Andrew Luck's Injury Situation: “This Is Not 2017”


Chris Ballard On Colts Outlook Amidst Andrew Luck's Injury Situation: “This Is Not 2017”

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Colts Coverage > Chris Ballard On Colts Outlook Amidst Andrew Luck's Injury Situation: “This Is Not 2017”

Chris Ballard On Colts Outlook Amidst Andrew Luck's Injury Situation: “This Is Not 2017”

Why does Chris Ballard feel the Colts are in a much better situation this season, compared to 2017, if Andrew Luck has to miss time?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – In a way, it’s a compliment to himself, the coaching staff now assembled and the growth of the quarterback who has been under center for every single practice this offseason.


“This is not 2017,” Chris Ballard says, unprovoked, on a conference call talking about the lengthy, and continued, absence for Andrew Luck.


Yes, it’s not 2017 with regards to the severity of Luck’s injury. Surgery did not happen on the throwing shoulder of the Colts franchise quarterback.


But Ballard’s statement about the difference from two years ago, isn’t about the particular injury for Luck.


It revolves around the confidence he has in his football team, if No. 12 can’t go to start the regular season.


“I’ve thought about this a lot,” Ballard says. “When I first came into the door, one of the things we talked about was building a team and it wasn’t going to be just about one guy. Look, I understand the importance of Andrew Luck. You kidding me? This guy is one of the top-5 quarterbacks in the league.


“But we also got another quarterback we like, in Jacoby Brissett. To me, that’s part of building a team. You have to be able to handle things when things don’t go the way you planned them out to be.”


Putting Brissett’s growth aside, the Colts are much different around him now than back in his Indy debut in September 2017.


The interior of the pocket looks just a tad different than Brissett’s first start in Week Two of the 2017 season. Instead of a Jeremey Vujnovich, Deyshawn Bond, Jack Mewhort trio in front of him, the Colts now have Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly and Mark Glowinski in the middle of their line.


One of Brissett’s starting wide receivers that afternoon…Kamar Aiken.


A still aging Colts defense, undergoing a seismic schematic shift, is no longer occurring.


All of that adds up to why Ballard has more confidence in the Colts possibly needing to face the adversity of life without Luck.


“I think we have a pretty good football team,” Ballard says. “We are young, but I think we have a pretty good football team.”


Even last year, the Colts showed they didn’t need to rely strictly on the right arm of Luck to win games.


On three different occasions last year, the Colts won games despite Luck throwing for less than 195 yards (Washington, Buffalo, Dallas).


Luck’s mere presence was still there on those Sunday’s though.


Last week, whenever Ballard was asked about his confidence in Luck being ready for Week 1, the GM centered his answer more so around his belief in the Colts, in whoever is playing quarterback.


“There’s all kinds of cases, where teams win when the starter doesn’t play every game,” Ballard says. “You have to be able to put yourself in position to do that. Things are not always to go the way in the season that you think they’re going to go. And when you get thrown a road block or an obstacle, you have to be able to overcome it.


“We have to be able to overcome them as an organization and a team.”


Will that be the case two weeks from Sunday?

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