Colts Must Embrace Lofty Outside Expectations For 2019 Season

Colts Must Embrace Lofty Outside Expectations For 2019 Season

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Colts Must Embrace Lofty Outside Expectations For 2019 Season

Unlike last year, the hype around the Colts has grown significantly. How are the Colts embracing the Super Bowl talk around them for 2019?

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INDIANAPOLIS – If Frank Reich wants to go down that road again, the sign won’t have the number ‘32’ plastered on it.


Scour the NFL world for power rankings this time of year and you are going to find the Colts almost exclusively with a single digit next to their name.


It’s a far, far cry from the basement of the rankings that they were in this time last year.


Outside hype and expectations from the Colts are through the roof, compared to 2018, and they know it.


“There’s no question that there’s raised expectations,” Reich said earlier this offseason. “We can talk forever about how, ‘Hey, it’s a whole new year, got to start fresh.’ (But) everybody in the world is thinking we’re going to go further than we went last year.


“You almost have to think that, given the trajectory, given the age of the team, given it’s the second year.”


Reich isn’t naïve to how teams are viewed around the league, particularly after the season that Indianapolis had in 2018.


That even puts more pressure on Reich and his staff to keep guys locked in.


“We get in our building, we get in the meeting room and we keep the same mindset we had last year,” Reich says. “And that mindset works. I know everybody knows that. And that’s not going to change. So one of the things as a coach, you find ways to continually reemphasize that same mindset. And you really count on the players to keep that same mindset.


“And that’s what separates the men from the boys, as far as coaching is concerned. I really do think that. That’s why it’s so hard to maintain being at the top all the time.”


And that’s why what the Patriots have done for nearly two decades now is so darn impressive. Year after year, they continue to live up to expectations.


That now is a question for the Colts: Can they deliver with more and more chatter about them?


They better, because if they want to be a team that is built for sustained success, than embracing these expectations and turning them into annual playoff runs must occur.


As Reich looks back on the 2018 campaign, he chuckles at his tactics for motivation, although there’s no arguing with the results.


“Maybe I overplayed the preseason ranking thing a little bit,” Reich says with a laugh. “It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. You know me and you know how we roll around here, we typically don’t make a big deal out of that. So really the challenge this year will be keeping the same approach, the 1-0 approach. Keeping the getting better every day, not being complacent in any way. Not falling into the trap of thinking, ‘We are supposed to be this and that.’


“We did nothing, we got to go prove it every day and that should be our mentality.”

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