INDIANAPOLIS – DeForest Buckner sees it, and feels it.
And obviously 38-year-old Philip Rivers isn’t coming to Indianapolis bringing some immense long-term vision filled with patience.
Nope, the newest (and by far the two highest paid) faces in Indy see zero signs of ‘rebuilding’ or a slow-moving process in pace.
“It’s kind of a win-now mentality,” Buckner said after getting traded from the NFC Champions. “We landed Philip Rivers and I am just excited for the mentality of the team moving forward. Obviously, two years ago they were 10-6 and last year took a hit obviously losing their franchise quarterback to retiring early. But you still saw last year they were in a bunch of close games that came down to the last play down there and just came up short.”
For most teams that have missed the playoffs in 4 out of the last 5 years and won 1 playoff game in that timeframe, serious optimism about a postseason run can be difficult to see.
But it will be squarely on the mind of the Colts in 2020, and the new man under center.
One playoff run to a Super Bowl could be the difference in Rivers’ career being stamped with Hall of Fame approval.
It’s the missing bullet point on a tremendous professional football resume.
Simply, Rivers wouldn’t be coming to Indianapolis if he didn’t think a trip to the Super Bowl was possible.
And that’s got to come soon, as Rivers signed just a one-year deal and has zero plans to play deep into his 40s.
“I don’t think you’ll see me in the Tom Brady range,” the 38-year-old Rivers says of the 42-year-old Brady still playing, and having signed a 2-year deal with Tampa Bay.
“But I am excited and feel like I can still help a football team go win a championship.”
That’s what Jim Irsay wants to hear.
For Irsay, he’s endured a handful of years with little postseason presence/success, unlike any other time in his nearly 25 seasons as owner.
Seeing these moves, and with the hope that getting back into the playoffs is seemingly a better possibility, has to appease Irsay.
“As always, I’m in it to win it,” Irsay said earlier this offseason. “It’s not that I love winning so much. I just hate losing. I just hate it. I had to make some amends in my younger days with the frustration of losing. I’m hopelessly competitive. I’ve learned to be a better loser. But I guess I’m temporarily a loser, until we win again.
“I have the same grand expectations that I’ve told you, to dream without the constraints of reasoning. I want to win three (Super Bowls) in a row. I’ll always be that way. If anyone has a problem with that, that’s okay. I’ve come to terms that I want to be the best, be the greatest that you can be, and not just in your time, but over the ages. That’s why you compete.”