Originally written on The Hair of the Dog Sports Blog  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Just two years ago the Indianapolis Colts were 14-0, making a run at a perfect season and on their way to Super Bowl XLIV.

Now, days away from the 2012 NFL draft, they are rebuilding, or as new coach Chuck Pagano says, “building the monster.”

The question many Colts fans are still pondering: Was such a massive rebuilding process really necessary? The answer—Yes.

Even though I was one of those fans who wanted to bring the band back together for one more title run, that just wasn’t realistic. The following reasons explain why, and they all coincided to create the “perfect storm” as many people have put it.

Salary Cap Hell

It’s a phrase Colts fans became all to familiar with towards the end of the 2011 season and during the offseason.

While “Salary Cap Hell” might be a little overstated, they were definitely not in an enviable cap position. Before releasing Peyton Manning, the Colts were about $8 million under the salary cap. That’s just enough to sign their draft picks—and not much else.

Forget about resigning Robert Mathis and Reggie Wayne. Pierre Garcon, Jeff Saturday and Jacob Tamme were also free agents. So, like a lot of teams, they had to make moves to get in better cap position.

This Team Was Not a Contender

The Colts were 2-14 last year—it was the worst record in the league.

Sure, Manning probably would’ve gotten them six or seven more victories and maybe even a playoff spot, but this team wasn’t going to win a Super Bowl. And the team wouldn’t have done it this season with those key vets back again in 2012.

What exactly would Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullit, Joseph Addai and Dallas Clark add to this team in 2012? Brackett and Bullit basically missed the entire season, and when Addai and Clark played, they produced little. Is it any wonder that none of these guys are getting looks from other teams?

They’re all well past their prime, injury prone or both.

Even without those guys, the offense would’ve improved drastically with Manning taking the snaps—but that’s obvious. The defense, on the other hand, was also awful last year.

They ranked 28th in the league in points allowed. Peyton Manning and an aging offense wouldn’t have been able to overcome that every game. Fans need to realize the team was going downhill with or without No. 18. It just happened much faster without him.

No. 1 Pick in the Draft: Andrew Luck

Like I said, it was the perfect storm. After a dismal season, the Colts were awarded the first pick in the draft, which holds, according to experts, the best quarterback prospect in 20 years.

They can’t pass up on this opportunity, and Jim Irsay knows it. That’s why they’ve decided on Luck, and there’s no doubt about it.

But what about Manning?

You know the quarterback who never misses in practice isn’t going to give up snaps to the rookie.

I know Manning and Luck talked about coexisting when asked by media, but after Manning was released, we got the truth from both of them.

Manning said Luck needs to be given the opportunities that he had when he was a rookie—he needs to be thrown in the fire on the first day. Luck has said the same thing. These two never wanted to coexist. Maybe if Luck would’ve entered the draft last year, the Colts wouldn’t be in this position. Who knows?

Polians and Caldwell Given Pink Slips

Head coach Jim Caldwell had to go; it was what fans wanted. Really, there was no way to justify bringing him back?

What was surprising, though, was the firing of Bill and Chris Polian. Maybe they wore out their welcome. Maybe they disagreed with the direction Irsay wanted to take the team.

Probably both.

The front office and sideline shake up might not be as big a factor as the others, but when you bring in a new GM and new head coach, they going to want their own guys, their own offense and their own defense.

Like Bill Parcells said, if they want you to cook dinner, they should let you buy the groceries.

So there you have it.

Knowing all of that, what other logical choice did they have? They had to start over.

With Andrew Luck, a good draft class, solid free-agent signings and over $30 million coming off the books after this season, it won’t be long before this team is contending again.

Check us out on Facebook, Hair of the Dog Sports Blog. Follow @coldy4goldy
!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://hairofthedogsportsblog.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

CC Sabathia goes off about spring training stats

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again


John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.