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With just a few weeks left until the Indianapolis Colts return to Westfield for training camp ahead of the 2022 season, they’ll be boasting several new faces on the roster.
While the Colts may not be a team loaded with superstar notability, they have their opportunity to make a run for a playoff spot.
As NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus ushered in a new group for his “NFL Superstars Club,” quarterback Matt Ryan found his way out while running back Jonathan Taylor made his way in.
Here’s what he had to say about bouncing Ryan out of the club:
It’s been a hell of a run for Matty Ice, who established himself as the greatest passer in Falcons history during a 14-season run in Atlanta. From a career-health standpoint, we love the move to Indianapolis, but that team’s run-heavy scheme and lack of impact playmakers in the receiving game make me think the 37-year-old version of Ryan will be put in game manager mode. The MVP gunslinger days of his younger years are gone. In real football terms, that’s fine: Ryan can still thrive with the Colts in a more controlled offensive system. It just seems unlikely he’ll be the focal point of his own offense. (We’ll discuss that individual in just a bit.) Ryan remains a solid starter you can trust; he’s just no longer the difference maker he once was. No shame in that.
Ryan may not have to play as much hero ball with the Colts as he did with the Falcons in 2021. With a better offensive line and run game, that should take some of the pressure off of him as Michael Pittman Jr., Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce look to make his life easier in the passing game.
When it comes to the inclusion of Taylor into the Superstar Club, the choice was easy.
Taylor has it all. Breakaway speed, elite vision, quick burst, lateral movement — and at a chiseled 226 pounds, he can run you over, too. Taylor won the league’s rushing title in his second season, an especially impressive feat considering the underwhelming state of Indy’s passing game and an offensive line that was consistently unsettled due to injuries. He’ll enter his age-23 campaign with a better quarterback (Matt Ryan) and a healthier blocking front that can be one the league’s best. Given Frank Reich’s tendencies, a run at 2,000 yards is well within reach. This was an easy call.
Even though Taylor played above expectation in 2021, he will be out to prove he’s officially the best running back in the NFL while looking to become just the second player since 2010 to lead the league in rushing in back-to-back seasons.