Better, but not good enough: It's time for Ballard to finish the job and get the Colts to the playoffs
The Colts' GM is heading into his eighth season. His team has yet to win the AFC South. He's running out of time to get it done.
Every year after the final game of the Colts’ season, Chris Ballard sits down with the media and bares his soul, unflinchingly appraising his team and the job he did.
The last two years, he’s shown up angry and sad and gutted, his team throwing away a playoff berth during the Carson Wentz fiasco of 2021, then going 4-12-1 last year after the disastrous decision to sign Matt Ryan and the attendant foolishness involving Jim Irsay and Jeff Saturday.
This Thursday when Ballard met with us – and we talked to Anthony Richardson earlier; more on that later in the column – and he was in a different head space entirely. He wasn’t celebrating anything – hell, the Colts had just lost a game that would have sent them to the playoffs – but for the first time in too long, he could see the light of possibility.
He saw a team that looked like a team.
“Of course, not the way we wanted it to end, but encouraged,” Ballard said. “I feel really good about where we’re going, very encouraged. I talked to Shane (Steichen) about this being a team, being connected…watching guys sacrifice for each other, play for each other, encourage each other even when it was hard and bumpy, watching them come together was fun. Even with the ending, it was probably one of the more satisfying, fun teams to be around on a day-to-day basis.”