By Mike WellsESPN Staff Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -- The pieces have slowly been coming together for more than a year for the Indianapolis Colts.
The new general manager arrived in January 2017. The new head coach, the one who was the hottest candidate on the market the past few offseasons, was named on Tuesday. The Colts will even have the No. 3 pick in the April draft to try to speed up the process to get back to the playoffs.
But the biggest piece is still missing for the Colts.
Despite all the excitement surrounding Colts general manager Chris Ballard being able to land Josh McDaniels as his first coaching hire, the franchise’s success still hinges on the availability of quarterback Andrew Luck and his ability to stay healthy after he missed last season recovering from right shoulder surgery undergone nearly 13 months ago.
The Colts will go only as far as Luck will take them. There’s no other way to spin things. That’s why owner Jim Irsay made it a point to consistently talk about Luck’s importance on Jan. 1.
“I am telling you that I have no doubt in my mind that Andrew is going to come back,” Irsay said at the time. “And when I talk about the look in his eye, when I talk about the temperature of 107, of his fierceness, I am telling you that that kid is a special kid. Special. He was born to do great things in the National Football League, and he will do great things in the National Football League, all right? That is coming from someone who has witnessed this thing for almost half a century, who was introduced to this game by Johnny Unitas slapping me on the shoulder and saying, 'Son, move your ass,' in the training...