INDIANAPOLIS – The Chris Ballard tenure is now six years old, with the expectation he’s going to remain for several more years, as a new era is about to begin at head coach with the GM leading the search.
In Ballard’s 6 seasons, the Colts have compiled a record of 45-52-1. They’ve made 2 playoff appearances, won 1 postseason game and captured 0 division titles.
Let’s examine the 6 years of Chris Ballard as Colts general manager:
-Finding Some Pro Bowl Talent: Yes, the Colts only had 1 Pro Bowler in 2022, but let’s not act like they are completely void of high-end talent. Chris Ballard has led the charge in the drafting Quenton Nelson, Shaquille Leonard and Jonathan Taylor. Even a trade for DeForest Buckner or a wise signing of Stephon Gilmore has given the Colts some notable talent on both sides of the ball.
-Not Enough Return On Investments: Chris Ballard believes in the trenches. Just look at how he’s spent there. But the Colts aren’t sniffing the necessary return on investment in those spots, particularly when you are talking about the most expensive offensive line in football. And, honestly, shouldn’t this defensive line be giving the Colts more, especially in the game’s critical moments when you look at the bevy of draft picks put into that group?
-Roster Building Mindset: This kind of plays off the one above a bit. Chris Ballard is not one that holds certain positions above others when it comes to the resources needed to address those. Ballard will spend early picks on a guard or linebacker or running back, and happily pay them a second contract. It’s created a bit of an odd/unique cap structure when comparing the Colts to other teams. The results of this speak for themselves. It hasn’t worked, as the Colts have yet to win the AFC South in 6 seasons under Ballard, and won just one playoff game in that time.
-Quarterback: Six years in and zero answer to the future at quarterback. You don’t even have the random 3rd or 4th round hope from a recent draft to debate (no, Sam Ehlinger isn’t that). The Colts have no direction at the most important position in sports, thinking the re-tread route was the best method of achieving success. It didn’t benefit the Colts enough in the short-term and has obviously cost them long-term. Simply, Ballard has not given such a critical position the massive attention it needs.
-Free Agency Approach: Again, when Chris Ballard has used free agency, and we talking the March/April part of the offseason when the most proven guys are available, he’s found hits (Denico Autry, Eric Ebron, Stephon Gilmore just to name a few). But he hasn’t used it enough. It’s hurt the support of the roster and kept the Colts from patching up the amount of holes that exist.
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