The quarterback position for the Indianapolis Colts has been a carousel for the last few years. Since Andrew Luck retired in 2019, and even a season or two before that, the Colts have had a different starting quarterback under center in Week 1.
Matt Ryan, who was acquired this offseason to replace Carson Wentz, will be the sixth starter in Week 1 in as many seasons. After the team was left scrambling in 2021 following the retirement of Philip Rivers, which the team wasn’t expecting, they are hoping that Ryan will bring some consistency to the position.
Ryan is under contract through 2023 and in a two-hour video call with general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich, Ryan guaranteed that he would play beyond the 2022 season. So far so good as Ryan is endearing himself to his teammates in the early going.
“(Ryan’s presence) settles everybody — like, ‘Hey, this is a guy we can count on,’” Reich said. “He’s done it for 14 years at a high level. He kind of fell into our lap, and we’ll take advantage of it. He’s got a great mindset. His passion for the game, it’s as high as it can be. Physically, we aren’t seeing any diminishing skills, so we take it one year at a time. We’re thinking this is multiple years at the level we think he can play at and lead us as a team. We’re very excited about it.
“It’s been great. It’s been seamless. He’s such a leader, such a professional, a coach on the field, all those things that you hear about guys like this. He’s the epitome. Guys feel his experience. They feel his leadership. But yet he’s not sucking up all the energy. He’s a team guy. It’s just a really good fit. … This is the right guy at the right time for us, and we feel very fortunate to have him. I’m looking forward to this season.”
Expectations are certainly beginning to rise in Indianapolis as Ryan looks like a major upgrade at the quarterback position. They were hopeful that reuniting with Reich would help get Wentz back on track, but their anemic passing game is a big reason that they missed the postseason.
When the Colts traded Wentz, they admitted that they didn’t have a specific plan in place. But, things materialized when Ryan became available from the Atlanta Falcons, following their forays into trade talks to acquire Deshaun Watson, and the Colts took advantage.
A lot of work has been put in thus far to get Ryan comfortable and it seems to be a perfect match. If all of this work translates to the field during games, the Colts are going to be a dangerous team this offseason.