Colts rebuilding from bottom up

New regime happy to have Luck to step in at QB for Manning

INDIANAPOLIS — No matter what it is labeled, this is rebuilding in the most classic sense.

Close your eyes at the Colts facility, and you can almost smell two-by-fours and fresh paint.

A new coaching staff has overhauled the way the Colts practice and prepare.

For the first time in 14 years, there is a new offensive system. For the first time in a decade, there is a new defensive system.

New general manager Ryan Grigson sits behind Bill Polian's old desk.

Players who appeared in a combined 18 Pro Bowls have been purged, most notably the great Peyton Manning.

Only 12 Colts remain from the team that went to the Super Bowl after the 2009 season.

Of the 90 men who came to camp, 63 of them were with the Colts for the first time, and 40 of them never had appeared in a regular-season game.

The locker room has been rearranged.

There is a new slogan. "Trust, Loyalty, Respect" is written beneath the horseshoe in the Colts weight room.

There are new T-shirts. "Building The Monster," they say.

Despite the tear-down, the Colts still have a foundation every other team would love to have.

Maybe never in the history of the NFL has a franchise been so fortuitous as Indianapolis, where Manning has passed the baton to Andrew Luck. And because of the presence of Luck, the first pick in the draft, these Colts might have a chance to surprise some people.

The Colts certainly are not writing off the season. Just Sunday, they traded a 2013 second-round pick to the Dolphins for flashy cover corner Vontae Davis from Illinois.

Luck, meanwhile, has been everything the first pick of the April draft was supposed to be.

And more.

"By all accounts he obviously was a very bright guy," Grigson said. "But it's been amazing to see his football IQ, the way he devours information and then regurgitates it almost as fast as he takes it in. That's probably been the most eye-opening thing."

Luck has been flustered by nothing, poised about everything. No one is suggesting carving his bust for the Pro Football Hall of Fame just yet, but if ever anyone were born to fill the shoes of Manning, it is Luck.

The son of former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck has high expectations, and he believes the standards set by Cam Newton and Andy Dalton last season are not unobtainable.

CHICAGO

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