So here goes My Colts player top ten list. I am sure this topic is going to be hotly debated, but I want to add a disclaimer. That these individuals were chosen for a combination of Awards, Productivity, and Accolades while they were with the COLTS, not another team. Be sure to comment on who you think was left out!
10. Chris Hinton, OT
Who? I know that it is tempting to put someone like Eric Dickerson, Jeff Saturday, or Dallas Clark here, but ya know you got to show these big guys some love! The dude went to 6 pro-bowls with the Colts and was one of the only bright spots on the team in the 1980s.
9. Robert Mathis, DE
The much underappreciated Mathis has up until recently been the best kept secret on the Indianapolis Colts. Now the speedy Defensive end seems to be making Pro Bowls as much as he sacks opposing Quarterbacks!
8. Marshall Faulk, RB
Say hello to the Class of 2011 Hall of Famer. This speedy back was known not only for his quick feet but also was a dynamic pass catcher as well. While he exploded when he left for the St. Louis Rams under offensive coordinator Mike Martz, Faulk was able to put together solid numbers in Indianapolis.
7. Raymond Berry, WR
A Pioneer at Wide Receiver for a Game that was still considered won on the ground. Everyone knows the stories of how he can Johnny Unitas used to play catch at night to sharpen his skills. While his numbers might not jump off the page one has to remember the era and the fact that opposing defenses were pretty much allowed to take your head off when you went a crossed the field of play.
6. Dwight Freeney, DE
Current Colt sack leader with 102.5 joining a prestigious club of QB sack artists. He not only has compiled 7 Pro Bowls and numerous awards, but has also made opposing teams have some semblance of respect for a Colt’s defense that has never really been dominant. His greatest feat may have come in the Super Bowl we actually lost when he sacked Drew Brees pretty much on one leg after injuries in the postseason had left him gimpy.
5. Reggie Wayne, WR
Reggie is the man, and because of his recent re-signing in the offseason it looks like he will remain a Colt for life! A good thing too as the Colts look to draft their QB of the future this year, who will need all the help he can get. Known for his sure hands and precise route running isn’t weird that he was once the second best Wideout on our team at one point!
4. Edgerrin James, RB
Edge, its unfortunate that he left via free agency for the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, because if he hadn’t he would have a Super Bowl ring (acutally does have a 2007 Super Bowl ring that Colts management gave to him afterwards) with a team that he deserves as much credit as any for establishing as an offensive juggernaut during the early 2000’s. Some might say that James isn’t a Hall of Famer because of his lack of a Super Bowl win, but ask anyone who went against him during his Colt years and they’ll tell you he deserves a spot in Canton.
3. Marvin Harrison, WR
A sure fire Hall of Fame player who set the record books of both the Colts and the NFL on fire during his playing days. Known for being painfully soft-spoken, he let his play on the field do all the talking. His 143 receptions in 2002 are the most in NFL history (not even Jerry Rice can claim that many catches in a season), and looks almost unreachable. Most of his production was due to his Hall of Fame Quarterback in Peyton Manning and visa versa, these two share a record that seemed impossible in the free agency era with over 112 passing touchdowns between them and countless other passing duo records as well. This career Colt has expressed his fear of public speaking, but better brush up on it for when his name is announced in Canton.
2. Johnny Unitas, QB
Was the “Peyton Manning” of his era, but to call him anything other than Johnny U seems insulting to the memory of a great Quarterback. Completely revolutionizing the vertical pass and footwear, Unitas played in some of the first Super Bowls and was a part of the 23-17 win over the New York “football” Giants in the 1958 Championship game, which has been called the “greatest game ever played!” Need anymore reason that Unitas belongs at #2? Peyton Manning chose the number 18 jersey, because it was one number less than this NFL icon!
1. Peyton Manning, QB
No surprise here, the guy probably won’t be caught in any Colt’s record books anytime soon. What else is there to say? He has been to 2 Super Bowls (won one), 11 Pro-Bowls, won a league record 4-MVPs, and is second only behind Brett Favre in touchdowns. He should have won a fifth MVP in 2011 as the “Iron Man of the NFL” was forced to sit out the entire season with injury and watch a team of familiar faces finish to a 2-14 season! It’s going to be weird when he starts throwing passes in Denver.
(Honorable Mention: Eric Dickerson, Dallas Clark, John Mackey, Tarik Glenn, and Jeff Saturday)