Originally Posted by ChampionTexan
A correction and a question:
Andrew Luck wasn't eligible for the last non-"rookie wage scale" draft as that occurred in 2010 (following the 2009 season) and saw Sam Bradford become that last #1 overall pick to go under the old rules. The 2009 season was Andrew Luck's second year out of HS (his first was a redshirt season), and as such, he was not the three years removed from HS that NFL policy requires.
My question (for anyone who believes this - not just you) is who decided it, who carried it out, and how did they do it? Everyone with any power, short of Irsay himself, was fired after the 2011 Colts season, and trust me - players don't care about getting the #1 overall pick at the cost of intentionally playing poorly (not to mention that's a good way to get one of Spencer Tillman's infamous roadmap/apple combos).
Did Irsay mastermind it? If so, how? Did one of the Polians or Jim Caldwell make it happen and then get double-crossed by Irsay? Exactly how do you think it happened, and with all the former Colts, Colt coaches and Colt front office folks out there, how do you think it has been kept quiet?
You don't need to look much farther than the QB position. As someone else pointed out, the Colts' success was/is TOTALLY dependent on the quality of QB play. Their defense was not meant/built to grind the opposition into submission or even keep the game close but to take advantage of the big leads their QB-led offense was designed to provide.
In Peyton they had that QB. But they knew Peyton needed surgery and might have been gone for most or all of the season but made no move to shore up that position - just in case. They had Painter and Orlovsky as their backup and made no moves to improve the quality of the backup.
They waited until the last game of preseason - or somewhere around there - to sign a vet QB. And who did they go get? 99-year old Kerry Collins.
If you view that as a sound strategy on a team who was (is?) largely dependent on elite-level QB play for success then we'll just have to agree to disagree.