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Indianapolis Colts All-Star Team (1984-2007)

                            RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana 

It isn’t often that a All-Star team is put together for a team that is making the transition to move from one football stadium to another; in the Indianapolis Colts’ case, they will be relocating up the street from the RCA Dome to the brand-new Lucas Oil Stadium next year.  With that in mind, here is a compilation of Indianapolis Colts All-Stars for the time span of 1984 to this season.  No Baltimore Colts were harmed in the compilation of this team:

Quarterback:  Peyton Manning (1998-present)

A slam-dunk choice – easiest choice to make here. A 2-time NFL MVP, and Super Bowl XLI MVP.  By the time he is finished, he will hold all of the Colts’ passing records and have a stranglehold on many of the NFL’s all-time passing records.

Running backs: Edgerrin James (1999-2005), Eric Dickerson (1987-1991)

You know that Edge was a big part of the team’s succes when team owner Jim Irsay gives James a Super Bowl ring, even though he left the team a year earlier.  James was one of the building blocks for what was a mediocre team and turning it into one of the league’s better ones.  Picking Dickerson over Marshall Faulk was hard; Colts fans saw Eric at the end of his great career, while they saw Faulk at the early stages of his career before getting traded to the St. Louis Rams.

Tight end: Dallas Clark (2003-present), Ken Dilger (1995-2001)

Anyone who has been following or are fans of the Colts know that Clark is having a career year, having broken 2 of the franchise’s receiving marks for tight ends.  Dilger was the ideal tight end for Manning back then: good size, pretty good hands, and he could run and block – an earlier version of Clark.  The way he was let go sucked, but he is still popular around Indy.

Wide receivers: Marvin Harrison (1996-present), Reggie Wayne (2001-present), Bill Brooks (1986-1992)

Picking Harrison and Wayne was easy.  Harrison is easily the best WR the Colt shave had since the move from Baltimore.  Excellent hands, outstanding route-runner and his speed enabled him to make big plays often.  Wayne, once known as the best #2 WR in the NFL, has established himself into a pretty decent #1 option for Manning.  The scary part is that his best is still ahead of him.  Brooks, on the other hand, was consistent as can be; good hands and was capable at any time to make the big play.

Offensive tackle: Tarik Glenn (1997-2006), Chris Hinton (1983-1989)

Glenn was pretty easy.  The Colts, year-in and year-out, gave up the fewest sacks during a season and yes, Glenn was a big part of that.  Hinton happened to play for some mediocre Colts teams, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that even though he finished his career with Atlanta, he was still one of the better OT’s in the league at that time.

Guards: Ron Solt (1984-1988, 1992), Randy Dixon (1987-1995)

This was one of the hardest to pick from as by and large, guards’ overall body of work tend to be overlooked.  They unfortunately played for some pretty bad Colts’ teams, save for Dixon’s last year with the Colts – the year when the team nearly made it to the Super Bowl to face the Dallas Cowboys (Let-er rip ring a bell?).

Center: Jeff Saturday (1999-present)

This one was kinda-sorta easy; but Ray Donaldson wasn’t chopped liver, either.  Saturday is the prototypical Colts O-lineman: small in size, but smart and a team player.

Defensive ends: Dwight Freeney (2002-present), Tony Bennett (1994-1997)

Freeney was a no-brainer, really.  Forget the foot injury he is suffering from.  Only a 5-year man, he is already the team’s all-time sack leader.  He was perfect for the artificial turf in the Dome, not to mention his quickness off the snap of the ball and his overall strength.  Bennett, oddly enough,  started out as an outside linebacker who just so happened to make a successful transition to DE.  He was what you’d call an “athlete” – quick and could get a great jump off the snap.

Defensive tackles: Tony Siragusa (1990-1996), Ellis Johnson (1995-2001)

Siragusa is what he is: a huge (in size) pure run-stuffer.  Unfortunately for us, Tony went to get a Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens.  Johnson, on the other hand, was smaller and quicker than “Goose”, but no less effective.  Johnson left Indy, under the mistaken impression that head coach Tony Dungy didn’t have him in their future plans.  Not likely as Dungy values speed over size.

Linebackers: Jeff Herrod (1988-1996, 1998), Duane Bickett (1985-1993), Cato June (2003-2006) 

Without a doubt, linebacker is the weak link to the Colts historically.  Both Herrod and Bickett were hard-nosed players at their position and would fit in well in today’s version of the Colts’ linebacking scheme.  June, on the other hand, is a Pro-Bowler who had very good pass-coverage skills.  The Colts made the mistake of letting him go; June now is a Buccaneer.

Cornerbacks: Ray Buchanan (1993-1996), Eugene Daniel (1984-1996)

Buchanan and Daniel combined to provide the Colts with one of the best tandems of CB’s in the league during the early-to-mid 90’s.  Fortunately for us, we have Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden, a pair of pretty fair ballhawks in their own right.

Safeties: Bob Sanders (2004-present), Mike Prior (1987-1992)

I think we know already why Sanders is here: a hard hitter, a leading candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year – pure and simple, one of the best safeties in the league today.  Prior, while no Sanders, was a decent ballhawk and hitter in his own right; he just happened to play for some mediocre Colts teams back in the day.

Punter: Rohn Stark (1982-1994)

Stark had one of the strongest legs in the league and was one of the NFL’s best during the mid-to-late 80’s and early 90’s.

Placekicker: Mike Vanderjagt (1998-2005) 

You have to consider Vanderjagt over Adam Vinatieri and even Dean Biasucci (for the older Colts fans).  Vanderjagt still holds the league record for field-goal kicking percentage; Vinatieri’s body of work was mostly with New England.  But most people will remember Vanderjagt for badly missing a field goal against Pittsburgh in as playoff game back in 2005.

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One Response to “Indianapolis Colts All-Star Team (1984-2007)”

  1. Vickie Fortenberry says:

    Where is Tony Bennett now? I taught him at Coahoma County High School and would love to know what he is doing now.

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