Frank Gore, wide receiver Ande Johnson, guard Todd Herremans and outside linebacker Trent Cole. He did so under the belief that all had something left in the tank to help the Colts reach Super Bowl 50 after an AFC championship game appearance the previous season.Gore would prove to be the only productive member of that group, and the Colts failed to make the playoffs in two consecutive seasons for the first time in almost 20 years.MORE: All-time greatest Colts playersWith Indianapolis’ defense having fallen into decay.
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rather than high-priced veteran signees. Only one of 11 newcomers (ex-Tennessee nose tackle Al Woods) is 30 or older.Ballard was especially age-conscious at outside linebacker. Cole, Erik Walden (31) and the now-retired Robert Mathis (36) were replaced by Jabaal Sheard (27), Barkevious Mingo (26) and John Simon (26). Ballard also drafted an edge-rusher in.
Round 3 (Ohio’s Tarell Basham) after Grigson had made the position an afterthought in the draft since the 2013 selection of Bjorn Werner, a spectacular failure at pick No. 24."We wanted to make sure we got some veterans who still had upside in their career," said.
Ballard, who comes from a Chiefs squad chock with pass-rushing talent in Justin Houstin, Dee Ford and Tamba Hali. "We’ve revamped the outside linebacker position. And I’ve made this clear — we will always look for rushers in the draft. You can never have enough."
Ballard also knows the Colts will only go as far as quarterback Andrew Luck can take them. This is one of the reasons Indianapolis is being overly cautious with its quarterback as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.Ballard would not give a timetable for Luck’s return to practice but did say his rehabilitation was “going really well
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making sure he’s healthy where he can finish out his career and have a long time left to play," Ballard said. “Every day I've been here, he's been here and working. When the doctors clear him and Andrew feel like he ready to go we’ll get rolling."FANTASY: Rookie rankings for 2017Unlike the years when the AFC.