New faces dot Colts landscape
About the only thing that hasn't changed is the horseshoe logo.
The Colts are adjusting to drastic moves as they go through their first week of workouts. Among the new faces: general manager Ryan Grigson, coach Chuck Pagano and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
There's a new defense. The Colts will switch from a 4-3 alignment to the 3-4 that Pagano had success with in Baltimore.
There's a new attitude. The quiet Jim Caldwell has been replaced by the more outgoing Pagano, who has distributed T-shirts with the phrase ''Building a Monster'' emblazoned on the back.
And there are new players. Quarterback Peyton Manning is gone. The new No. 1 guy? Drew Stanton, who recently was traded from the New York Jets. That will change, too. The Colts are expected to take Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III with the No. 1 overall draft pick and start him.
New faces, new schemes, and hopefully, new results after last season's 2-14 finish.
''It's the mentality,'' said safety Tom Zbikowski, who played for Pagano in Baltimore. ''Either get with it or say goodbye.''
Along with Manning, the team has released defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt and former Pro Bowlers Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai. The Colts also lost longtime center Jeff Saturday to Green Bay, emerging receiver Pierre Garcon to Washington and backup tight end Jacob Tamme to Denver in free agency.
Those losses don't mean the Colts are giving up. Defensive end Robert Mathis said he's too old to be part of a rebuilding project and ''can't stand'' the term.
''We're all professional football players,'' he said. ''I didn't come here to lose any games. I don't have rebuilding years in me. So you come to play.''
Zbikowski doesn't care for the term, either.
''I don't even know what those words mean,'' he said.
The remaining Colts are ready to move forward.
''I like the vibe here,'' linebacker Pat Angerer said. ''Everybody is fired up and motivated. Everybody is excited.''
Some players will have different roles. Mathis will be a standup defensive end for the first time in his pro career.
''But it's still being active and bringing the heat. It's still the same,'' he said. ''I feel like a freshman all over again. It is a lot more wide open than in the past. Everybody's excited and they're ready to get going.''
Mathis believes he and Dwight Freeney will excel like they did before in the old 4-3 defense.
''We're football players, so we don't have any doubt we can do this,'' he said. ''If there's anybody that has a chip on their shoulders, it's us. So we've got to get it done.''
Defensive end Corey Redding, who also played for Pagano in Baltimore, said his teammates are learning quickly.
''They're soaking it up,'' he said. ''They are literally learning right now, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. It's about learning the base. Right now, it's about work. It's getting into the playbook, learning the playbook, studying the playbook. It's about watching tape, watching film.''
Mathis knows expectations will be the lowest since he joined the team.
''We've been counted out already, so you've just got to take that and use it as positive motivation,'' he said.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap