It seems that our first ten players that were posted last week made people pretty happy. We are back this week to do our rankings for guys falling in the top 20. We hope you enjoy this week’s post of the #20 through #11 guys in Indy Colts history. Here we go…..
#20. Aaron Bailey
Anyone who is a real Colts fan knows who this guy is. Aaron Bailey holds a special place in my heart because he did everything he could put his team on top but the ball just didn’t fall that way. Bailey didn’t have outstanding receiving seasons for the Colts. He was mainly the kick returner for the team. In 1995, though, he set himself in Colts history forever. Against the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, Bailey had the opportunity of a lifetime to put the Colts through to the Super Bowl. A hail mary pass from Jim Harbaugh in his direction….HE CATCHES IT!!! But wait, the pile was on and the official says Bailey dropped the ball, thus ending the great playoff run for the Colts that year. Bailey played only a couple more years with the Colts, but many of us love him for what he did that season and the heart he showed on that one play.
#19. Jim Harbaugh
Captain Comeback, as we all loved to call him. Harbaugh had the knack of bringing the Colts back in the fourth quarter and leading them to wins. Harbaugh’s time in Indianapolis was more of a running team. He never really threw for a ton of yards due to having Marshall Faulk in the backfield. Harbaugh’s best season as a Colt was in the storied 1995 season. He earned the nickname Captain Comeback that year and put the team on his shoulders and led them to the AFC Championship. If you look at his numbers compared to today’s quarterbacks he wouldn’t be but a practice squad QB at best, but for his time and this team…he was amazing.
#18. Ryan Diem
Ryan Diem was dubbed a 1st round talent in 2001 but was taken in the 4th round by the Colts. Turned out to be a great pick, don’t you think? Ryan Diem was the rock on the right side of the offensive line through one of the greatest decades in Colts history, Baltimore or Indy. He was an interchangeable part as he could play both guard and tackle. Diem saw most of his time at right tackle and did a fantastic job. He was an iron man on the team, only missing 8 games of his entire career and finally calling it quits after the 2011 season. He was one of the bookends of that great offensive line that protected Peyton Manning.
#17. Jason Belser
Known for his ball hawking skills and hard hits, Belser was a rock for the Colts defense in the early 90’s. Colts fans could always count on Belser to make a big play when the defense needed one or be in the middle of it all when a big stop was needed. In 9 seasons with the Colts, Belser racked up 13 interceptions, returning 3 for touchdowns, and a mound of tackles. He had his best season in 1993 when he amassed 127 tackles total and one interception. After the 2000 season, Belser moved on to Kansas City, but he will always be a Colt in the fans’ hearts.
Many of you may wonder why I would have Sanders listed so low on this list. Some of you may wonder why he is on this list. I see both sides, but no one can deny the energy and pure grit that Sanders brought to the Colts defense. Oft injured yes, but when he was healthy there wasn’t a safety around like him. I compare a healthy Bob Sanders to the Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. What these guys bring to the field is something that isn’t taught, it’s learned and grown inside the player. Sanders was named the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, the first Colt to be awarded that honor. He was a major part of the Colts defense when they won Super Bowl XLI in Miami. His hard hits and relentless play, though, was his inevitable downfall. With multiple shoulder injuries and knee injuries, Sanders’ body finally fell apart on him. Now out of the NFL, you can still walk into Lucas Oil Stadium on game day and see a few people walking around with their Bob Sanders jerseys.
#15. Ken Dilger
Kenny Dilger set the gold standard for Colts tight ends with his time here. A cornerstone to the offense, Dilger was a huge part of the Colts history and the Indianapolis community. Dilger not only put up good numbers for a tight end in the 90’s, he was a big part of Peyton Manning’s “upbringing” in the NFL. Manning found that Dilger and Harrison were security blankets as he got his feet wet. Dilger moved on to Tampa Bay, where he did win his first and only Super Bowl. Dilger is still part of the Indy community these days and many fans still see him on local T.V. as a Colts analyst. He is still a face people recognize on the streets and is still loved in the city of Indianapolis.
#14. Antoine Bethea
Bethea still has time to add to his legacy and I would say that as time moves on, he will move up this list. He is a leader of the Colts defense these days, and never lets his mouth do the talking. Bethea lets his play do the talking. Antoine is a player that doesn’t do crazy things to take away from his body. He plays smart and plays fast. Is he feared like other safeties in the NFL? That depends on who you ask. Bethea will take his shots when he sees them and has great ball skills as well. As a rookie, he switched out of both safety positions and helped the Colts have the 2nd best pass defense in the league. He has continued to play at that level since, and I don’t think he knows any other way to do it.
#13. Jeff Herrod
Jeff Herrod was one of the meanest linebackers to play the game. He always played whistle to whistle, and sideline to sideline. He didn’t have a quit button installed in his brain- and if he did, he would never turn it on. Herrod was named the team captain from 1989 until he left for Philly in 1997. He was renamed the team captain when he returned for his final season with the Colts in 1998. Herrod was a tackling machine. He ranks first all-time in tackles.
#12. Marcus Pollard
Pollard is one of the greatest stories in Colts football history. After being signed as an undrafted free agent in 1995, Pollard quickly polished his pass catching skills. With no college football background, Pollard was a great asset to the Colts. His best season of his career came in 2001 when he caught 47 balls and over 700 yards with 8 touchdowns. He was a part of the receiving corps that helped Peyton Manning break the all-time passing touchdown record. Pollard is still in football, but in the front office of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He may work for the enemy, but he is still loved in Indy.
Tarik Glenn is yet another loved player by Colts fans. As soon he came to Indianapolis, he became the wall between backside defenders and Peyton’s backside. Glenn spent 10 seasons with the Colts, making the Pro Bowl twice and helping to win Super Bowl XLI. Glenn was and still is very involved with the Indianapolis community. In 2007, Glenn dropped a bombshell when he retired due to a lack of passion for the game. He still remains a part of the Colts culture by showing up to events and talking Colts football with the media. Glenn was known as one of the best left tackles in the NFL while he was playing, and every Colts football fan was glad he was there to protect Peyton for those ten great seasons.