New Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands that rebuilding his team into a consistent winner will take time, patience, and a creative approach and is looking to the baseball world for inspiration according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
Ballard is currently engrossed in reading "The Cubs Way," a book about Theo Epstein -- the greatest team-builder of the 21st century who helped two MLB teams end generation-long championship droughts. Ballard is taking notes on how Epstein turned around a bumbling Chicago Cubs team to find clues on how to build the Colts' roster. "Theo -- baseball was getting flat in terms of the analytics and the edge that they were getting from the numbers -- so he kind of took a different approach with character," Ballard told Mike Wells of ESPN. "We want high-character guys that love football, that will hold each other accountable, that will be good teammates. It stuck out like a beacon light. "
"Look at the teams that win in this league. It's culture. Culture wins. It absolutely wins. Football is the greatest team sport. It really is because guys want to have individual success, but they can't have individual success without their teammates. They can't do it. Not in this sport. It's too hard." Ballard understands how different the team-building process is in the NFL as opposed to baseball and also gets that one or two splashy moves won't turn the Colts from a franchise over-reliant on spectacular play from its quarterback into a consistent, solid team on both sides of the ball-even though those splashy moves can energize the fanbase. He has cleaned out some of the aging remnants of the previous regime and has focused efforts this offseason on rebuilding the Colts' woeful defensive front seven. Next week's draft is Ballard's latest chance to put the team back into the championship conversation after back-to-back disappointing seasons.
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