The coach was new. The draft pick was high. The schemes and philosophies had yet to be implemented.

That was the state of the Indianapolis Colts about this time back in 2012. It was an offseason that represented a seismic shift in the organization, with top-to-bottom changes that would pay huge dividends in some cases and have serious consequences in others.

When there are that many proverbial balls in the air, you have to get things right.

And that’s a lesson the Colts can apply to 2018. As the franchise prepares for next week’s NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium, the stakes are high. The Combine is the next milepost in what is shaping up to be the biggest offseason for the Colts since that period in 2012 that landed them quarterback Andrew Luck, saw Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson hired as coach and general manager and featured a massive roster shakeup.

Already, the 2018 offseason has been an adventure. Pagano was fired at the end of the season, followed by a coaching search that spilled into February – and lingered an additional week after Josh McDaniels’ stunning change of heart. Frank Reich took the helm less than two weeks ago and hit the ground running.

With a stash of valuable draft picks, including the third overall selection, a huge pile of cash with which to sign free agents and with new offensive and defensive schemes being installed (which also call for new players), the 2018 offseason will be pivotal in many ways.