The name and the place are all that have changed.
When the Washington Redskins play the Colts Sunday in the glittering new Hoosier Dome, the team they will encounter is virtually the same one that represented Baltimore a year ago. The philosophy remains the same. So do most of the strengths, weaknesses and personnel.
"We must concentrate to the fullest on every play," Coach Frank Kush says of the Colts (2-3).
"We don't have the talent to simply step out onto the field and beat people."
Kush continues to live with the run, having quarterback Mike Pagel concentrate far more on handing the ball off to Curtis Dickey and Randy McMillan than throwing it downfield. Dickey and McMillan are the same slashing, quick runners they were a year ago.
They'll go outside and they'll go inside. The decision rests with the scheme of the defense. If there is a difference, both backs seem to hit the hole a fraction of a second sooner because they're starting on AstroTurf instead of the sometimes soft and soggy Memorial Stadium playing surface.
Dickey has gained 394 yards this season, averaging 4.6 per carry. McMillan has 299 yards, averaging 4.8 per carry, with a 114-yard effort last Sunday against Buffalo.
The offensive thinking will remain blue collar as long as Kush is the coach. He continues to search for athletes with superior work habits.
Some offensive linemen are new, but the men doing most of the heavy blocking up front are center Ray Donaldson and Chris Hinton, the Pro Bowl selection a year ago as a rookie guard now playing left tackle.
One of those new faces belongs to right guard Ron Solt, a rookie from Maryland who has played well.
"It may be easier to pass-block, but we'd better get used to run-blocking because that's what the coach wants," said Donaldson. "The sooner we accept that thinking the better off we'll be."
The defense is also familiar -- a very ordinary pass rush, good linebacking and a harried secondary that too often yields the big play.
Quarterbacks have picked on the left corner all season. It matters not if James Burroughs or Tate Randle mans the position; both have been beaten by the long pass. The favorite weapon of the opposition has been the stop-and-go pattern.
Burroughs and Randle seldom fail to take the bait. St. Louis hit the Colts twice with the big play, Miami burned them with an 80-yarder for a touchdown the following Sunday when the game was tied and Buffalo got into the act last weekend.
"Teams look at our secondary and smile," says Kush, who saw his No. 1 draft pick -- cornerback Leonard Coleman of Vanderbilt -- sign with Memphis of the U.S. Football League.
Eugene Daniel, an eighth-round draft choice out of Louisiana State, has taken over at right corner. His play is improving and he has promise.
One man who has been missing is Raul Allegre, the kicker who played a vital role in six of the Colts' seven victories in 1983. He suffered a hamstring injury running sprints four weeks ago, but may do some kicking against Washington.
Dean Biasucci, a free-agent rookie from Western Carolina, replaced Allegre after winning a kicking contest in training camp. Biasucci has been booming kickoffs into and out of the end zone, but his efficiency on field goals has been erratic.
And, of course, the Colts have the occasional unhappy player; notably, Johnie Cooks.
Cooks, the Colts' first draft pick in 1982, when he made the NFL all-rookie team at linebacker, was moved to defensive end early this season, then back to linebacker, and now wants out of the organization.
"I'm tired of it. I've played every position but defensive back," says Cooks. "They don't care about me."
Back in camp, and working hard, is defensive end Donnell Thompson. Long at odds with the Colts, suspended four weeks in training camp and then placed on the non-football injury reserve list (an ailing shoulder, hurt playing golf), Thompson is eligible to be activated next Monday and Kush appears ready to make the move.
Despite the Colts' shaky start in their new city, a semblance of a honeymoon remains with the team and its owner, Robert Irsay. The fans now boo when Pagel consistently overthrows receivers or a cornerback is far out of position on a pass, but they still show up in large numbers.
Tickets are available, but generally from season-ticket holders. The bitterness over a controversial lottery distribution plan has subsided and a few more victories should assure Irsay another season of sellouts in 1985.
There was enough of a flap to scotch the idea when the club tried to unretire the numbers of Raymond Berry and Gino Marchetti just prior to the season. But it didn't mean nearly as much in Indianapolis as it would have in Baltimore.