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I'm low on Verner, actually, after reading Mike Tanier's piece. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/68458420/tennessee-titans-alterraun-verner-headlines-nfl-free-agent-class

His argument is that (based on what he saw on film), Verner is more of a zone coverage guy. He's not a physical corner, very rarely bumping anyone at the line. Instead, he backs off, relying on his quickness and intelligence to close on receivers. He sounds like a great player, but not like what the Colts do with their CBs...in fact he sounds like the opposite. Given that, I just don't trust our coaches to use him wisely. It sounds like a recipe for disaster: they'll bring him in, ask him to do crap that he has never done and isn't particularly good at, and we'll be paying 12M per year for someone playing like he's below average.


Good article...sounds like Davis is the best option. It's easy to dream about free agents and upgrading the roster, but as this article and the articles on free agent centers show, these decisions aren't as simple as "our CB is ok...let's get a new one." You have to see what's actually out there and decide what makes the most sense. Well done!

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Free Agency PFF Spotlight Part 2: The Cornerback Contingency Plan

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I fucking love this column every single week.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Wild Card Week

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Great analysis. Let's hire Reggie as a coach when he's done.

7 months, 1 week ago on The Difference a Good Route Makes

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Great, great work. This article has become mandatory reading for serious Colts fans. You are not only putting in a ton of solid work--you're also applying good analysis to it. Good stuff!

7 months, 4 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 12

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I vote Vontae

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Abridged All-22: Masking Poor Coverage & the Peyton Prism

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This is a fantastic article! Really thoughtful, in-depth analysis of scheme. Great, great work.

I hope Werner can step up and make an impact as a replacement for Walden. I also hope the front office and coaching staff will be quick to pull a player (Walden or whoever) if they aren't working out, regardless of who got which contract or who got drafted highly. 

But again, great article. Excited to see more stuff from you.

10 months ago on All-22: Defense, Week 3 vs 49ers.

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Also--welcome back to Colts Authority, where accurately describing Chris Johnson as overrated won't start a comments-destroying flame war of epic proportions.  I always found that hilarious.

1 year, 3 months ago on What Can the Colts Expect from the 2013 Draft

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Great stuff as always...I'd be curious, too, about breaking this down by position.  Is a WR picked 20-30 generally better than an OT?

 

I kinda hope they trade down and get more picks in the 20-45 range.

1 year, 3 months ago on What Can the Colts Expect from the 2013 Draft

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 @bradicus18  @SGV I'm actually ok with RJF...dude is playing back-up to the Smiths.  I think I've heard Greg Cosell say good things about him, too, for what it's worth.

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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 @mattshedd Yeah, that's what's so hard about this (and the draft)...the only thing you really can do is wait to see how it pans out.  There's just now way to predict things.  The draft is probably worse in this regard.

 

That said, I think we can use stats like you do, to at least see if Grigson's behavior makes much sense.  If common patterns pop out, and they reflect what could be good, solid reasoning, then that makes me feel better about the organization.  If it's all over the place and self-contradictory, that would make worried.  No matter how Landry pans out, I'm okay with the strategy here.

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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 @mattshedd  Dude--your post is good, and a spelling mistake isn't a big deal.  The guy's name is Gosder Cherilus!!!  That name already looks misspelled!

 

Also, the idea that "oh, now you have no credibility and I have to verify all your stats".  Um--reading blogs is always about trust--no one can verify all this stuff.  I choose to place my trust in people based on if their analysis seems sound and carefully thought out.  Your post is a good example of that.  Spelling counts for very little with me--I believe it's a poor proxy for statistical inference.

 

In sum: rock on.

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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 @JonathanCaldwell  At first I was gonna respond to the guy, but I think I'm better off if I imagine that SGV is a really good friend of the writer and that this is a big joke.  It makes me happier to believe that, so I'm just gonna do that.

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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Oh, one more point on stats technique.  If I had the time, what I'd like to do is go beyond just last year.  I'm interested in how much does AV bounce around for a player?  Is it common for a guy to go (0.3, 0.8, 9.4, 1.2), or are more guys like (3.7, 4, 3.5, 2.8).  Both those players would have similar AV over four years, but I'd probably have more faith in the second one.  Then again--maybe it makes sense to swing for the first guy.

 

In any case, I bet that the reason FA is such a bad idea in general is that you pay for guys who are like (2, 2, 2, 9) cause you think they're on a good trajectory, when really what you just paid for is a guy who in a few years will look like (2, 2, 2, 9, 2, 2, 2).  It sounds like, with the exception of Landry, that Grigson got a bunch of guys who are (2, 2, 2) but whose situations suggest that their numbers are deflated--eg, Francois (a possible 8 sitting behind Aldon Smith, a 10), or Thomas (same situation).  I actually really like this approach because, even if Grigson is spending a lot--which, again, is irrelevant because of the Colts' cap situation--it shows that it's in a thoughtful way.  Grigson might still be wrong about all these guys, but he's not just going out and signing Albert Haynesworth to make the fan base happy.

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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Great post...I liked the technique.  It's not perfect, but no technique will be, and this strikes me as a good, rough way to get a sense of things.

 

I think your takeaway is right--the Colts got a bunch of unproven, young guys.  Lots of upside.  But most importantly--there's almost zero downside.  Given all our cap space and Luck's rookie contract, it just doesn't matter all that much if we blow a lot of Irsay's cash for the next three years.  We have to spend this money anyway...and I don't think there are plausible alternatives.  If we spent less money, we wouldn't get the best people available.  If we wanted "marquee" guys like Jake Long or Mike Wallace, we'd have to spend even more money (and probably guarantee cash well into Luck's second contract, which would be the only big mistake you could make).  

 

So, the only question is, did Grigson roll the dice on the wrong guys?  Should he have gotten Vollmer instead of Cherilus?  Kept Freeney instead of Walden?  But as you rightly point out--we just don't know yet, and at this point, it makes sense to give Ryan "I found Jerrell Freeman" Grigson the benefit of the doubt.  FA rarely works out well, but if you have extra cash, doesn't it make sense to blow it and see?  It's not like you can use cap space to buy first round draft picks...

1 year, 4 months ago on Guest Post: Were the Colts Free Agents Worth the Money?

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And, optimistically, perhaps Pagano's background as a DB coach will help the Colts take advantage of Davis' skills and coach up his skills.

1 year, 10 months ago on A Closer Look at Newcomer Vontae Davis | August

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I agree re the defense.  On offense, we know what we have--an old Reggie Wayne, a solid Donald Brown, an unspectacular line that needs reinforcement, Austin Collie, and not much else.  It makes sense to retool it.  On defense, though, it's much less clear what we have, since we won't know how folks will transition.  Makes sense, then, to go all in on Luck this year, making it easier on him (while still getting the best players available), and wait and see on the defense.

2 years, 2 months ago on Post Draft Thoughts | Articles

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Loved the article--he's a good writer, and I like the "find arbitrage opportunities" approach

2 years, 2 months ago on Interesting Taibbi Draft Theory | Articles

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That got me really excited!  Aaron Rodgers arm + Tebow body?  Nice

2 years, 2 months ago on Luck and ESPN Sports Science | Articles

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 @psvirsky Was the end of that comment a cry for help???

2 years, 5 months ago on Drama and Change is Boring | February

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Good stuff, as always.  It might complicate things if Peyton comes back...at this point, I'm most worried about getting good WRs/TEs for Luck.  If Peyton is back and close to his old self, the draft picks won't be as good.  Here's to hoping that they hit some home runs in later rounds on an WR/TE or two...

2 years, 5 months ago on Drama and Change is Boring | February

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I didn't hear about the "egg shells" rejoinder...that whole Irsay episode was embarrassing and disappointing.

All that said, Nate, I'm going to stick with what you said yesterday after Peyton's interview: nothing has changed. There is no new information. Insofar as no news is bad news (if Peyton could throw 60 yards, I think we would have seen it/heard of it by now), we still don't know how things will play out. I will grant you that Irsay's behavior has me feeling more worried about the kind of bad ending you assume is inevitable at this point.

2 years, 5 months ago on No Happy Endings for Peyton Manning in Indy | February

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Comparison becomes more apt with this Denver blowout...

2 years, 6 months ago on Boston Herald: Pats = Colts | Articles

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I love this article...well done

2 years, 6 months ago on Breaking Down Colts Key Veteran Contracts | January

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@DougEngland Yeah...everything you're saying makes sense. Let's hope it works out

2 years, 6 months ago on Jim Irsay Gets His Man | January

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@chad72 I'm with you--I'm optimistic, and the Eagles' success in the draft makes me feel better (as does the thought of him bringing some Eagles scouting...shouldn't we nab someone from a top drafting team every year to get the benefit of gems they've found but we haven't?)

2 years, 6 months ago on Jim Irsay Gets His Man | January

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@DougEngland I'm with you on the fact that we don't know if Grigson will be able to run the team well (he's never done it before). I'm not sure if the analogy is perfect, though. As I understand it, the GM still has to know a lot about, be a genius at, and do some talent evaluation. Maybe this isn't true everywhere, but Polian at least appeared to do a lot of talent evaluation. Being great at that is more important in a GM than being good at sales is for a manager overseeing a sales team who doesn't do any sales himself.

2 years, 6 months ago on Jim Irsay Gets His Man | January

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Kinda depressing but great article. The playoffs are all about luck...when teams are this even, and even the worst team will still win 1/3 or more of the time, you can pretty much throw out the idea that "the best team wins"

2 years, 6 months ago on Colts: Most Bizarre Playoff Stat in NFL History | January

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@martinkroeger@Peyton for President TO me, that still makes it horrible. Note that part of Polian being fired is that he was not accepted by the local media (maybe a small part, but a part nonetheless). This idea that he's not liked by the local media is driven, in turn, by bullshit like what Kravitz writes. It might get Kravitz more reads, but if his garbage in any way played a part in Polian leaving, it's unforgivable in my book.

2 years, 6 months ago on The Third Era of Irsay | January

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Good read...I'd be excited about him.

2 years, 6 months ago on A Vision of Jim Popp, Colts GM | Articles

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I agree with your reasoning--if you assume Manning's health is unclear by March 8, then comparing all three scenarios available (just Manning, just Luck, both), option three has the biggest chance of being a disaster. That doesn't mean it will be a disaster, though. People make irrational choices that end up working all the time, and vice versa (see Mike Smith's 4th down calls not working). In other words, saying that the Colts will make the decision with the biggest downside is NOT the same as saying the Colts are about to experience a disaster. Maybe the odds of a disaster have gone up, but there's also still a strong chance that Irsay makes the wrong call but things work out anyway. I'm not ready to be pessimistic until I see how the decision plays out, even if I disagree with the decision. But I also understand your negativity--it is well-founded and rational, just not my style.

2 years, 6 months ago on The Third Era of Irsay | January

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I don't think option 3 would doom the Colts to mediocrity. I view the playoffs as a crapshoot--any team can get hot and win it with some luck. I think that if they can re-sign Mathis and do well in the draft, the Colts will be good enough in scenario 3 to make the playoffs, which as I view it, is another way of saying "they'll be good enough to compete for a super bowl." Maybe the Colts would enter with a 10% chance of winning it all instead of a 20% chance in scenario 3 (compared to scenario 1), but in both cases, you wouldn't expect the Colts to win a super bowl in the next four years anyway. The most likely outcome in both scenario 1 and 3, then, with those numbers, is 4 years of playoff runs that end in a loss because shit is random. The only difference is, in scenario 3, you have a (presumably) better backup who can improve your odds from years 5-15. So, I think scenario 3 is okay, especially if they hit some home runs in the draft to improve the D and restock the receiving corps.

2 years, 6 months ago on Choose Your Own Adventure: The Colts 2012 Off-Season | January

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Was he even offered a job? Is it possible he interviewed but Irsay didn't like him?

2 years, 6 months ago on DeCosta says, "No thanks!" | Articles

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@psvirsky@matt_has@kasey_junk And for what it's worth, I have a buddy at Stanford who has gone to every home game. He has been wowed by Luck--saying he can make all the throws, that he looks like Peyton in terms of decision-making, but more athletic.

2 years, 6 months ago on How does Luck compare to other college QBs? | Articles

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@matt_has@kasey_junk I had the same impression watching the Oregon game. That said, it might be worth youtubing clips of Peyton at Tennessee and seeing if he pops off the screen. Maybe great college QBs just get the job done in unremarkable ways (as opposed to say, a Reggie Bush type)

2 years, 6 months ago on How does Luck compare to other college QBs? | Articles

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@Scott VanDyke@psvirsky That's another interesting part of the equation--how much pressure you put on the players you keep. If you draft Luck, he has to replace Manning, a pressure he wouldn't feel elsewhere.

As to your point, I see more pressure on Luck, a la Ricky Williams or Julio Jones. It's just cognitively easier to point to one guy and say "Is he worth all these picks? Is he worth [name] + [name]?" then to track down everyone drafted and do it in reverse--"Is [name] worth a fraction of Luck?" Just a gut feel, but I feel like the 1 guy in the trade gets more scrutiny.

2 years, 6 months ago on How does Luck compare to other college QBs? | Articles

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I really hope they stick with the same defense...it would doom us to a couple years of adjustment if not. That doesn't sound fun

2 years, 6 months ago on We're all looking offense but we should be thinking defense. | Articles

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@psvirsky Yeah, I'm nervous too. On the other hand, if we end up with a dumb GM who important stats and likes Blaine Gabbert more than Andy Dalton, the upside is that if he picks Luck, our draft position protected him from making a truly franchise crushing mistake. What that says about the next few years/decade is ugly, though...

2 years, 6 months ago on How does Luck compare to other college QBs? | Articles

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@DougEngland HWSNBN went after Nate? Glad you read it so I don't have to. That guy is the absolute worst. Literally one of the dumbest people I've ever read on the internet, and that says something. Still, it's worth remembering this classic comic: http://xkcd.com/386/ .

It just shows that we have to do our part to make sure Colts Authority gains traction. There's a small, frightening possibility that when Irsay listens to "fans", he listens to dudes like HWSNBN.

2 years, 6 months ago on MUST READ: Phil B on Polian's terror | Articles

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@psvirsky@squirrel@Nate Dunlevy Yeah, and not just the talent. If a GM came in two years ago or even last year, they are in Caldwell's position. If they win, it's "they didn't do anything but keep the Colts the same". If they lose, it's "this new guy was a disaster." Now, if the Colts win it looks more like righting the ship through a difficult time

2 years, 6 months ago on MUST READ: Phil B on Polian's terror | Articles

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@squirrel@Nate Dunlevy Also, last year was Chris' first year at the helm, and that role will only increase. So while it might be worth keeping Bill around for his talent (even as he started to take a back seat), it made less sense each year that Chris' responsibility increased, and it makes less sense this year, when you might have the best shot at attracting the top GM talent (assuming the chance to really shape the Colts' future attracts more talent)

2 years, 6 months ago on MUST READ: Phil B on Polian's terror | Articles

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Nate--I think your thoughts are right. I assume Peyton will be okay, so I'd opt for trading the picks for a huge bounty, and re-tooling at WR, TE, and the secondary positions.

That said, I disagree with the certainty of your feelings on keeping both. I also think it's a bad idea, but I'd leave room for the possibility that we're both wrong on this. Who knows--maybe the Colts re-sign Mathis, get lucky on some late round talent, and put together a run next year. Maybe Manning gets re-injured? In other words, I think we agree that of all outcomes, keeping both has a small chance of not failing, but it's not a zero percent chance.

2 years, 6 months ago on Luck and Manning Will Not Co-exist | January

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I"m coming around on this view...given that Polian probably won't trade the #1 pick (the best option, in my opinion), then it's better to get the #2 and focus on improving the team now, waiting a few years to try to get a pro bowl QB and overhaul the team before then. In the meantime, the Colts offense goes back to Pats/Packers/Saints territory, and the defense hopefully gets a little better.

2 years, 6 months ago on Eyes in the Backfield-Jaguars

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@psvirsky Well, maybe Nate takes this to mean "short throws are good enough" at best and "deep throws are non-existent"?

Also, one more downer caveat--Peyton saved Joe Addai's job. Peyton took less money almost specifically for Addai to come back...without that, does Addai play in the NFL to start the season? Considering that, it makes sense that Addai would have Peyton's back...

2 years, 7 months ago on Addai: Manning's good enough in short yardage

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Brad Johnson sounds right to me, and why I'd rather trade the pick and get a ton of guys in the next couple year (and hope Polian can nab a Dalton-esque, Rodger-esque, Marino-esque, or Brees-esque QB in the late 1st round early 2nd round). Everyone talks about Luck as a sure thing--but there is no such thing as a sure hall of famer. A sure Brad Johnson or Vinny Testaverde? Maybe...but the "sure" next John Elway? I don't think there's such a thing.

2 years, 7 months ago on What is the #1 pick worth?

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Hopefully this means his velocity is high enough that the deep level stuff should be okay...I've always heard that arm strength is important not so much for the deep throws as for getting zip on the short ones...

2 years, 7 months ago on Addai: Manning's good enough in short yardage

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I don't know about Florio's reasoning...Condon is the most famous agent in the game, right? Does the top pick going to his (huge) agency really mean anything? Also, wouldn't CAA have some policy in place to deal with conflicts of interest? I mean, if they represent Peyton and ANY Colts player, there's a conflict there, as Florio defines it (e.g., CAA would want Freeney to get the biggest deal, so they might encourage Manning to take less or vice versa?). Just seems like a lot of speculation, and a huge leap to go from "Luck might join the biggest agency in the NFL world" to "Peyton and Luck have a secret plan"

2 years, 7 months ago on Luck and Manning planning?

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??? I'm confused...did they just not do the math that Nate did?

2 years, 7 months ago on Texans and a coin could decide the draft

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great work...you scooped adam schefter, which says something!

2 years, 7 months ago on The Tie Breaker

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"Any QB with any leverage who willing chose to come and sit behind a Hallf of Famer for three or four years isn't worth the number one pick in my book. I suspect most fans would vilify him"

I think this goes too far. I doubt fans would vilify him for keeping his head down and staying in Indy behind Peyton. I bet most fans would be excited he's staying, with some doubters mixed in.

As to the first sentence, I guess you're right--having a number 1 pick sit for 3/4 years wastes upside. But we just can't know the situation fully till a) we know if Manning is healthy (in which case it might not be 3/4 years) and b) what we could get for Luck. If people won't trade enough value for Luck, it could be that keeping him is better than any alternative.

2 years, 7 months ago on Thursday Open Thread: Lucky, Lucky, You're So Lucky

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I'm naturally a skeptic about college players. Two reasons this makes me worried:

1) San Francisco's offense has been dumbed down. Grantland had a great article about how Harbaugh is simplifying the offense for Alex Smith, which has led to Smith having his best year. By taking out route adjustments based on reads, the offense has worked better. In other words, does this mean that Luck is running a dumbed down NFL offense? How do we know he'd be able to transition to a real one? If Alex Smith is managing the 49ers well (against pro defenses, no less), does it really mean much if Luck is running is excellently (against college defenses)?

2) A thought experiment...is it possible that being able to run an "NFL-lite" offense in the college game is a huge advantage? If so, my worry, which is the flip side of my point above, is that that being able to run an NFL-lite offense with Alex Smith-like competence could make you look like a genius against college teams. You'll seem NFL ready because you're doing "NFL-like" things, but it's actually not a good sign that you'll be more than average at the next level, when defenses are built to play against complex offenses.

Thoughts?

2 years, 7 months ago on Is Luck NFL-ready?

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The money doesn't feel like a big deal yet, assuming you can keep Frathis...there's no one else leaving who I'm too worried about.

It all depends on what you could get for Manning or Luck. If you could get a ton of first rounds picks for Luck, then it's hard to turn down--you surround Manning and Manning's replacement with top shelf talent. But if you can't get a great deal, then I say keep both, because as you've pointed out Nate, this D can be turned around pretty quickly. I think if you improve the D a little bit and get a talented tight end, this team can contend again, and it can still have the best of both worlds--Manning now and Luck in the future.

All assuming, of course, that Luck is that good. I'm skeptical--I think people are naturally over-confident about college players.

2 years, 7 months ago on Tuesday Open Thread: The Bright Shimmer

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Maybe you've covered this before, so apologies, but I'm also confused about the relationship between nerve regeneration and the bone fusion. How does this surgery (adding the hip bone etc) help a nerve regenerate?

2 years, 8 months ago on ESPN's Mortensen: Colts' Manning Still Hopes to Play this Season

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Nate--you're missing the point here. The Colts' struggles this year are because Chris Polian fired six scouts over the last four years AND because Bill Polian refused to draft Ndomakung Suh instead of Jerry Hughes.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Two Year Rebuild

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Rams catch a huge break after they recover a Cribbs fumble on a punt return!

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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I'm with Goeland--It felt unnecessary to throw Orlovsky in. But 6 of one, half dozen of the other. Or maybe, 0 of one, 0/12 of the other?

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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Maybe you're just feeling overly defensive?

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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And there it is...that makes three picks on this drive?

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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I'm getting nervous about the Rams and Dolphins games. We need Bradford and Moore to come through.

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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Just curious...nice to see him and Nevis back.

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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Is Castonzo playing?

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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It really seems like this game might come down to who gives up more pick 6's and strip sacks

2 years, 8 months ago on Colts-Jaguars Open Thread

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Why Pack over Vikings? Don't we want another 2 win team out?

2 years, 8 months ago on Who to Root For: Week 10

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Just a point I thought about yesterday. Luck will be around 12-15 years, but so will the guys we could draft with these picks we get in a trade. Do we really want Luck coming into this team's roster? We already know that anyone short of Manning would have a tough time leading it to the playoffs, and Freeney/Mathis etc probably won't be around for Luck. That means we'll have to re-tool the whole roster, while Luck loses for a few years and gets pinned with the "not living up to expectations" label.

And if you look at AJ Green for Dalton, I wonder if we should focus on making the team as good as it can be so that not only will Peyton have a few more years with a super bowl contender, but his replacement will also come into a better situation (rather than a rebuilding process). I think I'd rather give Peyton an AJ Green type threat plus a playmaker on D for a few years, then give his replacement the same thing, then throw Luck into the fire and watch this roster try to pull off another 2009.

2 years, 8 months ago on What Can You Get for the #1 Pick?

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Great stuff as always. My hope is that your tweet about rebuilding defenses quickly is right. If Houston can go from awful to average in one year, hopefully the Colts can do the same. We just have to hope for a solid draft next year to put this team in contention for the next four...even an average draft, given the drafting position, will probably do wonders for this team.

It's too bad people just aren't getting your point about this team's drafts. The "1st round picks have been a bust" meme has taken firm hold, but people ignore the drafting position context. It's the same mistake people make when they try to measure offenses but ignore starting field position. After this year, our draft pick will basically put the Polians at 1st and goal.

2 years, 8 months ago on What the Front Office Has Done Wrong

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Speaking of perception vs. reality...I think Caldwell gets a lot of flak for the same reason. If Caldwell looked/carried himself like Mike Tomlin, does he get so much hate? I know I'm guilty of this--Tomlin just looks cooler and inspires more confidence, but for no good reason.

2 years, 9 months ago on Has Curtis Painter Outplayed Kerry Collins?

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Yeah--I'd be up for it if there was a good upgrade, even if nothing was hugely wrong. I'd consider Jeff Fisher an upgrade.

That said, and I can't emphasize this enough--none of us have much idea what goes on. I bet that the most important thing a coach brings is teaching ability--guys who can take sound players and get the most out of them. Caldwell could be a great or terrible teacher, and I wouldn't know it. Schemes, motivation, and game management are also important, and might make the difference in a close game, but I think you really just need the best teachers.

@ConorGillen

2 years, 9 months ago on What if Painter Plays Well ?

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Yeah--I think the idea is that the cabal of AFC teams (Colts/Pats/Steelers/Chargers) have been picking low for so long that the stranglehold couldn't last. You'll also randomly have surprise teams picking low each year, but they'll be going up and down each year, whereas the AFC teams keep picking low.

On the other hand, this is all intuition--it could just be luck, or it could be that my intuition is wrong, or some combination of both.

2 years, 9 months ago on What if Painter Plays Well ?

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Haven't read the article (don't know if I want to), but if you ask me, the most likely explanation is that the playoffs are just a crapshoot. All the teams are good--you have a 55/45 chance of winning any game as the favorite. You're just unlikely to win three/four times in a row--period. Long odds apply to EVERY team, regardless of whether their QB is out of this world or not.

2 years, 9 months ago on Stats vs. Florio

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Yeah--he comes off poorly in this. If anything, stats have democratized sports writing--regular guys like the writers at 18to88 or Football Outsiders gain a spot at the table because of their brains and their arguments. Stats and stats-based views have made the sports media a better place.

When Whitlock says he's frustrated that he's shut out of conversations when he decides not to discuss VORP, etc, he just comes off as a dumb guy who's frustrated by a conversation that's over his head. And if this article does anything, it makes it crystal clear that this stats stuff is over his head--not because of the numbers, but because he just doesn't really get what statistics do. He really needs to read "Drunkard's Walk".

2 years, 10 months ago on Whitlock: Get off my lawn!

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So, why is stem cell treatment kosher by NFL standards but HGH isn't? If both are relatively safe, I don't see why HGH is lumped into the "steroids" category but this isn't. And if HGH mostly just helps guys recover from injuries, isn't that a good thing?

2 years, 10 months ago on Glazer: 18 had stem cell therapy

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Any word on how the rookies have played?

2 years, 10 months ago on Colts Texans Open Thread

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@Platinum@AJ_ I think we should hold off a game or two to see if it's an aberration. The Texans aren't bad.

2 years, 10 months ago on Colts Texans Open Thread

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@Nate Dunlevy@mattiecolin Yeah...I'm still hoping this will all just be a funny story when we look back on this season. Do you think it's possible Kerry Collins just didn't feel like doing the training camp thing, a la Favre?

2 years, 11 months ago on Collins a Model of Consistency

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@CrizzleColts@GotDebt This is kind of nice to hear. How demoralizing will it be to an already emotionally weak Texans team if Peyton comes out and leads an 8 play touchdown drive at the start of the game?

2 years, 11 months ago on Colts Sign Collins

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Not that this is anything new, but it is so damn frustrating as a fan to have no idea about what's going on with injuries.

2 years, 11 months ago on Colts Sign Collins

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This does seem awful. Let's start working on getting the season pushed back.

2 years, 11 months ago on Colts Sign Collins

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@Merr Yeah, I'm with you on this. The O seemed okay with at least two of these guys in. If the O-Line shows any improvement, I expect the offense to be better than '09 or '08. It'd be nice to see some more dominant performances from the offense, and I fully expect to see some this year.

2 years, 11 months ago on Are the Colts Becoming the Late 90s Dolphins?

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As a side note, there's such an obsession with saying "Team A is like historical team B". It's always good to kick the tires on such analogies--they're easy to make, sound good, but often fall short of providing much insight or accuracy.

The offense should be solid, barring more injuries...it'll all come down to how the D looks.

2 years, 11 months ago on Are the Colts Becoming the Late 90s Dolphins?

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I'm with you on both points: a) Irsay was joking; b) Investing in a veteran QB makes little sense. If Manning goes down, it's a loss--I'd rather spend backup QB money on the defense.

2 years, 11 months ago on Kravitz: there's a real problem

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This is why the offseason is so frustrating to me---we just don't have any solid information. For every story that actually tells us something (free agent signing; news about a surgery or injury), there must be 100 pieces that are just noise.

I also have a bad feeling about the upcoming season, but we just won't know anything until the Texans game. I can obsessively click refresh on 18to88 all I want (and I do), but I probably won't hear much substantive stuff before then. And, part of what makes this site great is that you do a great job of not freaking out and not reporting more than there is. If the site is slower during the offseason, that's just a signal of the site's honesty.

2 years, 11 months ago on Thoughts on Colts/Redskins and Irsay's Tweet

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Well, that ruins my night. Please, please let it be a non-issue. In any case, I bet they wouldn't put him back in even if it were a really insignificant injury.

2 years, 11 months ago on Colts Redskins Open Thread

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@Nate Dunlevy@kasey_junk Does Hughes get a more flexible definition of a "good year" since he's backing up Freeney and Mathis? I'm not sure that even a 2nd year Freeney or 1st year Tamba Hali would play much instead of Mathis/Freeney.

2 years, 11 months ago on How Soon is Too Soon to Judge Jerry Hughes?

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@spellydoo That does make me feel better. Plus, even most of these guys needed two years before they made solid contributions, if I'm reading this correctly. So, combine his lack of experience with the fact that the DE position just takes a while to develop and I'd be willing to hold off judgment until even next year.

2 years, 11 months ago on How Soon is Too Soon to Judge Jerry Hughes?

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@Merr Not sure yet, but I'd be that their miss rate--or players they let go--is good, too. I'm thinking guys like Cato June and Jason David.

2 years, 12 months ago on The Second Contract

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A 5th round pick does seem like a low price. I'm not that worried, just cause I don't know how effective he'd be in a 3-4, but that said, the Pats do switch it up and I'm sure Belichick would find a way to use him well.

Also, he does seem like a bad character guy and maybe doesn't have the highest work ethic, but I always wondered if his problems in Washington were more about Shanahan coming to town and making an example out of Haynesworth. Did he have such issues laziness/character issues in Tennessee? If not, I feel like this could pay off pretty well for the Pats.

2 years, 12 months ago on Haynesworth to the Patriots

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Great post. I'd say you run a great blog, not merely a good one. It reminds me of a speech I heard Peter Gomes (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/03/reverend-peter-gomes.html) make...the gist was that if you just focus on being good each day--not great, but just being good--you'll often end up doing great things. And I view this blog as an example of what happens when a good person has an unerring focus on doing good work, every single day. Excited for the book!

3 years, 1 month ago on The "F" Word

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@Ajit --you bring up a great point. You only hire defensive coordinators, for the most part, when things are wrong. But--and I might be creating a lot more work for Nate here--we could look at the 1st and 2nd year of every defensive coordinator and compare Phillips' first and second years to this average to get a sense of what's going on.

3 years, 2 months ago on How Long Does it Take for Wade Phillips to Change a Defense?

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I'm a little worried about what the Coyer numbers would look like.

3 years, 2 months ago on How Long Does it Take for Wade Phillips to Change a Defense?

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Good stuff. I'm worried that people just won't get over the "Peyton" factor on this, no matter how convincing these comparisons are. Ideally, we could get a bunch of receivers who played a chunk of time both with and without the Colts to try to measure the "Peyton factor", but there aren't too many of these around (Stokley? And even he isn't a great comparison because he plays a different position)

Will the advanced metrics try to deal with this issue?

3 years, 4 months ago on Harrison and Carter, Part 2

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Random thought...Could the Colts offer their own private pension plan, say for players who have been on the team for 4 or 5 years? It'd be a way to essentially get around the salary cap.

3 years, 5 months ago on Marvin Miller on NFL labor dispute

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@Nate Dunlevy @matt_has Plus the running yards would benefit Young (nearly) as much as Elway, I'd think

3 years, 5 months ago on Inking the Quarterbacks

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@dmstorm22 Right...I look at it as, instead of signing a free agent who improves the D line, you hire Washburn and improve your D line's talent/technique.

3 years, 5 months ago on Mudd to Philly

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Philly is going nuts with the new position coaches and coordinators. Someone was saying it's a smart way of getting around the salary cap. I wonder if it'll pay off.

3 years, 5 months ago on Mudd to Philly

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