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You know, after reflection, I wonder why we even give their column any notice. I now see that it's obvious clickbait designed to generate argument. ESPN has for far too long been the flag carrier for "Say Something Controversial Just To Stir The Pot", hence the fact Tony Kornheiser gets airtime, Jemele Hill gets column space, and Jason Whitlock used to get work (ironic that they couldn't tolerate it when Whitlock turned that trolling right back onto them). 


This is hot air shaped into HTML. It's blather. It's just the end result of having constant coverage of a sport outside it's actual season. They feel the need to publish something, so the obvious conclusion is, "why not publish something that'll get people riled?". It's why I've lost faith and respect for much of national sports reporting and opinion writing: It long ago discarded the concept of illumination for the concept of lighting fires. And as such, gets the same amount of respect from me that any arsonist would.

1 week, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-ranked-21st-in-espns-futures-power-rankings.html

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@Kyle Rodriguez @nrakic Kyle, maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I think nrakic is mostly agreeing with you. I read that response as saying *if* you subtract context and merely look at them as anyone else does - which would be how a majority of NFL's fandom would, so many of whom couldn't even name Irsay, let alone know what he's done for Indianapolis - then you respond with the "hypocrisy" stance, but you do so from a lack of knowledge. Whereas if you do properly include all the context - the "different social and professional standing" - you properly differentiate. 


In other words, it's what you're saying. I didn't read that about reducing the equation to the basic state of being human beings, I read that as a post saying people should go beyond that to see "WHY the responses are what they are". 


If I'm wrong about this, I'll get corrected in this comments section, but that's the way I took that post. 

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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Ahh, Cthulhu fhtagn... for better use of Luck's skills. 


Ilyaa mglw'nafh Indianapolis uh'e Super Bowl wgah'nagl fhtagn.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/were-the-colts-really-run-first-in-2013.html

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@paulcareyjr My guess is that Allen would play that situation more. While I agree that Hilton could get open in short areas, I'd almost rather have him stretching the field while letting Reggie play the shorter routes and Allen and Fleener alternate at taking the punishment in the middle. I know that actually following that would mean that Hilton would have another year of being underutilized on 3rd and shorts, but honestly, with fast defenses routinely pounding pass targets unless they get over the top of the defense, I feel this would be best for both him and the team.


But how do we increase his utility to the team? Well, like Ben R said: Increase utilization of the *entire* passing game. I know that Irsay instructed Grigson who's impressed upon Pagano and Hamilton the desire to be more "balanced", but after 2 years I think it's time to concentrate on being more effective over being "balanced". Doing anything less is leaving capacity and capability unused, and that's a lousy way to do business.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@MarcusDugan That catch was gorgeous. Beautiful, even. Not only was it amazing in that it was truly a one **handed** catch (i.e. not a trap against the chest or even a cradling with the hand and wrist, but genuinely just his fingers and palm), but it showed so, sooo much awareness. He sensed that trying to secure it with his left hand would take him out of bounds without "control" or whatever the criteria for a reception is, so he simply let it stay there while he got his two steps in bounds. Result: Touchdown. And he didn't even two-hand it *after* the play was done! 


So much of what he was as a player and how he performed was distilled down to its essence in that one reception. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/throwback-stats-of-the-day-a-dallas-clark-tribute.html

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Well, if they're going to keep more than one FB - something that's not impossible, despite the fact that the thought irks me - then it might as well be someone who could also back up another position (LB) and provide emergency depth there. That way, the roster doesn't thin out as much elsewhere due to carrying that position.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/uncategorized/14421.html

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<blockquote>Pro Football Focus has never assigned a higher grade to a rookie tight end than the +19.1 grade Dwayne Allen received in 2012. Allen was just the 11th tight end in league history, and the first Colt, to have a rookie season of at least 45 catches, 500 yards and three touchdowns.</blockquote>


And to think, we can actually argue that he was underutilized. That actually was my opinion that entire rookie year: <i>"Why aren't they going to Dwayne more often?"</i> I thought that, and he *still* set records. 


Future is bright for at least that one position on the roster. Equaled only by the rest of the receiving corps, and surpassed only by the QB position. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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It's the injuries. When he fell in that draft and Indy picked him up, I fully thought he could be a force **if he could stay on the field**. It's why I ignored NTs in the last couple of drafts: Indy already has their line anchor. It's also why I feel more concerned about the defensive backfield than the front line itself: If he's there, he's a force that can do much towards making the defense look good.


But he's got to stay healthy. 2012 was such a bad a washout for him. Which essentially made last year his rookie year.


There's a reason he fell in the draft, and it was precisely because of that injury history. Guys of his skill level don't fall beyond the 3rd round unless there's some sort of concern, and his was his knee. It happens. Part of the reason football and the draft is such a crapshoot is because there are entire swaths of players who could rock the field save for those injury problems. Indianapolis's Anthony Gonzales back in the day was one of them. And Bob Sanders was, too, but to a far greater degree; he practically epitomizes this trope (my GOD, who here thinks he would've been a Hall of Famer had he not had so many injuries? I do. When he was on the field, he was a God-honest game changer). 


If Chapman's legs can stay healthy, he has the potential to have one heck of a season at some point. That strength and skill is there. It's just a matter of hoping the injuries don't derail that. And that, unfortunately, is all too possible a derailment. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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Ha! You and I both had him rated as a 3rd round or below prospect! 


One of these days I'm going to get a handle on what this front office looks for, but until then, my predictions on their actions will be seriously off at times. 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/analyzing-colts-second-round-pick-jack-mewhort.html

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That's so weird... it double posted one incomplete and one complete post of mine for a minute there. Strange. :-S

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/uncategorized/colts-authority-day-2-target-board.html

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Well... Nix might be a pretty good rotational fit, but if Chapnado is healthy, it'd be a wasted pick. 


And I know so little about the edge rushers available that I can't tell who'd be good fits with Indy. It's clear the Colts need one, though, so I hope one is available and works out.


Some folks on the 'net have been hoping for a wide receiver. In my mind, I'd rather wait until we had a first round pick before drafting that position. Indy can make due with what they got, and they can always sub in 2 tight end formations and increase Dwayne Allen's receptions to be effective. I'd almost rather have 2 TE no fullback formations myself to maximize good targets for Luck, but this is the Pagano/Pep era, so I'm not holding my breath... :(

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/uncategorized/colts-authority-day-2-target-board.html

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@MarcusDugan  Well, on the one hand, if the TEs are legit receiving options - and I'd call both Fleener and Allen completely legit ones - then this isn't so bad to me. Although it'd suck for the receivers on the wrong end of the logjam.


But let's also recall that Pep's been a little more liberal with package adjustments than Caldwell and Dungy were; on many 2nd and 3rd downs, I could see them going 3 or even 4 wide as opposed to sticking with the base package and throwing different plays out of them at the opponent. 

3 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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Ok, look, I wasn't expecting much out of Costa... but I was expecting more than THIS. :-/

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/uncategorized/colts-go-back-to-work-four-things-to-keep-an-eye-on-in-2014.html

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Meh. I think it's stupid to use such an outdated position myself, but let's be real: Stuff done outside the season doesn't mean jack. 


Now if they both make the final 53 roster cut this fall along with Havili, I'll be mad. That'll be a stupid move. But until then, this doesn't mean anything.

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@bradicus18  I've always felt that Twitter users are quite properly called "Twits", but the problem is I'd be dissing myself with that... :-S

4 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/site/new-colts-authority.html

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Another weird thing: For those of us who still have RSS feed readers (OMG, AJ_, drop the past and come into the present! Do you still use a 486??), old story links republished as if they were published today. I ended up with the "Colts sign Carson Wiggs...", "Hot Takes on Jim Irsay", "Carlie Irsay-Gordon...", "ICYMI:", and "Draft Order Finalized" stories show up again with today's date. 


This, by the way, is not a big deal, and I don't expect it to be treated as such. It's probably just an unexpected artifact of the migration. But I figured I'd point it out to illustrate to folks that there might be unexpected behavior for a day or so, and they shouldn't worry too much about it.

4 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/site/new-colts-authority.html

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Look, I love the guy 'cause he wears the horseshoe, but still... I just wanna know why it takes Castonzo a half hour to grate a block of Romano. I mean... I know it's a slow, boring task, and dammit, it's messy to boot, but 30 minutes?? :)

4 months ago on ICYMI: Jim Irsay Arrested and Colts sign K Carson Wiggs

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This is one of those cases to where it's not even worth our time to pay attention to what pundits outside of Indiana - the self-congratulatory, holier-than-thou amen chorus at that KSK story definitely included - are saying over this. To them, Irsay's not a person and this isn't a narrative about addiction. To them, it's an excuse to soapbox, and are they ever taking advantage of the chance to bloviate. 


I'm not even giving them the opportunity to waste my time. They'll all have moved on to some other topic du jour well before Irsay even completes his rehab stint. And will have found something else to be exhaustingly supercilious about.  

4 months, 1 week ago on Hot Takes on Jim Irsay

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And yes, this is sad. I'm just glad it's not turned into a tawdry insult-fest, even from other fans (Yes, there are folks out there cracking jokes, but I'm thankful it's standard, transient humor on the 'net, not maliciously intended insult). 


To digress a bit: I'm actually impressed by the general reaction I've seen so far. No one's made excuses, no one's invoked any double standard, and no one's even thought about laughing this off as just a guy who partied too hard one night and got busted. Instead, everyone's properly serious about the extent of the violation yet not hyperbolic in what they think should happen. Just about everyone I've read and heard from has said "get help" rather than "rot in jail". And that reflects well on Irsay because he's not a figure for hate. In a case like this for other public figures, people with axes to grind come out in droves. But that's simply not happened here. And I believe its because he's generally well respected. 


That speaks well of Irsay and also speaks well of the Colts fanbase. 
Yes, this is sad, but thankfully he's in a position to get the help he needs.

4 months, 1 week ago on Update: Jim Irsay Charged with Four Felony Counts of Possession

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@MarcusDugan  Eh, don't worry about it. It's the innerwebz. As long as you make occasional nods towards grammatic propriety, you'll be ahead of 3/4ths of the rest of the 'net. :)

4 months, 1 week ago on Update: Jim Irsay Charged with Four Felony Counts of Possession

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Yeah, the 2016 cap year is going to be the most interesting one in accounting terms. I don't envy any GM's task at having to manage that. 

4 months, 1 week ago on Breaking Down the Colts' Free Agent Contract Structures

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Ahhh, Kravitz. Tweet from him this morning:


"For years, the Colts have been trying to get Irsay back into rehab. At the very least, tried to talk him into getting a driver. No luck."


He'd better hope the Colts don't contradict him and deny that, or there will be hell to pay for that Tweet.


That said, I actually believe it's plausible that the organization would do that. They seem to work to take care of their own. But again: If the Colts issue a rebuttal, Kravitz is going to catch hell from fans. For his own sake, he'd better be able to back that statement.

4 months, 1 week ago on Jim Irsay Arrested on DUI and Drug Possession Charges

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@Bobman @thellamajockey  I would pay money to hear Grigson go "What's my name?? F*** YOU, THAT'S MY NAME!"

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts to Meet with WR Hakeem Nicks, Plus the Case for another Receiver

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Reading what Vinatieri wrote hammers home the point I've made in various forums about locker room "intangibles": While no one discounts on-field productivity, the things that go into making a team be a team in the fullest sense happen in places the public doesn't see. And Vinatieri's a definite leader at that. He's already doing his part on the field (and doing it damn well, one of the best in fact), but given that the NFL considers kickers to be somewhat fungible, the huge team benefit comes in what he does outside of Sundays. That's illustrated here. And that's why I'm glad to see him back, even though I'd normally consider that position ripe for release when the veteran paycheck starts climbing above the league mean. For most other kickers, I'd have said "Thanks for the memories", but not Vinny. He's worth the contract.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Notebook: Free Agency with Vontae and Vinny

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I don't know if I would've paid him that; I thought he'd pull up to $12 mil/yr from someone else. 


Oh well... I can't disagree with Marcus here. Cheaper than other FAs (my God, what would Revis have commanded?), expensive compared to what the Colts should pay, but as long as there aren't too many of these contracts, it's tolerable.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Re-Sign Vontae Davis

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I know, I know... teams aren't supposed to invest big numbers in kickers and punters. The conventional wisdom is that money is best spent elsewhere on the roster. But in my mind, I'm saying "so what?". I <i>like</i> Vinnie and Swimmer. That part of special teams is solidly in place and can be counted on. And they deliver more than just the extra points, field goals, and punts: Vinnie gives all that experience, Pat Mac gives that special teams tackling, both give continuity, and both represent the team in the community very well. I don't feel like being a hard-assed bean counter where these two are concerned. I'm glad both are back.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Welcome Back, Adam Vinatieri

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Revis? Let's not start going the Snyder-in-Washington route and start throwing money at free agents just because they have a recognizable name. That way is the road to ruin.


I'd like Davis to stay, but he's not *so* important he's worth a large sum of money. If he gets paid elsewhere, well, it's been a nice ride and thanks for the memories, but let's not get anguished over it.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Guest Post: Vontae It Ain't So

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Hmm. Didn't expect that. I figured they'd let him walk.


Well, okay. He may have been overdrafted (although none of us, myself included, could've predicted that back then), but he's likely re-signing for cheap, doesn't suck, and already knows the defense. This isn't a bad signing. Doesn't improve the position, but doesn't leave it bereft of depth either.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Re-Sign DT Fili Moala

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“I don’t want to say it was ugly, but it was an interesting situation last offseason."


Oh really? Huh... I wonder what went on there. I figured that negotiations would be extremely businesslike - as in sharp, tough, and you'd-better-be-on-your-game - but I'm curious as to what would cause him to call it "interesting". As well as open the door towards "ugly", even though he's not willing to walk through it.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Notebook: Boomstick Edition

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Crap... part of the problem is that i have a reflexive dislike of signing high priced free agents. I'd rather they draft and develop. 


But...


Drafting and development takes time, whereas Luck's already been in the league 2 seasons. I don't want to waste two more before having a solid offense that's got a chance to make real noise in the playoffs.


Part of me thinks "Just once", and the other part of me thinks "Don't violate principle". I'm genuinely torn on this matter. 

5 months ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Alex Mack

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@mshah9008 People keep talking about the spaceship. Me, I'm fine with just shooting some out of a cannon... 

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Handling their Own: Discussing the Colts' Impending UFAs and Bubble Players

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@MarcusDugan


Well, I don't know if I'd agree that Marvin was heavily dependent on speed; I always thought his best attribute was that insanely sharp route running combined with an unnatural cunning (that time he hit the deck between those two Denver DBs, then got up when they thought the play was over and ran in for a touchdown is one of my most favorite sports moments). But I don't want or intend to start an argument; rather, I'm just trying to round out what we're all saying about him. I'll agree that Marv was a frighteningly quick and fast sonuvagun, and even go so far as to say that speed was an underrated part of his game. 

As an aside, I still miss him to this day.


I'll further agree heartily that Wayne's best attributes were those fundamentals and intelligence too. Lots of receivers have physical skill, but the way Reggie employs his is amazing. Hard work without understanding of football - routes, coverages, what a DB is thinking, etc. - doesn't make you a football player, it makes you a drone. And no drone is ever any good; ants repeat tasks over and over, but do you see them learning from it? Reggie did, and more. He's was never any drone; he understood that hard work was more than the physical, that it required mental reps and development as well. And he never shied away from that either. Just as one small example: Who can forget all those times he sat right next to and above Peyton looking at the same field snapshots? How many other receivers even bothered to do that? Reggie did.He hasconsistently shown this totally awesome ability to take his physical skills and enhance them with his ever growing game knowledge, all the while working hard and going about that business as blue-collar, I'm-here-to-work as he possibly could. THAT is what makes him so damn awesome.


I just hope that Reggie is on the uppermost part of that recovery curve. I'd hate to think that this recently ended one would've been his last healthy season.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Taming the Seahawks: How the Colts Fared Better than Anyone Against the League’s Top Defense

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1: "...where Sherman is getting away with freaking murder"

I distinctly remember screaming my head off at the TV at one instance of this. That might be that play.


As an aside - isn't it funny that we can be rational and logical in all other moments, but the instant something happens during a sports viewing we act as though the refs will hear us **if we just yell loud enough at the TV**? ;)


2. "As good as a corner Sherman is – and he is arguably the best – Wayne shows how deadly a perfect route can be."

This also shows why there's a need for both a burner WR - as Hilton showed up above - AND a polished route runner.It's also why a calculation needs to be done when a receiver gets older and starts to lose a step: Is he savvy enough to compensate, or will he simply decline? Reggie is more than savvy enough to compensate. Waaaaaay more.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Taming the Seahawks: How the Colts Fared Better than Anyone Against the League’s Top Defense

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What I think about Hasselbeck as opposed to what I believe will actually happen:

I love the guy. Players have no reason to value someone who never sees the field, and if even just a handful of them are talking him up, there's something there we're not seeing. When the talk feels genuine, there's definitely chemistry and respect there.

Problem is, there's a salary cap. And a limited roster. While the Colts have cap room now, the worst thing a team can do is over-mortgage the future to feel comfortable in the present. That's a sure prescription for screwing yourself. A GM must manage a team wisely and not stock luxuries simply because the cap room exists; the cap room must be used to improve the team's production on the field. The only reason to stock a luxury is if you need to get above the NFL salary floor AND you have all other needs addressed. That is not the case with Indianapolis. The cap room may exist, but it's better spent on improvements. And parting with Hasselbeck helps by allowing even more improvement elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Hasselbeck is a luxury. He's a fine player, a terrific leader, and a great repository of experience. I hate advocating for his release. But the fact remains that he adds no yards to the offense and no points to the board in most games. I have to conclude that he should be let go. It's just business.


That's what I think. But what do I believe?

I believe he'll be kept.


Why? Because I don't believe Irsay - and therefore the front office when he made his desires clear - views him as a luxury.

Why is that? Because I get the distinct impression that Irsay feels burnt by the Curtis Painter debacle. And to him - and by extension Grigson and Pagano - Hasselbeck is a seat belt. He's safety "equipment". He's insurance. He's the hedge against a 2-14 season. Despite my argument above, I'll bet that the front office views a suitable backup as being so important that they'll pay whatever it takes to keep one. And to hell with the salary cap; that can be managed elsewhere.
 

Do I agree with that? No. But do I think it's the reality? Yes. There's no way to know that for certain, of course, but it's what's been indicated by all of the above in the press ever since Hasselbeck was signed. So in the end, I don't see him being let go. Despite the fact I think that would be for the best.

Should he stay? I reluctantly vote "No". Will he? I believe so.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Handling their Own: Discussing the Colts' Impending UFAs and Bubble Players

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Oh, before debate starts, keep in mind I'm not disagreeing with the statement that Indy is thin at receiver. I actually agree with that assessment. It's just that I think Indy can scrape by with tight ends in receiving roles until the right prospect comes along. It's all about not settling for mediocre candidates simply because a need exists.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Draft Position Overviews: Wide Receiver

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@ColtsHead_BenDepends on the rusher. On the one hand, Freeney definitely ran circles around Jonathan Ogden (he was like 6'8", right?). On the other hand, Ogden managed to stonewall a whole bunch of other edge rushers, which made him worth having.


If a player could successfully block 90% of the talent that's out there, that's good enough. It just depends on whether Breckner here is that player or not. I don't know if he is.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Colts Sign another Intriguing Player you’ve Never Heard of: OT Jack Breckner

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To heck with looking for someone with spectacular big-play ability this year. As long as Indy has Reggie back and T.Y. still on the roster, the front office can bide its time, grab a serviceable possession receiver, and wait until it's got a good first round pick again before looking for a true downfield-threat sort of wideout.


Heck, Indy may not even need a possession guy if Dwayne Allen comes back and Coby Fleenor continues to develop. Neither of them are the same as having a genuine wideout on the roster, but both of them function well enough in the role to where it can outright negate the necessity of finding one in the upcoming draft.


Keep in mind I'm not opposed to drafting a receiver this year. In fact, I think the trigger <i>should</i> be pulled on a good-hands possession guy if one becomes available. I won't even care if he's not the most gifted or speediest physical specimen, I just want a crisp route runner with enough hands to move the chains (the very definition of a "possession receiver"). It's just that I think there's enough there for Indy to be patient *if* Reggie and Dwayne (as a catching TE) come back next season.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Draft Position Overviews: Wide Receiver

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@MarcusDugan @paulcareyjrMan, Fezzik as a lineman... that'd be the best trash-talking lineman ever! 


"Fezzik: [pretending to be the Dread Pirate Roberts] My men are here! I am here! But soon *you* will not be here!"


... and with just a bit of effort, he can become the worlds biggest rapper:


"Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can *fuss*.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss... I think he like to scream at *us*.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no *harm*.
Fezzik: He's really very short on *charm*.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: DYEEAAHHHHHH.


:D

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Colts Sign another Intriguing Player you’ve Never Heard of: OT Jack Breckner

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It's always going to be this way because there will always be people who isolate QB play in situations where the other 21 people on the field matter as much if not more.

Sports makes some people stupid. I hate saying this, but there's just too much evidence for me to ignore.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Luck vs. Wlison: does the ring change anything?

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No rivalry between schools today, only sorrow. My condolences, prayers, and thoughts to Purdue fans, staff, and faculty. I wish no one ever had to suffer a tragedy like this. 


Please stay strong.


-IU Fan in Bloomington

6 months, 1 week ago on Sad Day on Campus

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@MarcusDugan Good point. I'm not about to say good 3-4 NTs are paragons of athleticism, but at least they can walk to a sideline without getting winded. I swear, I've seen fat cart driving shoppers getting winded **just standing up to reach something**. When it's that bad, OMG... 


Plus, build. It's bad enough seeing some pro caliber linemen in those tight pants and stuff. Wal Mart shoppers... good God, someone lobotomize me and kill the mental picture!...

6 months, 1 week ago on Colts Notebook: Ryan Grigson Discusses the Offseason Ahead

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Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. This all needed to be said. 


I do want to temper things with the note that NCAA basketball doesn't necessarily erase any of those toxic conference fanbase tendencies you wrote about. But I agree, in basketball I can ignore it or escape it with relatively little trouble. In football I feel like I'm thumped on the head with it before I even know which person/online poster is pulling for what team. I only know they disdain teams X, Y, and Z along with all of their fanbases. 


Anyway, bravo. Every bit of this article needed to be said.

6 months, 1 week ago on Fueling the toxicity of college football fandom is a science

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Jokes aside, Marcus is right about what Grigs said. Fans always complain about off season, non-draft, or emergency in-season acquisitions (I have to be honest and admit I'm one of them) but we always forget that availability dictates all. I don't recall a whole bunch of centers being around when Indy signed Satele. And how many running backs were available when they picked up Richardson? I'm not making excuses, but I *do* have to point out that it's not like Grigs could've gone to the local player swap meet ;), said "Screw cost, we need an MVP caliber (fill-in-the-blank)" and expect one to just pop into his shopping cart. The list of free agents is never consistent with all teams needs, and neither is the draft. So the mark of making the draft plus free agency balancing act work is the mark of a good GM. 

But admittedly, sometimes you just get screwed availability-wise. Look at the last few years of Polian's reign when offensive line talent was needed so badly.


It's precisely the difficulty in finding what you need and what fits right that makes the draft so valuable: It's a big list, the talent is moldable, and due to rookie contract rules they're affordable. It aggravates me when fans talk about how the first rounder paid for Richardson doesn't really hurt the team all *that* much due to rookie contract restrictions. That misses the point; a first rounder is more often than not going to turn into a legitimate starter than a later round pick will, so it's more than money that dictates a draft slot's worth. That's why you treat them like currency and watch what you spend them on.


Well, anyway... yeah, it's right to note that there's no magical bottomless pit of talent that GMs can mine when their rosters fall short. While I'm as critical of a lot of the FA signings as anyone, I at least hope I temper that with the understanding that there's only so much a team can do when there are only so man players out there to sign.

6 months, 1 week ago on Colts Notebook: Ryan Grigson Discusses the Offseason Ahead

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I dunno about you, Marcus, but I've seen people at Target I think could play nose tackle... if they'd lose about 150 lbs...


Yes, the obvious joke is about Wal Mart shoppers, but they'd have to lose more weight, plus I'd have trouble believing they'd be able to handle the intellectural rigors of football. A single-gap assignment would throw then numerically; I'd hate to make them process a stunt. I mean, you go beyond the 5 gap and suddenly those guys'd have to lift their down hands to count any further. :-S

6 months, 1 week ago on Colts Notebook: Ryan Grigson Discusses the Offseason Ahead

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@bengundyThanks. Reading that both played the other spots before in their career is heartening; it might actually make the experiment work. Lost in the post's info above is that some players *can* make the switch, and these two might actually be a couple who would be able to. I just wanted to warn against the automatic assumption many people make that it can be done with any lineman at any time. 


Really, I wouldn't mind seeing the experiment happen. I just wouldn't want it continued if it didn't work.

6 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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@chip_bennettWhat Chip said. Too many times, the line play is ignored for what the skill players do. But those skill players are constrained by what the lines give them, so understanding what happened on a play must include what happened on the lines. 


This is not only good, it's **necessary** to understanding a game. I hope to see this continued next season.

6 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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"Wouldn’t switching them take better advantage of their strengths?"

I've wondered this myself, but I've been warned to presume that guards and tackles can switch sides cleanly. You'd **hope** that a professional caliber player can mirror their techniques easily, but I'm told it's not only not guaranteed, but that it's actually way harder than it first seems.  

Sam Monson from Football Outsiders said the following:

"The entire shift in footwork is something that takes getting used to for a lineman. Everything is mirrored physically, and applying that mentally is not as easy as most people assume.

If it was that easy, most baseball players would be switch hitters. While switching sides on the line may not be as drastic as flipping your batting stance, it’s still pretty tough. The muscle memory that’s developed over thousands of practice repetitions along with the comfort in the sequence of motion is completely thrown off if you’re thrown to the other side, it takes a little time getting used to.

That makes sense when you think about it. How many soccer players are almost entirely one-footed? Guys who are great on their right, but hopeless if shown onto their left foot. Imagine asking a surfer or snowboarder to change their lead leg and be as good...

... The bottom line is that we tend to take mechanics for granted when it comes to football. We might notice when a player uses sloppy technique, but few people consider the fundamentals when players move position or even change sides of the line. The Dallas Cowboys looked at their offensive tackles and thought that they were naturally suited for the opposite sides, but the pair have both struggled with the fundamental change in footwork and mechanics. The only question that remains now for the Cowboys and their fans is whether they will work through the transition, or whether both players are simply more comfortable with the technique on the opposite side of the line."

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/11/02/switching-sides/


It's partially about reps, but not all about it. Basketball players are taught from their elementary school days to drive both left and right, but while many develop the ability to do both, many still have a preference that manifests as a tendency to choose driving one way or the other. And that's for players who get that fundamental drilled into them when they're still in single-digit age years. Imagine football players who've been right- or left-side lienmen since their Pop Warner days? That's an entire history of reps that's simply not going to be undone in a training camp.


I wouldn't have a problem if the coaches tested a switch in camp. But I wouldn't blame them if they bailed out of the experiment fast. I'd simply trust that they saw a failure coming down the road and made sure to avoid it.

6 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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@thejoshbakerI fully agree with Greg on this. This is why I had no problem with Curtis Painter on the bench way back when.


The problem is, I don't see that changing for a LONG time. And it's because we all experienced Curtis Painter on the field. The principle of once bitten/twice shy is fully at play here, and that's why I don't see Irsay allowing Grigson to find a cheaper alternative to Hasslebeck for a while now. Even after his contract is up, I can easily see the ownership and front office looking for a high level backup simply because of The Bad Year. I may not agree with it, but I don't see it changing anytime soon.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Grigson, Colts Entering Crucial, Defining Off-season

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How in heaven's name did Landry's contract end up being so bad for Indianapolis? Good Lord...

6 months, 2 weeks ago on 2014 Salary Cap Impact for Cutting Notable Colts

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The big thing in my mind is that the offseason can dictate either a full or empty running back roster. Brown's a free agent now, Bradshaw was only signed for one year, we don't know yet how recovered Ballard is from his injury, and while highly doubtful, it's not impossible for Richardson to get cut completely. So *if* Indy re-signs either Brown and Bradshaw - or gets them both - and *if* Ballard comes back okay and healthy, it's possible for the RB stable to be full and Indy won't have to worry about that part of the game. But if Indy takes the opportunity, they can clear the slate as well.

What an odd position to be in. The roster can either be completely full of that position, or completely empty. 


Either way, my big concern is that they can choose to concentrate on a position that's at best situationally important instead of getting more foundation block players in (like replacements for the interior offensive line). I HOPE they'll get Brown, Bradshaw, and Ballard back so that we won't have to worry about T-Rich and won't waste what little draft slots we have. But I don't know if that will actually happen. :(

6 months, 2 weeks ago on AFC Divisional Round Recap: Patriots 43, Colts 22

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