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Look, I like Whalen. But lets be honest: He's got all the afterburners of a crop duster. There were times I'd see lanes in front of him, then notice he was tackled too far back to get to them. 


He's a good receiver, tough, works hard, but without any real burst, his time as a kick returner was going to be limited. That's just the way things are in the NFL. 

5 days, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-sign-receiverreturner-josh-cribbs.html

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Yes, the loss sucked. There's no question. But I'll get over it soon enough as long as Dwayne Allen doesn't end up on IR. I think poor Bradshaw's already a lost cause due to the reports that he's suffered a broken ankle, which is bad enough. But Losing Dwayne Allen too puts us down one tough blocker and receiver.

6 days, 12 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/trampled-colts-20-patriots-42.html

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I hate to say it, but this isn't a Super Bowl year. No Bob Sanders is coming back to rescue the defense. What I'm hoping for is a smoking, ruined path of defeated foes in the playoffs before someone bounces us, and a good draft in the offseason to patch up holes. At least Indy's still got it's 1st round pick this year.

6 days, 18 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html

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"John Gruden cannot pronounce Bjoern Werner"


Man, Gruden couldn't pronounce "cat" without rolling off into some Madden-esque malapropistic digression over once seeing a feline run the z route in a Spider 2-y banana play.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-whip-new-york-40-24.html

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@mshah9008 

Oh yes, I also agree about Bellichick: He's the proven master at attacking your weak points. He's actually the one who makes it manifestly obvious that too many coaches in the league - even ones who are considered very good - don't adjust as well as they can or should to opponents. 

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-40-giants-24.html

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@mshah9008

While I don't know if it'll be solely because of Gronk, I do think it'll be because Indy will have coverage problems from throwing so many people onto the blitz. Sure, the scheme works great when a QB has no one to depend on (Eli, who's otherwise ranges from okay to damn good) or can be rattled (Fitzpatrick). But Brady has neither problem. I'm genuinely concerned about him lighting up the defense when it blitzes. And when it doesn't get pressure, the backfield has to fold; it can't keep up forever. But it can't drop into a coverage shell either because that's not what this defense is; it's built on attacking and tight man coverage, and even with Davis on the field that's simply not sustainable if the pass rush doesn't land.


What I'm hoping for is a game close enough to where Luck has a chance to out-accelerate Brady. And if it were anyone but Luck, I'd already be counting the loss. Thing is, it's actually possible with The Bearded One under center. The defense just has to hang on and not give up TDs too easily. Force just a few punts, and it can be a real game. Let Brady dismantle the coverage and torch the blitz, and it'll be a long night.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-40-giants-24.html

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"(S)easoning the bacon with Revlon"... Usually that bit of folksy wisdom presumes the pig is still alive, but you had to take it all the way to the breakfast table. ;) 


Oh well... maybe in another,more logical universe, this game would convince critics that Luck is legitimately great (*cough*SkipBayless*cough*), but I guess it takes a whole other universe where porcine aeronautics is the norm. :D

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-40-giants-24.html

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You all missed the coaching comparison: Pagano and Hamilton have let up a bit and allowed things to slide towards being more pass friendly, and have also been more risk taking. But Coughlin? Still being dinged for conservative coaching. 


Don't get me wrong, Pags and Pep have hardly gone all K-Gun on us. But relatively speaking I view Indy as being the more risk-taking team. And while that has the possibility of biting one in the rear, it also has the potential to win games.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-giants.html

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Apropos of nothing: Did anyone else find those Pittsburgh uniforms to be hideous? 


(Raises hand)

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-steelers-51-colts-34.html

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Well now... as odd as this sounds to me, I'm only pissed in a minor way at last night. Logically, I should be more mad. But while a lot of what I saw bugs me, it doesn't yet strike a fundamental blow to my opinion of the team. Like Nate alluded: Not a top tier team, but one that's knocking on the door from the tier below. And one that can put a frightful fear of defeat into just about any team it faces.


Yeah, there's a flaw in the pass rush that I've feared was fundamental since week 1: It's that a solid QB would eat it alive. We saw that last night. To a degree, we saw that in the preseason against Brees (although we should take care in assigning importance to observations from a preseason game), and Peyton Manning was his usual self against us. So really, Nate is right: Blitzing *is* unsustainable. Worse yet, if it's your bread-and-butter, abandoning it for a zone isn't going to help things. If it's not getting through with who you've got, you've got to find better pass rushers. Part of that will be solved next year when Mathis comes back, but no one can do it alone; it's necessary to find another threat in the draft.


But despite that, I feel that last night would've been solved with some different scheming. The pass rush wasn't getting home... yet the defense *did* force some punts. Not enough, and when Big Ben was driving, they got abused mightily. But there was still a core of defense there that held at moments. If the coaches can identify how to defend when the pass rush doesn't land, then this team as built can overcome an offense like they saw last night. While problematic with a fundamental flaw, the encouraging thing is that it can be overcome, and in the future outright fixed with a good draft. 


Offensive line actually concerns me a little more. And not in the talent, but (again) in the scheming: How in heaven's name could they not identify and handle the blitz? Yes, Luck hangs on longer than most other QBs - that's especially noticeable when your prior passer was Peyton Manning - but it's still frightening that the rush was getting through even on quick passes. That said, unless I see more failures, I'm ready to write this of as just a single-game letdown. Sure, it is something to watch, but at the same time it's not a trend we've seen this year. Evidence says it's a fluke. So I'm not yet worried. Some of the future games against good defensive fronts will be ones to watch, though.


So out of all of that negativity, why am I still not majorly angry? Well, it's because the team overcame a TON of problems to chase Pittsburgh till the end. When a team hangs 40+ points on an opponent, they don't normally expect to have to climb to 51 to put the game away. Yet that's what happened. Nothing says firepower like an opponent thinking "Man, 40 points isn't enough...". And despite the whooping Indy took, they made Pittsburgh beat them senseless. That's a sign of a team that doesn't fold. 


Also, how about losing one of your primary receivers and still getting a passing game going? Reggie being sat should've been fatal. And while I have a lower opinion of Richardson, it's still a fact that a starting RB was on the sidelines. Both in many cases should've been fatal or at least highly disruptive. Neither were nowhere near being so. That speaks volumes of how sturdy this team's offense is.


And Luck? Having your QB position set overcomes so many ills. The defense wasn't landing home, special teams simply didn't matter, Big Ben was passing like it was a scrimmage, yet it took Luck doing a butt safety to really put the game out of reach. So sure, when he borks up, the team is at risk, but what team does that not apply to? When he's on, he's ON, and he can light up opponents like a lightning bolt. Our defense can stay how it is, our special teams can degrade somewhat, our running game can go downhill a bit, and this team would still be a threat. All because of the QB. 


There are flaws, there are problems, but nothing shakes my fundamental opinion of this team. It's one that has some issues to overcome, one that needs some lucky breaks to go all the way, but one that can go all the way. And one that's only getting better as time passes. You have to love a team who's arrow is pointing up. 

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-steelers-51-colts-34.html

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"Do you remember that feeling? Where you knew that each and every week you were going to get that level of play from your quarterback? Where even if he had an off game, by his standards, he would do amazing things?

We’re experiencing that again. Don’t take it for granted."


Good advice. If anyone wants to see what QB hell feels like, go read a Houston Texans blog. In their minds, just getting a guy who strives for average would be an upgrade, and getting a truly elite one would be a miracle not to be overlooked. 


We Colts fans are blessed with a QB who can tear the fanbase into two parts - not quite as good as Manning yet vs. may end up better than Manning - and that is not something to take for granted. Having an entire generation of fans who don't know what QB hell feels like (I mean perpetual hell, not just the partial season of Curtis Painter... although that does provide a taste) sort of skews our perception.


It is possible to be in a wasteland of QB hell. It in fact is the frightening norm. You can't name too many franchises that went from great to great  - San Fran with Montanna to Young, Green Bay from Favre to Rodgers - but many that went from great to GAAAH! The Titans went from Steve McNair to solid but old in Collins to unintentional comedy. The Rams have gone from Warner to Bulger to Bradford to someone to be determined, and in a judgement that should induce fright in any Colts, Packers, or Patriots fan that team is arguably not that bad off. And how about the 'Phins? The debate is whether Pennington or Fiedler - solid, but unspectacular players - represents the post-Marino highpoint.


It's not easy to get a good QB in this league. It's even harder to get a great one. 


Since 2003, when it became clear to me (it was clear to others before that) that Manning was going to be a transcendent quarterback, I've been viewing these years of fandom as something to hold as valuable and dear. And that's partially because I remember the Jeff George years, and also because I shudder to think that for some teams, the Jeff George years would represent a high point. Getting Manning alone was already two lucky stars for the Colts when you consider Unitas way back in the dim past. Getting Luck now is just a bonus. An incredible, lucky bonus that gives us yet another generation of great QB play, and puts even farther back the memories of what it's like to not be able to depend on the guy under center.


These years are not to be taken for granted. Ask about any other franchise who's lost an elite QB. Or who've never had one. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-steelers.html

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"5-2, haters!"


I'm familiar with 5 foot 2 haters. They're normally the ones who give the outward appearance of being normal, but don't show their true colors until you've got a relationship going and even then the weird stuff only happens in private with no witnesses but they act psycho in small doses at first yet the acts get larger and larger until they've got you at the point where you look like the psycho for just relating these incredible unbelievable stories that no one can ever buy because so-and-so is such a cute little defenseless nice personage that so-and-so would never ever Ever EVER do such wild malicious s*** and you must be the bastard...


... uh, wait. You meant something else, didn't you? (*blush*)


;)

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-steelers.html

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Ok, before saying anything else: Am I the only one who looked at that picture and first thought Sergio Brown was going "WHEEEE! I'm an airplane!"? 


;)


And now the game:

  • Hey, what about Dwayne Allen? Not only does the MF'er block like a savage, but he got an amazing "tightrope" touchdown off of a pass where I was celebrating the fact he just hauled it in. The announcers talked about his "speed"... what speed? The knock on him coming in was that he was an ambler who couldn't create separation. But if he's found a way to be fast on the field, then he's an even bigger bonus than we all imagined. 
  • I'm not about to say that Hilton is turning into Marvin - that's just too high a bar - and I only really thought one of his plays was truly outstanding... but there was indeed that one, single play where I said "That looked like something Harrison would've done". And I meant it. T.Y. doesn't have to do anything "like" Marvin, he just has to be himself, but it's still praiseworthy that he did something to dodge two defenders that I felt deserved comparison. What a player.
  • Coby! Do more of that good stuff!
  • Vinateri! My God, you still got it man. 

Are there spots of worry? Yeah. I'm concerned that so many people have to be kept in for pass protection. I'm worried that right tackle and interior guards sometimes lose their battles at bad moments. I'm concerned that a good opponent's offense can nullify that pass rush. I'm worried about the corners standing up to a good stable of receivers. 

But let's be honest: Not only are all those fixable, they're not keeping this team from winning. It says a lot that I can reel off those criticisms in a game where the Colts just flat out dominated a good opponent. What does it say about a team when it absolutely dictates a game to an opponents despite having flaws? It means this is already a good team that's only getting better. It means that the flaws are simply needs for upgrades or items to correct. It means nothing other than that the team is not perfect. But really, it doesn't need to be "perfect", it just needs to win. 

It's going to be a good season. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-shut-out-the-bengals-27-0.html

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You know what's probably frightening to other franchises? The fact that this Colts team is good right now, and has tons of potential to get far better. Note that there are still points of poor execution. Note that there are still issues that require resolution. Note that as good as Luck is, he's still got miscues. Note that as good as the defense does, they still have spots that cry out for a shoring up.


Yet, these Colts are on a roll, and while hardly favored to reach (let alone win) The Big Game, they're definitely contenders. 


What's frightening is that this team can, with the right breaks, go all the way right now, and at the same time improve what they are in seasons to come. So it's not just that they're contenders this year, it's that there's a core there that opens the possibility of a firm foundation for years to come. They can go all the way right now and still get better. That, right there, has got to be an opponent's nightmare. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html

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@Macko 

Yes, this. What I loved wasn't just that Björn got a sack, it's that he got one through two defenders. I won't go so far as to say any idiot can get a sack if the defensive scheme gets them an unobstructed shot - it's patently not true, plus there's definite skill in getting by linemen untouched - but at the same time getting free shots isn't the same as having to fight through 2 blockers. One's basically pure athleticism taking advantage of an opening; the other is technique creating an opportunity. The latter is what makes a pass rusher a promising talent. 


I want to see more of that. I'm really, really hoping that the game's just clicking for Björn now. Having him in form next year when Mathis returns has the potential to turn this defense into something special. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html

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"Good Luck Chuck"


I hereby declare a thread devoted to extolling Pagano's virtues. Said virtues taken from another admirable Chuck: Norris.

  • Some magicans can walk on water, Chuck Pagano can swim through land.
  • Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Chuck Pagano is called Logic.
  • Chuck Pagano destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
  • Chuck Pagano doesn't call the wrong number. You answer the wrong phone.
  • Chuck Pagano can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
  • Chuck Pagano doesn’t wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-bengals-at-colts.html

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@metal_militia11

You been reading the Houston fans blogs? I swear, that is the **exact** argument I've seen out of a bunch of them. Otherwise rational people in that fanbase suddenly go all aggro and start picking apart Luck to a greater degree than even their own QB (although a lot of that is because Luck manages to accomplish more than theirs - which they all realize - and thus gives them more to choose from). It's gotten to the point to where the most extreme of them start spouting ludicrosities like "he's not even a top 10 QB", or saying they'd take RG3 ahead of him.


RG3. Who's a damn fine person, admirable and laudable, a guy to be proud of and root for... but who at the same time simply isn't the QB Luck is. 


It's fundamentally irrational. A few of the saner ones of that fanbase have come out and said that people are just mad/sad/jealous/aggravated/astonished/etc. that Indianapolis went from Peyton F'ing Manning to Andrew Bleepin' Luck, whereas their team can't even kidnap a good QB. A few more put things into perspective (i.e. "we stand by the 'luckiest QB on interceptions' thing, but that's because he's still young and tries too hard"... or "Well, Manning did the same his 3rd year, look at him now"), but there's that small core of Houston fans who for some odd reason obsess with taking Luck down a few pegs. It drives me bonkers. The crazy thing is that I've actually not seen as much of this from Seahawks fans (even the ones who claim Wilson is better) as Houston ones, despite the Wilson/Luck comparisons that were made all over the place a year ago. 


I'm just flabberboggled.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/ross-andrew-luck-does-not-have-an-interception-problem.html

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I had some critiques of our QB after the Ravens game, but against a different yet every bit as good defense in the Texans, everything I had a problem with before was basically gone. Didn't see sails, only saw maybe three forced efforts (and against a hard rushing defense, that's an admirably low number), and saw plenty of good decision-making. The pick was, as noted above, a batted pass. It was an excellent, sharp game from Luck, and on a short week of prep at that.


It's really heartening to see the reasons for one week's criticisms basically erased by the next week. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/week-6-report-card-colts-at-texans.html

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@TheGreatMisdirect 

... But yes, the positives: Luck, Luck, and more Luck. He's already performing at a high level, and the scary thing is that I don't see any limit to his ceiling yet. He can still get better! He's still got room to improve! Granted, that's due to the bar being set so high by guys like Peyton now, and Elway, Marino, and Montana in the past, that even striving for it is an accomplishment, but in Luck you see someone who can not only reach that rareified air, but has the potential to exceed what's gone before. It's exciting. I was worried that once the Peyton Manning era was over we'd have to suffer only middling QB play, but Luck's assured me that there's still years left to admire that in the Colts. 


And how about TY? Dwayne Allen? Reggie "Methuselah" Wayne? That combination of old, sure hand and exciting new talent is just awesome. 


There's just a completely bright future ahead. This good offensive unit practically guarantees that it'll at least be exciting. The problems I noted above are not insurmountable, and they merely mean that there's room for improvement. It's a great era Indy is entering.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-texans.html

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@TheGreatMisdirect 

While I'm happy to the point of squeeing like a girl about the pass rush effectiveness, I'm also worried that it worked because the QBs faced simply cannot make decisions fast enough to avoid it. Indy blitzes to get those sacks, and I could see either of the Mannings, Brady (when he's in good form; this year, not so much), Big Ben, and multiple other QBs not only not succumbing to the blitz, but actively taking advantage of it to complete passes against single coverage. 


In short, I *still* worry about the pass rush, and openly fear that a lot of the effectiveness has simply been our list of opponents. Although a couple of those - Baltimore especially - weren't some weak O-lines at all, therefore were genuine accomplishments. But really, part of me worries that it won't hold up so well in the playoffs. 


Here's to being wrong about that, though. I recall writing off the 2006 team's defense as being woefully incompetent... and they were, right up until the playoffs. I'd really much rather be wrong about my analysis. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-texans.html

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@buymymonkey

Part of it was the Texans actually and finally waking up and executing properly (there were some horrid execution by them in the first quarter). Part of it was calling some smarter plays that took advantage of the Colts blitz. Part of it was Fitzgerald actually hitting his receivers, and Foster and Blue hitting holes and getting downfield. And part of it was the Colts not adjusting on the spot to what Houston was doing.


It's less any one thing and more a culmination of factors. Had the Colts pass rush not run hot and cold, I think the game would've been more even. Had Houston called smarter plays to let Fitzgerald throw quicker, they would've moved the ball better and not had so many quick 3 and outs. Had the Colts defensive backfield been more consistent, they might have weathered the pass rush dip in the middle of the game. Had Houston relied on Foster more earlier in the game, they would've had more possessions. Just a whole lot of small things adding up. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/15443.html

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Here's the weird thing: For the first time ever, Luck was one of the limiting factors on this team. Before going crazy over that, keep in mind that I'm only talking in spots, on a few plays, not overall. But still... it seems as though he sometimes tries a bit too hard and overthrows receivers, and that he tries to keep plays alive in the hopes something will develop instead of throwing the ball away. Peyton's not the only guy who throws quickly and gets to receivers before the defense has any chance to do anything; Brady used to do the same to devastating effect, and even Flacco was doing that at the end of the game (aided by slightly soft coverage called in the hopes of slowing them down enough to only score once, but he still did it). But Luck's gotten so good at bailing out possessions that he's ending up doing it on possessions where the ball is better thrown away or checked down quickly. Sure, Luck scrambling around is exciting, akin to what people loved about Favre, and Montana back in the day. And some of the plays he salvages are just nuts. But wouldn't it be better to be efficient, and make quicker diagnoses of the defense and faster throws to where you're 100% dictating the course of the play? Scrambling looks fun to a fan, but it's giving the defense a hell of a lot of initiative, not to mention potential to end a play with a loss of yards. Plus, it opens Luck up to injury.


Don't get me wrong, he's still the future of the franchise. And I still don't see a limit on the sky-high ceiling he had coming into the league. Rather, I think he's simply hit one of the inevitable bumps on the road of development, and he needs to work through it. Remember that even Peyton had some early tendencies towards bad throws, and cleaned that up well by his 5th year (possibly earlier, but I'm struggling to remember...). By his Super Bowl period he was one of the quickest release passers out there (necessitated by that horrid line he had, but it had the advantage of getting the ball where it needed to go before defenders had time to effectively read the offense). Luck, on the other hand, hasn't learned to "beat" the defense in terms of getting things done before they develop their plan. He's been relying on Houdini-esque talents - quite impressive ones, I admit - and an insane ability to salvage something out of nothing, but he's doing it in the face of defenses that are allowed to get their plan going. Manning, Brady, and a few others I can't think of at the moment do the opposite: They get their stuff done and let the defenses react. And there's little doubt that's part of what makes those guys elite. 


One of the best things for Luck's development right now would be for the coaches to drill into him the fact that he's got to beat defenses with timing and quick decisions. Show him those plays he salvaged were indeed great, and showed great will but also were the result of non-optimal decision making. Get him in the mindset that the way to beat a defense is with his mind in charge of his great physical talents. Get him to force defenses to react to him even more, to actually be forced to "dance to his tune", so to speak. Do that, and he'll be every bit as elite as the others I've mentioned here. 


Now is just a bump in his development, and I have no doubt he's got the ability, will, discipline, and intelligence to get past it. It's really up to the coaches to coach him right. That's what I hope to see.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-20-ravens-13.html

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@Brad Cronin Oddly enough, I'd say that Flacco is better than Dilfer. But that's a low bar, akin to damning with faint praise.... the reality is that Nate's right, he is the heir to that throne, in more ways than by just being the QB of a Super Bowl Baltimore team.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-20-ravens-13.html

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Heh, onsides kick. What goes around...


Anyone remember that one year when Jeff Fisher was still the Titans' coach, and he led off with those 3 onsides kicks? It was during the '04 season with that lethal Manning offense? Yeah, that game. At first I was appalled, then amazed, and finally appreciative of Fisher's chutzpah. He knew his team couldn't stand up to Indy conventionally, so he gave them every chance he could think of. And sure, it didn't work - Indy plastered them 51-24 - but I still loved the fact that Fisher took those chances, even though it was against my Colts team. 


Yesterday's onsides could hardly be called revenge - not 10 years after the fact, with different personnel and even the stadium not being the same - but still, it's a great reminder of a fun game in Indy's past. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/15326.html

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This article is unfair! There has to be something positive you can say about Locker and Whitehurst! 


..

...

....

......


Yeah, seriously, there must be! And as soon as I find it, I'll let you all know (*mumbles "somethings something not Blaine Gabbert?..."*).

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-titans-at-colts.html

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Side note regarding Texans: With all the other pieces they have, it's amazing but not surprising that they're simply not a favored team. They've got phenomenal talent in their defensive front, a scary receiver in Andre, do I even need to say the obvious about Foster (well, at least when he's not nursing a bad hamstring, like yesterday)... they've got so many pieces, yet it means nothing without a quarterback. Nothing


What a sad statement on how a franchise can do well on 90+% of the team, yet legitimately earn harsh judgement on the remainder. Until and unless they get a reputable signal caller under center - and keep in mind I'm not talking a Hall of Fame level guy, I'm just talking about a reasonable talent - then they're just not going to be predicted to go far. They'll roll easy teams every single time, but they won't keep up with even flawed teams that have that piece in place. 


Look at Denver pre-Peyton Manning as an example. They were excited about a limited, rush-threat but poor passing QB in Tebow because as bad as he was, at least he gave them a little bit of an edge where the rest of the team's performance all added up to a decent win possibility. That was enough for them emotionally for a while, yet that team didn't truly blossom until Peyton came to town. Manning is what made them legitimate. And he was what made flawed Indianapolis teams - like the 2010 Super Bowl runner up - legit. Bad offensive line, soft corners, undersided front line, and they made it to the Super Bowl.


I actually like the Texans. I'm no fan, but I'm on good terms with many in their online fan base. They've got good pieces in place. But with no legit QB, they're going to be an also-ran. It's sad, terribly so, but it's the reality of the modern NFL.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-44-jaguars-17.html

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I had to miss half the game. :(


One complaint, but one piece of praise: The complaint is that it takes a ridiculously bad opponent for the Colts to decide "Okay, we'll **finally** let Luck loose with the passing game". There was finally some consistently aggressive downfield play calling (at least for that first half, but thankfully the news stories suggest it was much the same for the second), it's just that it could've been used last week against Philly.


But the praise is that they did it at all, which hopefully is progress. Luck is the team's playmaker; there is never a reason to not take advantage of that. He's young and you're not going to wear him out yet, and forget about protecting him from "mistakes", he's in his 3rd year AND it's best to get whatever mistakes are left to commit done with so he can learn from them. 

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-44-jaguars-17.html

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Ok, if the Colts don't do well this game, maybe **I'll** be the one drunk posting crazy stuff. If you can't make a good showing against the Jags - even if you win anyway - then there are problems that need addressing.


Here's to hoping we don't have to worry about that.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-jaguars.html

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KYLE! That drunk guy's posting again, and he's EFFIN' HILARIOUS!! :D

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-vs-eagles.html

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@Nate Dunlevy @smonroe @mattshedd

Dungy and Caldwell, right? I thought I remembered Jim Calwell starting out as the QB's coach, or having that role at some point.

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

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@buymymonkey 

True this. While we all would want to be seeing more polish and accomplishment, there's not anything wrong at all with potential. The beautiful thing about that is that no one's using the word "ceiling" for the team, unless they say that with Luck it's sky high. One of the most tragic thing I see in pro teams is when they max out at a mediocre level. Some teams take over a decade to escape that. Little chance of that with this era's Colts.

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

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@MarcusDugan 


Oh. I didn't notice that. Good observation. 


While everyone's comparing Luck to Manning, I see an awful lot of both Big Ben in the scrambles and Favre in the passing game in him. Luck's nowhere near as egregious in his "gunslinging" as Favre was (1) but occasionally he does gun his passes trying to get the completion out of sheer force of will. True, we tend to forget that early career Peyton was also sometimes less than Mentat (2) in the passing game, but from the beginning he was normally methodical enough to avoid the comparison. Luck, though, seems to really embody it at times. 


There's not a whole lot wrong with this, of course, it's just that such a style occasionally manifests in less than optimal passes. It might be that this case is an example of that. 


Anyway, I see the propensity for non-optimal passes coming down with pure experience. I'd also like to see a calmer sort of quarterback's coach - like Jim Calwell's type - be the one to take Luck to the next level, but I don't know if that'll happen. Regardless of coaching, though, sheer experience with his receivers should get him throwing smarter passes that set receivers up to get easy receptions. That, and one of these days better pass protection. 



(1) And his personality, thank God, not to mention his stone age cell phone ensures that there's zero chance of seeing pics of Lil Andrew sent to sideline reporters... thank God, thank God, THANK GOD). 


(2) Yes, your eyes aren't fooling you; that was indeed a Dune reference, not a typo of "mental".

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-24-broncos-31-the-comeback-that-wasnt.html

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@Brad Cronin I can't read this through the tears I'm shedding for the season... :(

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

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@Platinum Not just speed, but decision-making. That one Bradshaw block to free up a lane for Dwayne Allen's TD was just brilliant on his part. Only an eyeblink's time to think and he did the right thing. Whether instinct or lightning-fast analysis, he did the right thing. 


And there were two blitz pickups I saw that Ahmad just handled great. Not Edgerrin James level, but still "WOW!" level good.


But T-Rich... maybe it's just luck of the situations that present themselves, but I can't recall any downfield brilliance by him when someone else has the ball. Don't get me wrong, it's not like he only carries and doesn't care about anything else - I was heartened by how seriously and well he handled blitz protection - but I haven't seem him finding himself in situations where he's outside the design of the play and making great decisions anyway. Maybe he simply hasn't had the opportunity... but that said, truly excellent players create opportunities. I'm not seeing that out of him.


Look, as long as TRich isn't a liability, I'll be fine with him. But I won't say he's the unquestioned starter, not as long as we see the likes of Bradshaw making plays.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-24-broncos-31-the-comeback-that-wasnt.html

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I hate to be negative, but there's one thing that worries me about the offensive comeback last night. And that's that Denver pretty much allowed it. 


I'd need to watch some replays to be certain, but it seemed to me as though there was far less blitzing and far more "drop-into-coverage" defense from Del Rio. It's something I noticed in the Super Bowl game (the parts of it I was willing to stomach). Denver seemed to accomplish their defensive goals in the first half, then settled for only a moderate pass rush and a ton coverage D with only a 4 man rush after that. Not many blitzes that I noticed. And that is when the Colts came back.


Why does this bother me that the opponent basically went passive? It bugs me because it suggests that a more aggressive defense would've stymied any chance at a comeback. It bugs me because I can very easily see a situation where the Colts don't come back because Luck can't block for himself and gets hit for losses once every 4 downs even late in the game. It bugs me because I worry that the comeback "ability" this team is famous for was in this game at least partially due to the opponent dialing things back, and that we may not see opponents do that for the rest of the season because teams always scout each other. 


It bugs me because it shows the offense still has a LONG way to go. There are some damn good pieces in place - Wayne, Bradshaw, Hitlon, Allen - and some that showed improvement (Richardson wasn't a liability last night, the line did manage to shut down what few blitzes came in the second half - I can't say enough good things about Ahmad's blitz pickup - and the tackles did pretty good, with only a few hiccups). But there's too much that still needs work.


There are myriad things that need addressing, and my worry is that the QB's 3rd and 4th year in the league is not when that should be happening. 


That said, Indy is still in a far better place that many other teams that are supposedly better across the board. Give me a good QB over everything else; as good as a team like, say, the Texans are on defense, I'd still rather have a QB with tons of promise to build around. Indianapolis has so much potential... but too many flaws are getting covered up in amazing comebacks and ridiculously elevated performances. And I don't know how to fix that right now.

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

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You know, I actually had a problem with that one tipped INT by Fleener, and I actually place a good deal of that on Luck. Yeah, Fleener didn't extend all the way and frankly, it hit him square in the hands anyway so he should've snagged it... but that said, it was a high-sailed pass. In that situation, Fleener shouldn't have had to work for it at all. That one was on both of them; it's not fair at all to place it all on Coby.


And there were other passes that shouldn't have sailed like they did. Luck's still got a few mechanical issues to work through. 


I'll say this, though: The criticism is not denigration; it's merely pointing out one problem needing address in the midst of so much good. Indy's still in a good situation QB-wise. Luck may have had his role in digging the hole, but he was damn well key in helping dig out of it. Reggie, Dwayne, and Ahmad had big roles and helped a ton, but their effort would've been for naught had it not been for Luck. 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-24-broncos-31-the-comeback-that-wasnt.html

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@Kyle Rodriguez 

YOU DIDN'T IT WAS THE ALCOHOL TALKING PLEASE SEEK HELP

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

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KYLE!! Some drunk dude logged into your CA account and posted an article under your name!!! 


;)

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

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@MarcusDugan Let's hope they stay smart this week. And this season.


You see, I've often worried about a team going blitz-happy (not that that's what's happening to the Colts; rather, I'm worried about potential propensity). If you only get good but not great, you'll end up rocking lower-skilled quarterbacks regularly, but the Mannings, Bradys, Brees, etc. of the NFL will scorch you. So you risk making your regular season bread-and-butter your postseason weakness: You'll likely not be facing the Gabberts, Sanchezes, or Texans-designated-signalcaller-of-the-season any more than once in the playoffs. 


That's my worry.


That said, if your strength is in the blitz, you'd be stone-cold stupid to not use it. When you reach the playoffs, you don't abandon "what got you there". And a blitzing team doesn't get better by just dropping into coverage; it's not what they're used to doing. So the key to walking that line is to be smart about when you use it. Even the best QBs get taken by a blitz once or twice a game, so if you can do exactly what Marcus said here - be smart about it - you can limit your weakness against those QBs. It's all a matter of the coaching staff recognizing this.


Use what you're best at, but use it wisely

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

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@NickWalter Amen, man. 


Yeah, his gaunt appearance is shocking. I even remember my mother - not someone who pays that much attention to football ("What about Joe Montana?"... "Mom, he retired back in '95.") - seeing him and being shocked. He just looked like he was missing a good deal of vitality. 


Chronic pain and medication addiction is rough. What it does to people is saddening. I really want to see him beat this damn thing. And I can't think of any Colts fan anywhere who doesn't think the same. 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/jim-irsay-is-suspended-6-games-by-the-nfl-sentenced-to-probation-by-hamilton-co-court.html

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Whoa. That doesn't look like a Bloguin platform; you guys hosting Colts Academy on Medium.com or some other platform? It **really** acts like all these new sites with the text scroll over the images and other stuff.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/announcing-colts-academy.html

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@smonroe Well, I could argue that it was either to save Allen from wear, or give Coby a chance to finally "get it" when the games don't count so that there's no pressure (and also, when it won't hurt the team's record if it backfires in the worst possible way). 


If this weren't the preseason, I'd be more worried about the coaching. But given that it was, I'm really not all that concerned. 

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@mshah9008  A dog?? That more feels like how we in IT get trained. :-S


"Here's the new compliance policy." (SMACK)

"Here's all the info on the new content management and collaboration system." (THWACK)

"Here's the updated PCI info." (BLAM)

"Upper management just bought this product and you need to support it. Here are all 4 volumes, 300 pages apiece, of the operations manual." (WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM)

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@ColtsHead_Ben Yeah, agreed. I think there's a problem there that's too specific to be written off as "rust". But at the same time, coming back from a year off for an injury will be challenging at any level, much less the highest one possible in this sport. So yes, I'm concerned. I'm concerned simply because I always worry about an injury eventually contributing to the derailing of a well liked player's career. But at the same time, I'm not worried because I think Dwayne Allen lost that hypothetical "It" that makes a pro player perform well. I think he's getting back into form and dealing with how different his body is now due to healing from that injury and dealing with how his body is different now due to being in the NFL (as opposed to those 4 years of college play that his body was most used to his rookie year). And dealing with having a year away from the physical and mental reps necessary to make both mind and muscle memory work like it needs to.  


So many and's. But none of them permanent, at least at this time.


Yeah, like Ben here, I'm both concerned and not concerned. It's an odd combo to be sure, but it's not necessarily a contradictory set of stances to take.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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As long as no one says "Bring in Ritchie Incognito", I'll be fine. And so will the team.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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Good work. Too few forums and even fewer actual news sites gets into any detailed line blocking analysis. I'd go so far as to say this is needed, as well as informative and interesting.


Now only if we can talk Ben into doing this for the D-line (what, more work? Gaaack!)... ;) 


------


BTW, what in heaven's name was up with that one Fleener block up above? I mean, at first I thought it was just supposed to be a chip while Coby ran out into a pattern, but on subsequent looks I noticed that he just pulled up and watched the line action. I'm a Fleener fan, but I'm actually willing to go so far as to call that block half-assed. Was it late in the game or something? It seems so uncharacteristic of him. 


Anyway, agreed: Put Fleener in a route, and mother of GOD please stop asking him to run block!

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

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All I gotta say is that he's missing a great opportunity to gain renown as a football player by changing his last name to "Crazy". 


"That guy... he's FN Crazy, man!" 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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Jokes about people's names gets pretty FN old! (*rimshot*)


What, boos from the readership? Jeez, what an FN tough crowd. (*rimshot*)


Look, let's just be glad his last name isn't Lulz or Dick, okay? (*sad trombone*)

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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"...  the New Jersey Jets, a team struggling to figure out how not to be a high profile train wreck..."


Too late; they've been there for some time now. :p

;)

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/preseason-preview-colts-jets.html

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Man... I know it's already the 3rd year of this administration and coaching staff, but it still feels weird seeing a defensive roster with that many linebackers. 


Old habits are hard to break. I was shaking my head thinking "where are all the DE's" for a second there. :)

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/first-unofficial-colts-depth-chart-released.html

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