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@ethanwhudson Hm, I don't recall this one, but I'll take a look later.

5 days, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@Fot Bollar OK, here goes. I'll try to give my thoughts on everything, but there's a lot to unpack here (thanks again for putting so much thought into your comment).


I admittedly don't watch anyone else's line nearly as much as I watch the Colts'. But from what I've seen, I think they're somewhere in the middle of the pack, probably slightly above average. They have plenty of room to grow. New England's line is really good (grrr), and I don't think the Colts are at that level. I've only seen the Packers a few times, but it's looked to me like they're actually around the Colts' level. You've obviously seen them more than I have, though, so I'm sure you have a better idea. The Colts have a good left guard, a very good left tackle, a decent right tackle who's having a bad year, and a complicated center/right guard situation that's largely their own fault. They don't have any real stars at this point, and the lack of continuity has hurt the chemistry. For what they are and what they have, I think they're playing pretty well. I'd love to see improvement, of course.

I agree that Luck makes them look better, though you could say the same of the Packers' or Patriots' lines. "Good" lines almost always have a good quarterback behind them. Chemistry between a QB and his line is just as important as chemistry among linemen. I do think Luck sometimes holds the ball a bit long – sometimes it's his fault, and sometimes it's because the Colts run an aggressive downfield passing attack.


With the percentages, like you said, it's not quite every other play. It's still too frequent; they make too many mistakes and their chemistry isn't great. There are a lot of factors in that, not least of which is that Luck has some of the highest time to pass counts in the league, according to PFF.


It's also very true that all missed blocks are not equal; that's why I track a lot more than just completed and missed blocks. And more importantly, it's why I put so much effort into the writeups. I see the percentages as more of a guide than an end point. I'd love to chart other lines (or ALL the lines) so that I'd have a better idea of how the Colts stack up, but sadly, the day is too short.


Anyway, I'm sort of skirting the issue here. I know what you mean about the eye test. When I watch the games live, I often think they're playing terribly, only to find when I break it down that they played at about the same level they usually do. As with most things, I think it's multi-factorial: a downfield offense, a QB who doesn't like to take off until he absolutely has to, T-Rich (I won't get into that), high expectations after years of watching Peyton make pass rushes look foolish, a lack of any star linemen, a lack of continuity . . . there's a lot working against them. And they need to sort things out at center and right guard, whoever that may be. One or two guys having a bad day can kill everything in a hurry. I still think they're playing at a high enough level for the offense to succeed.


Whew, got a bit long-winded here, but I hope you find it useful. I'd be curious what others think, as well.

6 days, 4 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@Fot Bollar Thanks much for your thoughtful response. Your points are quite valid, and I'll respond at length later on (busy day at work). In brief, I don't think this Colts line is nearly at the level of the best in the league, and I fully agree that my percentage system has some flaws. I consider the explanation more important than the percentages.

6 days, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/

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@smonroe I liked him a lot. He still has a small sample, but pretty much all of that sample has been good.

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

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@hankster Thank you! I'm not sure if you're among the crowd who have been reading and commenting over at Colts Academy, but it's nice to see a familiar name from last year. :)

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

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@AJ_ The Fleener block was early in the second quarter. He usually tries hard in run blocking, he's just not good at it. That was definitely a preseason block.

As far as the D-line goes, if you can make the day 30 hours long, I will happily do it. :)

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

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@bradicus18 Zero, unless I've missed it. And thanks!

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

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@bradicus18 It's all conjecture at this point, but I would guess Louis is the most likely interior guy to miss the cut if they keep someone like Walker. I'd be surprised if they keep 10, since Nixon and Reitz can both play guard or tackle and Mewhort can play guard or center and could also fill in at tackle in a pinch. Eight seems more likely than 10. Things will shake out more in the next couple preseason games.

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

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@AJ_ [Applause]

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

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@Kyle Rodriguez @bradicus18 What Kyle said. Though I'd be tempted to at least try Gordy as the #2 if/when Toler goes down, since Butler has a history of getting whooped when playing on the outside.

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

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@deputylefty Wayne, definitely. Nobody works harder than he does, and he's a great locker room guy. We'll have to see how Nicks fits in.

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

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@smonroe Thank you! And don't worry, the series is almost over, so soon you won't have to read the name anymore. Just Josh Gordy left to do.

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

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@ECB I believe he's still eligible for the practice squad, since he wasn't active for nine games last year. But he showed enough potential that he'd probably get picked up if the Colts waived him.

Good question about the kick and punt returns. Looks like he returned some kicks at Tennessee and did all right. He might get a look there in preseason.

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

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@ColtsDivisionChamps It's all moot now since they waived Brazill, but he was sort of a mix between the two. He was extremely fast and had pretty good hands, but he didn't run great routes, wasn't very physical and wasn't much of a blocker. There were also whispers that the Colts didn't like his attitude/work ethic.

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

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@ECB  17 edge blocks, 9 successful (53%), 69 yards (4.1 average), one touchdown. 8- and 12-yard runs against San Diego and a 7-yard run against New England, which pulled the average way up. So things went pretty well when he played that role, but it's a very small sample.

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

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@ECB Just because they're different and I wanted to focus on whether Havili was useful in the specific role of lead blocker. He was lined up as a tight end on a bunch of the kick-outs. I don't have the numbers with me at the moment, but the total number of kick-outs was somewhere in the teens, so about one a game. Wouldn't have had a significant effect on the stats. I can let you know what the numbers were later on, if you'd like.

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

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@smonroe Certainly. I focused on his lead blocking here, but that's far from a fullback's only duty. He was a decent pass blocker and had some really good moments as a receiver, despite the occasional stone hands. He's surprisingly good at avoiding/breaking open field tackles. I haven't studied his special teams play, but he didn't pop out much.

Last year, he was basically Just A Guy. He flashed potential with his lead blocking early in the year and some of his catch-and-runs, but I'm not surprised they're looking at possibilities to replace him. If he played at his best all the time, he could be a useful weapon, but he didn't maintain that level.

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

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@rogcohen Hm, where are you seeing that PFF credited him with three? I see one on there. Not sure what ESPN saw, but without reviewing my notes, I don't recall any other possibles.

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

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@smonroe The next pick was Xavier Rhodes, a pretty good corner. Alec Ogletree and Kiko Alonso went not long after, as did Giovani Bernard. Plenty of good players were available, though of course hindsight is 20/20.

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

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@awkd OK, should be all good now. Thanks again for spotting it.

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

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@awkd Good lord, that's embarrassing. The ROLB line is off. My mistake. Will be corrected shortly. Thanks for pointing it out.

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

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@hankster  I'd like to be mad about Barnwell's remarks, but I think he's right. On the bright side, he did predict the Colts would regress in 2013, so it's not like he's always right.

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

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@smonroe  Well, I'd rather have you say that than the opposite. :)

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

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@bradicus18  I doubt McNary plays much at OLB. Given his mobility and coverage skills, he makes more sense on the inside, and the Colts already have four guys they like at OLB with Mathis, Walden, Werner and Adongo. McNary also isn't great when a blocker is coming straight at him, as I pointed out in that GIF with Mankins, and that would be problematic if he was trying to set the edge.

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

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@RWIN  Yes, thanks much for the kind words. I intend to take a close look at Louis soon.

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

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@DougEngland  I mentioned these briefly in my season in review piece, though they didn't make it into the tables. The '/' block totals (like I said above, these were sometimes a result of an inactive linemen and sometimes a result of the scheme) were Satele 67, Castonzo 46, McGlynn 41, Cherilus 40, Thornton 38, Linkenbach 15, Nixon 12, Thomas 6, Reitz 1. Kyle, maybe you can add those to the lovely graphics?

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

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@paulcareyjr 1. No. Those were '/' plays, which weren't counted toward the totals. Those are sometimes the lineman's fault (for not being active enough) and sometimes a result of the scheme, but Satele had more of them than anyone else by far.


2. This is where stuff gets subjective and why I tried to supplement my raw numbers with visual evidence as much as possible. I don't have a set time the lineman has to hold his block, but basically, if he holds it long enough that the play can go through as designed, I give him a +. If the lineman's man makes a tackle or clogs a lane on a running play, or if his man pressures the quarterback or has to be picked up by a running back on a passing play, he gets a -. There's tons of gray area, but I try to be as consistent as possible.


3. I definitely know what you mean; one of the biggest problems with my system is that it values a backside seal block the same as a playside clearout block. But crediting specific linemen for running plays gets extremely subjective very quickly. Like Kyle said, PFF tracks this data to some extent. I may end up revamping my system somewhat for next season, but for now it gives a good ballpark idea of how effective the linemen were.

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

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@Bobman  Thank you, sir. I'm using "dreg" in the sense of "the last remaining part," rather than "the most undesirable part." I don't mean it in a negative way, I just thought "dregs of the roster" had a nice ring to it.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Dregs of the Roster: Montori Hughes Film Review

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@bradicus18  I also wonder what this says about Holmes, though it might be very little, since both Costa and Holmes can also play guard. Looks to me like a depth/competition signing more than anything.


And thanks to you and smonroe for the kind words.


By the way, for you sticklers out there, the linebacker in that last play looped through the A gap, not the B gap. Like Costa, I have my occasional slip-ups.

9 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing Phil Costa

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@Bobman  Whoops, spoke too soon. Looks like Mack is probably out of the picture. Sigh.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Brian de la Puente

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@Bobman @bengundy  He never showed up on the injury report, but yeah, I do wonder if something was going on. Even at his best this year, I don't think he'd be much of an upgrade. I'm hoping Dietrich-Smith wows me (I'll be looking at him next week) and either he or Mack takes a reasonable deal. I'm starting to resign myself to another year of Satele, though.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Brian de la Puente

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@paulcareyjr Which part, letting the market sort itself out? I agree, but I think the strategy was sound up until they signed Landry. As I recall, Bernard Pollard got cut shortly before Landry signed. He's a better player than Landry and would have come much cheaper.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Colts Authority Fireside Chats: Free Agency Frenzy

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@AJ_  This is how I feel, too. As we saw last year, and as we've seen many times in the past, dropping big bucks on free agents rarely ends up being a good idea. But Mack sure would help. The guy can really play.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Alex Mack

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@IndyBob Glad you liked it. I see what you mean about Thomas, but guys have injuries like his pretty frequently, and he should be young enough to bounce back, particularly since it happened early in the year. And if he's close to what he was, he should be a big help. They do still need more work, though.

10 months ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Season in Review

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@LovinBlue You are welcome. It was fun to research and write, though my wife is happy to see the end of it.

10 months ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Season in Review

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Heartily agreed on all counts. I'm terrified that they're going to bring back Satele for another year, though.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Defending Crazy: Why I don't want the Colts to draft OL early

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@smonroe Kyle and I are discussing some possibilities for my offseason work, including charting other teams. Stay tuned.

11 months ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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@hankster Hm, I posted a lengthy response here earlier, but it doesn't seem to have gone through. Here's the short version: axe Satele, let McGlynn and Link walk, and pile up as many versatile, cheap, mid-tier interior linemen as possible. If a top center or guard will come for a decent price, do it, but don't break the bank for one. Depth is most important at this point.

11 months ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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@AJ_ Excellent points. If I'm not mistaken, when they were at Boston College, Cherilus played left tackle, and Castonzo was a right tackle at least as a freshman, so there's that. It would be asking a lot of them to switch at this point in their careers, though, and like I said, there's basically no chance that it will happen. But as a pundit with no sway who would experience no repercussions from wasting a handful of practice reps, giving it a go sure seems like a good idea to me.

11 months ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round

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@Kyle Rodriguez@GregC Is it definitely due this year? Since that trade happened before the Shipley trade, doesn't that rule out that it could be that pick? Conditional draft picks make my head hurt.
Somehow, I would feel much better if they still had their 6th rounder this year. Though based on Grigson's history, it'll probably be some prick from Auburn who fires a shotgun at a toilet in a nightclub or something.

11 months ago on Grigson, Colts Entering Crucial, Defining Off-season

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Ah, you're right! I was confused about that, because I didn't remember him playing and I knew he didn't have any blocks, but I figured I had forgotten a few routes or something and would defer to FO. And I basically agree. While he's useful in limited duty, the offense works better when he doesn't play much.

11 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Wild Card Week

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@smonroe I really want Reitz's coconut to get better. I miss that guy. I don't think Link is any better than McGlynn. It'll probably be the same line as last week tomorrow, unless Reitz feels good and they want to make a change.

Good news on Rogers: he's most definitely a good blocker. He might be the best blocking WR on the team. TY and Griff try hard, but they're too small. DHB is wildly erratic and Brazill is nondescript. It helps that Rogers is huge and has really long arms. The whole undrafted free agent/practice squad thing seems to have lit a fire under his butt, because he's been working really hard in blocking from what I've observed.

11 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Wild Card Week

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@MarcusDugan

Not that I've seen. He almost always takes the guy clean off his feet. It's my favorite part of his game. We can forgive him for being a little overzealous every once in a while, right?

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Notebook in Pictures: Two Key Scoring Plays

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Thornton help slam! I love those. He's usually good for three or four a game.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Notebook in Pictures: Two Key Scoring Plays

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@zgs1288

Thank you! (And thanks to everyone else for commenting as well!) That's sort of what I'm shooting for. While I try to be as consistent as I can, I realize the percentages are somewhat meaningless by themselves. But they do provide a nice quantitative guideline for the more qualitative commentary.

12 months ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15

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@smonroe

Sadly, I don't think there's much more to say about Holmes. They don't think he's good or they would have given him a go by now. I thought he looked all right during preseason. Best case scenario, he's a late bloomer, but everything screams "wasted pick" at the moment. It's really a shame, because Thornton has promise, Thomas looked good before he got hurt, Castonzo is fine and Cherilus is passable. If everything breaks right (admittedly a big if, considering how far Thornton has to go), they could be a center away from having a decent line next year. 

12 months ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15

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True true, but at the very least, at some point they should have noticed that the last man one of them could conceivably block was heading outside and maybe tried to get in his way a little.

12 months ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15

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@MarcusDugan@naptown_ninja That's a really interesting idea, Marcus. I'll try to keep an eye on it while I'm charting. There haven't been a ton of unblocked rushers in Satele games, but there have been a few, and the communication on stunts has often been lacking.

1 year ago on Colts Notebook: Defense and O-line Seeking Late Season Momentum

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@hankster Hm, interesting. I hadn't checked the FO stats on the line in a little while. I'm a bit surprised they're that high in either category. There must be some truly horrific lines out there. Having one excellent pass-blocking tackle (Castonzo) and another who's often good definitely helps, and the line was much better in run blocking for the first several games (before I started charting here). Also, they're 25th in open field yards, which means the running backs aren't giving the line much help - shocking, right?
One really fascinating part: they're first in the league in adjusted line yards for runs off left tackle and second in runs behind right tackle, but they only run in those directions 9% and 11% of the time, respectively. They're basically middle of the pack everywhere else. Things really opened up in that second Tennessee game when they started running behind Castonzo more.

1 year ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 14

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