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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.
1 week, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@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.
3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@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.
@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.
@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.
@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.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@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.
@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.
@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.
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@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.
@awkd OK, should be all good now. Thanks again for spotting it.
@awkd Good lord, that's embarrassing. The ROLB line is off. My mistake. Will be corrected shortly. Thanks for pointing it out.
@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.
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@smonroe Well, I'd rather have you say that than the opposite. :)
@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.
@RWIN Yes, thanks much for the kind words. I intend to take a close look at Louis soon.
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@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?
@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.
@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.
4 months, 1 week ago on Dregs of the Roster: Montori Hughes Film Review
@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.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing Phil Costa
@Bobman Whoops, spoke too soon. Looks like Mack is probably out of the picture. Sigh.
5 months ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Brian de la Puente
@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.
5 months ago on Colts Authority Fireside Chats: Free Agency Frenzy
@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.
5 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Reviewing free agent C Alex Mack
5 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Season in Review
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Handling their Own: Discussing the Colts' Impending UFAs and Bubble Players
Heartily agreed on all counts. I'm terrified that they're going to bring back Satele for another year, though.
6 months ago on Defending Crazy: Why I don't want the Colts to draft OL early
6 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Divisional Round
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Grigson, Colts Entering Crucial, Defining Off-season
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.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Offensive Line Charting, Wild Card Week
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?
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Colts Notebook in Pictures: Two Key Scoring Plays
Thornton help slam! I love those. He's usually good for three or four a game.
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.
7 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15
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.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15
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.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Colts Notebook: Defense and O-line Seeking Late Season Momentum
7 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 14
7 months, 3 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 14
@VAHoosier Yeah, that's probably the best way to get the five best linemen on the field, but they might hesitate to move Thornton. Satele apparently has an elbow injury, so we might see that group.
@smonroe Yeah, not sure how I missed the Link injury. They'll probably go with McGlynn, but I hope I'm wrong.
7 months, 4 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts Offensive Line, Week 13
@rogcohen Working on it! I'm hoping to have my writeup posted in the morning. I have a wife, job, dog and house that each demand approximately 75% of my time, and I got pushed back a little this week. Sneak preview: Doyle and Thornton made me look like a jerk for praising them so often, Linkenbach was so bad that it actually benefited the team in a key situation (I swear this will make sense), and just about everybody screwed up regularly until that bizarre last drive.
7 months, 4 weeks ago on GIFtastic: Colts sweep Titans
@codrutc Yep, there is such a thing. In fact, in that first GIF, the left side of the line and Satele appear to be in zone protection. From what I can tell, they use roughly this pass protection the majority of the time. If I'm interpreting the assignments correctly (and as always, it's impossible to tell exactly what they're supposed to be doing), it's a protection called 2 jet, in which the left tackle, left guard and center slide left and pick up whoever comes to them, while the right guard and right tackle are in man. It has the advantage of hiding the inexperienced Thornton between Castonzo and Satele and giving him help on either side (and the disadvantage of often leaving McGlynn one-on-one with a superior player).
But even in zone protection, at some point the offensive linemen have to lock onto their defenders. Recognizing and responding to stunts is largely a question of timing, awareness and chemistry, and the Colts' offensive line clearly hasn't developed enough of those yet.
8 months ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 12
@Music Man Yeah, I was doing it for a different site then and still figuring out what I was doing, but I did chart the first four games. Basically, McGlynn is better at center than he is at guard, and he's a little better than Satele. But with Linkenbach in at guard, it's basically a wash, since he's even worse there than McGlynn.
8 months, 1 week ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 12
@rogcohen Luck definitely hasn't been the same since Reggie went down. Some of that is on him, as he's missed some open receivers, particularly on deep routes. But the receivers also aren't getting open like they should. Some of that is their fault, and some of it is the play-calling. Kyle had a good piece on the misuse of Fleener today:
@smonroe It depends. Do you prefer wet socks or a papercut? By which I mean neither of them are very good. Reitz is a better athlete, but he makes dumb mistakes. McGlynn works his butt off, but he has no athleticism. You could say Reitz has the higher ceiling, because if he ever got it all figured out he'd be a decent lineman, but he's 28. If the light was going to come on, it probably would have by now.
It seems like the coaching staff wants to play the guys who screw up because they're not good enough over the guys who make mental errors, which I'm guessing is also why Linkenbach replaced Reitz as the extra lineman and why Khaled Holmes is rotting away on the bench. The exception is Thornton, who has been just good enough to fend off the Linkenbachs and Reitzes. Wouldn't it be nice if they had some interior linemen who were both good enough AND didn't make mistakes? I miss Donald Thomas.
Separately, thank you all very much for the kind words. You heroes make it worthwhile.
@Bobman1 @chip_bennett Yeah, I was going to cite the Pats, too. Also, looking at the Super Bowl starters last year, the Ravens had a handful of mid-tier free agent/trade guys (McKinnie, Boldin, Matt Birk, Vonta Leach, Bernard Pollard), and the 49ers had Jonathan Goodwin, Justin Smith and Carlos Rogers. Most teams mix it up more than Polian did.
Again, I don't think it's a sound long-term strategy to rely on free agency, and I hate that Grigson keeps trading draft picks. But I don't see it as high-risk to overspend on some veterans for a few years before Luck's new contract forces them to alter the salary structure. Other than Cherilus, who is overpaid, none of the contracts are all that big, and they're still going to have quite a bit of cap room after this year to keep their own guys. What are they risking?
8 months, 1 week ago on Colts fans need some perspective for their perspective