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Grigson shouldn't draft a WR unless he see someone he thinks is likely to be a special player. For now we have two very good WRs, two serviceable ones, and an intriguing project. It'd be nice to have a better third WR now, and to have a guy who can step up as a star when Wayne retires - e.g. another T.Y. Hilton-quality find. But unless he sees a "I can't believe this guy is still there" type player, we have more pressing needs for the 2nd & 3rd rounders, and a later round pick is unlikely to yield a player significantly better than any of the five we already have.
1 month ago on CA Draft Position Overviews: Wide Receiver
I feel better about the players and coaches as a whole because they've now put together two playoff seasons, including a win. This year showed that last year wasn't just a fluke fueled by the emotions surrounding Pagano's illness.
On the other hand, I have less confidence in Grigson. Last year he looked like a miracle worker, at least in the draft. This year I'm hoping he can learn from his mistakes, and probably bring in someone who specializes in evaluating veteran talent. That seems to be a major weakness.
1 month ago on Fireside Chats with Colts Authority
@Lou Pin @ECBThat's a possibility. But Brown seems like an ideal change of pace back. He did okay as a starter, but had several games where he pretty much disappeared. He'd be a great complement to either Richardson or Ballard if they pan out, but I don't see him as an ideal replacement if they aren't.
1 month, 1 week ago on Bowen: how the heck did Indy beat Seattle?
I dunno, RB is actually one of the positions that worries me the most for the Colts next year. Ballard's coming off an ACL reconstruction, and a lot of guys are never quite the same after those. An NFL RB depends so much on his ability to make sharp cuts and accelerate rapidly that just a slight loss of quickness can make a big impact. Sometimes guys come back and have great years, e.g. Adrian Peterson, but that's a rare exception. I expect Ballard to play, but it'll be a very pleasant surprise if he can match his 2012 output.
And hopefully Trent Richardson will be earning a big share of carries, but I'm not terribly optimistic about that either.
As I understand Pagano & co, they aren't saying the Colts have to have an elite running game & run defense, but that they have to be good at those things. They need to be able to do it consistently. They also have to be able to pass very well, but that is pretty much a given with Luck at QB. Building a strong running attack means that they make sure their guys can run block, and keep the running game as a (not "the") focus of the offense so they get and stay good at it. That'll keep defenses from doing what they need to do to stop Andrew Luck's passing.
Not many teams have won Super Bowls without solid running games. Even fewer have done it without solid passing games. An elite passing game is more likely to get you there than an elite running game, but you need to be solid at both. Of course, the real dynasties have tended to have both - Troy Aikman & Emmit Smith, Joe Montana & Roger Craig, Terry Bradshaw & Franco Harris, Roger Staubach & Tony Dorsett. Maybe include John Elway & Terrell Davis.
Of course, this doesn't mean the Colts have to regularly use a fullback. There's other ways of maintaining a strong running game.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Franchise Building: It's All About Efficiency
@thejoshbakerAnd what if next October Luck breaks his arm or something and misses a bunch of games? With a Hasselback, we'd expect to still win half or more of those and still be in position for a playoff run when Luck returns. With a Painter who doesn't have the ability to win, the season's basically over.
Though admittedly there is a middle ground. An Orlovsky could probably keep the Colts in contention and cost much less than Hasselback.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Grigson, Colts Entering Crucial, Defining Off-season
Run the Ball, Stop the Run is absolutely the right mantra for Pagano & co. going forward. If the Colts are going to win a Super Bowl anytime soon, they must make major improvements to their running game, and probably to their run defense. Note that the teams who are still playing are all pretty good at running the football, as were most of the other playoff teams. There were a few years where offenses briefly found a way to win championships without effective running, but it looks like that time is over. Even the Colts this year were 10-2 when Luck threw for less than 300 yards and 1-4 when he threw for more.
The problem was not that the Colts tried to be a power running team, it was that they were terrible at it. Part of that was losing Thomas, Allen, Bradshaw & Ballard, but the guys who actually played didn't get it done. Same thing on the defensive side - Grigson may have brought in a bunch of guys to be run stuffers, but you'd never have guessed that watching them play this year.
Assuming that they can sign McAfee, the Colts ought to keep Vinatieri around as long as he can kick, and then bring in another old reliable guy to replace him. One of the great advantages of having a punter like McAfee is that you don't need a placekicker who can kickoff. He could even handle the long field goals if those start to be a problem.
With both Moala and Mathews, I'd offer a short term deal near league minimum. They're both solid backups who can provide depth if needed, but I'd like to see the Colts bring in some D-linemen with more upside.
If we're going to lose a safety, I'd much rather it be Landry. Wonder if the cap situation makes sense to cut him and use the money to re-sign Bethea.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Hayes: Free agent questions for Indy
Kind of amazing the Pats have even fewer guys from that 2007 game than we do.
2 months ago on Colts Playoff Notebook: Pep Talks
I had similar feelings watching at home with my 13 and 6 yr old boys. Told them to cherish this team and the special things we have come to expect from them. It is very rare, though they have been common in Indy for the past decade except in the playoffs and the mercifully short Painter interregnum. Also told the 6 yr old to expect to regularly see that highlight of Luck's fumble recovery TD until he's well into his 20's.
2 months ago on Growing Up Before My Eyes
Another reason to root for the Chargers this weekend is that they are the only team the Colts could potentially play at home after this weekend. That'd be a nice consolation if they beat Peyton. Assuming that the Colts win the war of 12-12, of course.
2 months, 1 week ago on Coping with Conflict
On that screen to Rogers, I think that's on Rogers rather than the blockers. Pulling O-linemen are taught not to look back or slow down when they're pulling. The runner should be right behind them, so that if the lineman doesn't find a blocking target, the runner doesn't find a tackler. If they slow down to look around, they get in the runner's way and can mess up a big play. If Rogers followed his pullers like he was supposed to do, then they would have been in the way of the pursuing linebackers, and Fleener's CB and the safety would have been running into the blocking path where the pullers could have seen them and picked them off.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on CA Charting Project: Charting the Colts' Offensive Line, Week 15
I disagree that the Colts' record is inflated by "throwing out the records" of their opponents. The Colts' own division may be down this year, but their schedule has otherwise been pretty tough, playing two of the NFL's deepest divisions and plus drawing games vs. likely playoff teams Cincy and Miami. While they have been awful vs. good teams, they've also been great against the league's best, and usually taken care of business against weaker teams. A 9-5 team should struggle vs. teams with better records, but the Colts are 3-0 vs teams with 10 or more wins. They should generally split vs. teams with comparable records, but the Colts are 0-4 vs. teams with 7 to 9 wins. And they should mop up against weaker teams, which the Colts have done, going 6-1 against teams with 6 or fewer wins. Though admittedly that loss was really ugly.
If they'd lost to all the teams who are currently at 9 or more wins and lost to those with less, they'd be 9-5. If they'd split the games vs. 9-5 teams (Cards & Bengals), they'd actually be 10-4. Looked at another way, the Colts are 3-2 vs. teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, and 6-3 vs. the rest of the league. One could actually argue that ignoring the records of their opponents makes the Colts' record look worse than it is.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Monday Morning Moaner: Colts vs Texans
I think the two huge problems would be the travel and the fact that most players will have a strong preference to play in the USA. They'll do it if that's what they have to do to play pro football, but I'd expect European teams to be at a major competitive disadvantage with any sort of free agency.
Eventually I think we'll see something like the Canadian Football League in Europe. There will be plenty of Americans willing to live in Europe in order to play professional football. Usually after they give up on their NFL dreams. I believe that sort of arrangement is common in basketball and hockey - lots of 2nd tier American players go over there while some of the top Europeans come here.
8 months, 4 weeks ago on Considering the Role of Player Health in NFL Expansion to Europe
@cwjwl You can run a solid 3-4 without a pass rushing DE, but it is a great asset to have one.
11 months, 1 week ago on Colts' Biggest Needs Post-Free Agency
Don't forget DE. It looks like we have solid starters and perhaps depth there, but a 3-4 really hums when it has a pass rushing DE, which we don't have. Plus Redding probably doesn't have too many good seasons left in him.
The system is actually set up so that every team plays four first place teams, four second place teams, four third place teams, and four fourth place teams from the year before. Everyone plays two complete divisions, and the two "parity" games actually just replace your own spot within your division. So the Colts last year got to play the last place teams from the AFC North and West, but couldn't play the fourth place team from their own division because it was themselves. This year they get two out-of-division games vs. 2nd place teams because they can't play the 2nd place team in their own division.
1 year, 1 month ago on The Myth of Parity Scheduling in the NFL
Another approach the Colts should take is to "bank" some of this cap space for the future. This can be done by structuring contracts to count bonuses in the year paid rather than over the entire length of the contract. There is a limit to how much a team can improve itself with one free agent class - as Grigson's former team has demonstrated. But stretching out the cap space can keep the window from Luck's rookie contract open for an extra year or two.
1 year, 1 month ago on The Colts' unique situation heading into Free Agency
@Colt_Following @jelewin I hope they bring Collie back. It'll probably come down to whether someone else wants to pay him the top dollars it looked like he was worth before he got his concussions in 2010. If not, the Colts should hold onto him.
1 year, 1 month ago on Team Needs - Offense
As with many of our free agents, the decision on Powers probably comes down to price. He seems a shoo-in to make the roster, and would be a starter unless we bring in at least one new corner who is pretty good. Question is whether he's worth the money, and with the Colts in pretty good financial shape for a change, that will come down to whether someone else decides he's worth more to them than the Colts think he's worth to them. My guess is that someone is going to significantly overpay him compared to his value as a Colt. Corner is usually a pretty hot market for free agency, he seems better suited towards other schemes, and he only has one season invested in learning the Colts' current system. So where we'd be viewing him as a tolerable #2, someone is going to see him as a decent #1 or solid #2. I doubt we match them.
1 year, 1 month ago on Colts Offseason Outlook - Should the Colts re-sign CB Jerraud Powers?