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Great points, Nate! I have been impressed with some of the things Cleveland has been able to do this year, thanks to their defense. This game had me worried, especially if Hoyer started having success against Indy's secondary without Davis. Glad to see the win, but that was just a painful game to watch. Once per game, Andrew has one of those "Shoulda had a V8" moments. Reggie has me not wanting to watch him play anymore. It's brutal. If he's as banged up as the information out of yesterday's presser suggests, I don't know what the answer is for the Colts the remainder of the season.
"The Colts would not be well-served dolling out big money for new guards or a center this offseason. Whatever problems the Colts have, interior line play is well down the list. Let’s start with new linebackers and an elite safety, shall we?" - This! Looking at all of the draft guides and listening to fans on the O-line is driving me crazy. The Colts' top need is not on the offensive line. It's defense! ILB, S, CB, whatever! This team needs defensive playmakers to put them into contention for Super Bowls! Not offensive linemen!
1 week, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-25-browns-24.html
I was just tooling around on PFF's website and read the TEN @ HOU wrap up and came across this neat little tidbit:
Signature Stat: Watt leads all 3-4 DE in Pass Rushing Productivity this week with a 25.9 and is third across all positions behind Aaron Lynch and Jonathan Newsome
Oh, and great stuff as usual, Nate!
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-49-redskins-27.html
@Nate Dunlevy @Brad Cronin You could be right. I have no idea what to expect from him.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/who-to-root-for-week-12-2.html
Using ESPN's Playoff Machine, I have Indy (3) hosting Houston (6) in the Wild Card round. Houston has some big but winnable games down the stretch that could get them in. It begins this week with them hosting Cincy. It's one of those battles between teams that I have no idea which team to trust. They host Baltimore in Week 16. If they win just one of those games, they have a great chance. The rest of their games are: vs. Ten, @ Jax, @ Indy, vs. Jax. They could go 4-2 down the stretch.
Kansas City's loss last night hurts them badly. Their remaining schedule is brutal: vs. Den, @ Ari, vs. Oak, @ Pit, vs. SD. San Diego's situation isn't good either: vs. StL, @ Bal, vs. NE, vs. Den, @ SF, @KC. If things shake out the way I have them, KC finishes 9-7, SD 8-8. Houston would own the tiebreaker over KC.
I have Cincy losing this weekend and finishing 8-7-1. Though, a Cincy win changes everything. I have Pittsburgh and Baltimore finishing 10-6 with Pittsburgh getting the tiebreaker and hosting Baltimore in Wild Card round. I have to say, I wouldn't mind hosting Houston.
Maybe my selections won't pan out but it will be a fun ride down the stretch. FWIW, I have Indy finishing 11-5 again.
Because the other Cleveland Browns castoffs have worked out so well...
Third time's the charm?
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-sign-receiverreturner-josh-cribbs.html
I remarked to my brother early in the game how much this was starting to look like last year's playoff loss, only closer. Then it became not close. As you and Kyle point out, the defensive talent is just not there.
Erik Walden, LaRon Landry, and D'Qwell [yes, Nate his name does not follow the usual "u" after "q" rule :)] Jackson are the most embarrassing representatives of the personnel shortcomings. But even the less talked about signings and draft picks such as Toler, Butler, RJF, Werner, Chapman, Hughes, etc. are not helping the team in crucial situations. I realize the former list is paid to be a group of "playmakers" but the latter list of "solid" players is mediocre at the very best.
This defense will continue to hurt for a few more years until they hit on some real talent in the draft. In three drafts, only one pick in the first four rounds has been on a defensive player (Werner) and only 7 of 22 picks have been used for defense. Of those seven, only five remain with the team and two are starters (Werner by default and Chapman as a matter of formality in the Colts' base 3-4 D).
Great, as usual, Nate!
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-patriots-42-colts-20.html
@Pied @Brad Cronin Very true! I try to be mindful of my capitalization but that could be a dangerous sentence in this new "OMGWTF R U kiddin mE!?!" world.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-steelers-51-colts-34.html
Well, I started drinking the kool-aid too early again with this defense. I don't want to react to the extreme in the other direction but this was always going to be unsustainable as you pointed out, Nate. The D'Qwell Jacksons, LaRon Landrys, and Erik Waldens on the team were never going to be the difference-makers. With all that being said, this defense is still good enough to let the offense win 11 games. Though I didn't get to see most of the first half, it seemed like Manusky did all he could to stop the Steelers' offense. Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi made it sound otherwise, but I understand why he did what he did.
And the veteran FA WR luck sucks! I thought Nicks might finally be the one to help. Wrong again. Moncrief, though, is fantastic! Can't wait to see more of him and T.Y. on the field together!
Thank you for your insight, Nate. Some tough pills to swallow but big truth pills usually are. On to Jersey!
"I hope Cory Redding smashes his face into the ground."
This! A thousand times, this!!! Literally. One-thousand times.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-steelers.html
Love this stuff, Nate! Thank you, again!
As much as I want to talk about the players' great play this season, I am really thrilled with the way this team is being coached. Starting with Pagano, this coaching staff has grown and really displayed a willingness to WIN games by putting a cleat to throat of the opponents. Hamilton has evolved as the games go by and Manusky is scheming brilliantly (I still want to see how he handles Brady, but he has been terrific lately). Yesterday, it seemed like the coaching staff had this team prepared for what the Bengals were going to do, especially on offense. As you pointed out, Dalton was exposed as a QB who gets the ball to his playmakers as opposed to carrying the team to a win. Pagano and Manusky had the defense ready for him as they did Flacco. Great job!
Also, Bill Barnwell is a fake advanced analysis expert, Coby Fleener will be fine, congratulations to Peyton, and next week I hope to see Reggie get back to being Reggie.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-27-bengals-0.html
C'mon, Kyle! Crazy uncle Jimbo was right! Nobody likes those "Star Wars" numbers! Now that he is back, he will see to it that Chuck gets the team back on the right track....uh, off the track? #ColdWar! Because it's like a war, but it's not. Or #ThisIsTotallyNotStarWarsEvenThoughItLooksLikeItIsButItIsnt!!! Or #BattleToads! For no other reason than I just wanted to remember BattleToads.
Seriously, great stuff. Chuck deserves a lot of credit for how he is evolving and growing as a coach. It means he is paying attention and that he is willing to continually reevaluate himself. That's a big deal and I hope it continues.
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-bengals-at-colts.html
Fantastic stuff, Nate! "Heir to the Throne of Dilfer" - perfect encapsulation of Joe Flacco.
2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-20-ravens-13.html
This is fun.
For me, the good surprise is Jack Mewhort. I did not expect him to come in and do what he is doing. The left side of the line is stout and now it looks like Grigson finally has an impressive hit on the O-line.
The biggest disappointment for me is also Arthur Jones. He does not look to be in shape (337 lbs, WTF!?!?!) and neither during the preseason nor his limited action at the beginning of the season did he look like the player the Colts signed to a big contract. The D-line is going to be an expensive, underperforming mess if that does not change.
Oh, dishonorable mention: Bjoern Werner. I didn't have high expectations but three games and very little to show for it? C'mon, man!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/bloggers-of-the-roundtable-surprisingdisappointing-colts-players.html
"Blow the doors off" is certainly a good way to describe that game. It's too bad that they weren't playing the Jacksonville Chevettes, though. Maybe something along the lines of: "shaved the spots off the sickly, non-native Florida kitties." Ok, that's a little clunky but I think you can work with it.
Seriously, good read and good observations, Marcus. I'm sorry I missed Hughes squishing someone.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-blow-the-doors-off-the-jags-44-17.html
Watching Coby Fleener attempt to catch that TD pass and then drop it was painful. Going from memory, it looked like he tries to catch that one with both of his hands out like a net. Maybe that's not how it happened but if he's right-handed, that seems very awkward to me given the direction he was running. I know that this is easier said than done (especially at the NFL level), but it would seem to me that if he could just get used to reaching out and plucking the ball out of the air, a la Reggie Wayne, he might have more success.
Also, the "soft" label is really strange and especially so coming from a fan. It's like contrasting one team with another team by using the "finesse" and "smashmouth" labels. What do those terms mean and how does one go about determining which is which? I have a hard time calling a football player "soft." Soft is a term that best describes what it feels like to poke at my midsection.
Good stuff as always, Nate. Onward to another beat down!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-colts-44-jaguars-17.html
1. The Jaguars are bad. Like, really, really bad.
Seriously, I like this stuff.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-at-jaguars.html
@Kyle Rodriguez @Macko Kyle, I'm just going to comment on your excellent B/R article here because I just have no interest in commenting alongside the other meatballs on B/R.
I was really expecting the Colts to air it out on Philly as well. I was as happy as anyone that the Colts were able to run the ball in the first half but everyone knows that second half adjustments are part of what separates the good coaches from the rest. The Eagles adjusted their game plan; the Colts kept doing the same thing well beyond the point it was obviously not working.
I also really liked the idea you brought up in the article: If the Colts are having trouble getting open downfield, bring in Moncrief and Rogers. I like Whalen plenty. But Wayne, Allen, Fleener, and Nicks can do what he does. Make Whalen inactive, activate Rogers, and use Purifoy on punt returns. They were one of the few teams last year that could threaten the Seahawks because they could beat them deep with T.Y. and Andrew's ability to get the ball to him. Now, T.Y. could use some help opening up the offense for himself and the underneath game.
Kyle's article: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2201607-colts-fail-to-test-the-eagles-secondary-in-monday-night-loss
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/eyes-in-the-backfield-eagles-30-colts-27.html
@Nate Dunlevy @bjg I remember a lot of those posts. I also remember thinking, "Damn, Nate really seems pretty negative." At the same time, I knew that everything you were saying was right.
I always wanted to believe that Pagano and the rest of the coaching staff would see the light and walk away from their "oldschool" football approach. We were even starting to believe it was happening when Luck would unleash a big comeback. Alas, it was all a mirage. Pagano and Hamilton only abandoned their philosophies temporarily because they had no other choice while secretly thinking, "Ah, we'll get it right next time." Well, now they're getting it right and it is only more obvious that they are actually getting it wrong.
Curious to see how Quarles works out. At one point, he was projected to be a third round pick. Obviously, he wasn't worth such a high selection but if he can help out, the Colts can use it.
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/roster-moves-colts-sign-dt-kelcy-quarles-release-rb-dion-lewis-shuffle-practice-squad.html
Damn, Nate. I think you covered everything. I think I will go back to bed and cry myself back to sleep.
Number six on your list is really baffling me today. Lots of fans are saying the same thing and completely ignoring how quickly Philly was obliterating the Colts' defense. Their longest scoring drive was 3:45. They had one drive that moved the ball 80 yards in 2:11 and another that was 76 yards in 1:43. Conservative, run-first play calling with the incredibly obvious, overused heavy run personnel groupings were not going to get it done. It was obvious to everyone but the Colts' coaching staff. Mike Wells does not surprise me when he says that stuff because...well, he should just go back to covering the Pacers. I'll leave it at that.
The scary thing is that everyone will believe that the blown calls were the most defining aspect of the game. They were terrible, but the problem is far bigger and unlikely to be corrected as long as the F.O. and coaching staff look the same.
"Next thing you know, Chip Kelly’s going to be coaching in Indianapolis." -Yeah, don't tease me like that.
Really lovin' this side of CA, Kyle. Fantastic!
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/i-believe-that-we-will-win-colts-vs-eagles.html
Great to see this back, Lou! Will "Creepy Chuck" make an appearance?
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
On another note, what were they thinking with Landry lined up over two receivers? WTF? That play was destined for a 1st down. If Caldwell made a better block on Landry, Freeman probably doesn't have that angle to Thomas and Mike Adams gets dragged to the end zone.
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/they-did-what-head-scratching-moments-from-the-colts-week-1-loss-to-denver.html
I haven't wanted to talk about the game because of a lot of these plays. As much as I want to watch this team and as much as I want to watch so many of my favorite players, the coaching decisions/philosophy and the front office decisions/philosophy continue to hold this team back and make me want to pry my eyes out of their sockets. I keep holding out hope that they are learning and they have shown signs of doing that, but it's not coming fast enough. There are only 16 games in a season.
That all being said, I will be doing the same thing next weekend as I did this weekend: watching my team, screaming loud enough for the neighbors to hear me, and hoping that light bulbs start coming on in the coaches' heads.
Dark news today: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/09/08/robert-mathis-tears-achilles-tendon/
You know what? Now that I have thought about it, this article has far too few insults and you guys are just too amicable. I thought this was THROWDOWN THURSDAYDAYDAYDAY!!!!!!
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@coltsauth_todd @Brad Cronin @MarcusDugan Todd, you are right. We should expect more from Walden. I have just given up on him offering anything in the pass rush and that kinda amounts to a "free pass" from criticism because I don't expect him to perform. As you said, the defense needs him to be more than a complete non factor in that department.
Great conversation, guys. The pass rush is what I have been worried about most during the offseason and without Mathis, I don't have high hopes. It seems to me the difference will have to be pressure up the middle from Redding and/or Jones. If the Colts can't get some pressure from those guys, I feel sorry for the secondary.
I'm just going to go ahead and say how I feel about Werner: he looks better, but I'm not sure I've seen enough from him in the preseason to suggest he will be a difference maker. I hope he is able to do some things in the regular season that he was unable to do in the preseason, but I don't think he will be Robert's replacement for this stretch or in the future.
Werner certainly looks less overwhelmed on the field and he is able to make plays in the backfield but getting around OTs and getting the sack still looks difficult for him. Mathis is a speed rusher who not only can beat his man to the edge, but can then bend down and shoot inside for the sack. Werner can't get that bend and rounds the edge too much. He can be forced wide of the QB far easier than Mathis. Maybe he can force himself inside the tackle or knock some passes down at the line of scrimmage. That would be great. He would make a great compliment to Mathis with those abilities but a replacement he is not.
Once again, I think Werner looks better but I think if we are expecting him to break out and get 8-10 sacks this year, we might be asking too much. I was very excited to hear how he looked in training camp but I am trying to temper my expectations.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/bloggers-of-the-round-table-colts-vs-broncos-preview.html
Yeah, I see the Colts...and a bunch of 6-8 win teams. I don't think I'm delusional (no promises). The Colts are deeply flawed but I see no reason to suggest any of the other three teams will win the division barring some sort of significant event. I just can't see the Colts winning fewer than nine games.
QB play will decide the day. Locker shows flashes but remains a question mark. The Jags will wait too long to play Bortles. The Texans don't have a QB.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/afc-south-preview-blogger-discussion.html
Great look at Da'Rick, Andrew! I definitely feel better knowing that the Colts decided to keep him and Whalen. For the future, and as insurance in case the unmentionable happens this year (I refuse to mention it), keeping both Rogers and Whalen was a good decision.
I also would like to mention something as far as how Rogers compares to Green. Rogers is just so much bigger than Green. It's impressive that he has such size and still is measurably more athletic than Green. Rogers is listed at 215lbs but I bet he is 5-10 pounds heavier - similar to Terrell Owens in stature. Green is listed at 207lbs and that seems like it applies only to when he is wearing a wet uniform. Another tidbit is that Rogers is 23 and Green is 26 (same age as Hakeem Nicks).
Rogers has great potential. I hope he continues to develop and the Colts continue to trust him this season.
@Kyle Rodriguez Yeah, that was pretty boneheaded.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/preseason-recap-and-observations-colts-7-bengals-35.html
Thanks for doing this on Kerr, Kyle! Great look! I hope Kerr turns out to be a great rotational addition to the D-line.
Are you planning on doing any more of these before the season starts? If so, do the Colts have any OLBs worth looking at? Are my concerns about Werner unfounded? The first four weeks without Mathis have me very worried.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@MarcusDugan @bradicus18 Go figure. Thanks, Marcus!
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-notebook-preseason-dress-rehearsal-the-search-for-a-starting-safety.html
@MarcusDugan @bradicus18 That's interesting. To me, he seems to play poorly when asked to play deep. In some cases he seems to be in poor position to make a play or takes a poor angle to chase down a play. And yes, as you mentioned, his propensity to launch himself at a ball carrier ends up in a missed tackle. Perhaps he plays well when asked to cover tight ends or slot receivers at the LOS? I'm curious now.
I will say this: he looks plenty fast. He is certainly faster than his size would suggest. Maybe I have the guy wrong but I think he plays poorly when asked to play the deep, open field. It would be cool to see some film review.
Thanks for looking those PFF numbers up, Marcus.
@bengundy @bradicus18 I was so hoping that would be your answer!
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
As always, this stuff is great, Ben! Thank you!
I should be watching this a bit more, but do you know how many times or even if the Colts have used six linemen to block so far in the preseason?
New Orleans certainly feels like a Super Bowl team again. They've made some good personnel moves over the past two years...that and they still have Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. I hope the game is competitive. I really want to see how the secondary holds up.
Speaking of the secondary, I understand the theory behind the interchangeable safety system, but the Colts cannot make it work in practice with the people they have. Landry is clearly not a FS as much as Grigson/Pagano/Manusky want to believe he is. He is a weak link when playing coverage. Did the Jets not use him more as a traditional SS? His Pro Bowl year?
I hope Delano's still able to continue his NFL career, but I certainly would not want to see him get seriously hurt out there.
Thanks for the updates, Marcus!
@Kyle Rodriguez Very much agree. It would be hard to see Rogers or Whalen get cut. Neither would make it to the practice squad, eligible or not.
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/colts-rising-and-falling-preseason-week-2.html
It was great to see some of those guys stand out. It's interesting seeing guys that didn't make names for themselves in camp making plays during games. McDonald and Kerr are two of those guys.
As far as the CBs go, I have no idea who will make that 5th spot. Burley has looked pretty good during the games, has received attention for his performance during camp and seems to be listed highly enough on the current depth chart to think he has a good chance. Purifoy definitely helped his case against the Giants. Though, maybe the coaches should just keep the guy who gets the fewest flags tossed at him during the preseason. That might be the most important performance metric for the coming season.
I think Rogers is making a case for the fourth WR position. I also like the way Moncrief looks on the field and believe that he will continue to get better but Rogers has delivered more during the preseason so far. That being said, I love the whole WR group this year. I hope the coaches decide to keep six.
@Kyle Rodriguez Great! I could probably name too many. Andy Studebaker, Jonathan Newsome, and Sheldon Price are a few that interest me. Not sure what anyone else thinks, though. It seemed like Studebaker and Newsome got a good number of snaps. Judging by when the coaches put Price in the game, I think he has a decent shot at the last CB spot.
Those guys look like they could make the final 53 or, in Newsome's case, contribute at a position of need.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/players-we-watched-ilb-henoc-muamba.html
Muamba definitely drew some attention in that first game. I loved that stop on the goal line. When I saw that, I immediately was asking, "Who the heck was that?"
This will be a fun series! Thanks, Kyle! How many of these do you guys plan on doing?
Thanks for doing this, Ben! So if Walker makes the team, does that mean Louis is the guy on the block? Although, I'm expecting the Colts to only keep nine O-linemen. Do you think the Colts keep ten, now?
Great work! I love seeing this stuff!
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@MarcusDugan @buymymonkey Vick is still pretty fast. I'm sure Newsome and some other edge defenders were saying the same after the game.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/preseason-recap-and-observations-colts-10-jets-13.html
Watching Holmes go down was so scary and disappointing. I hate seeing that happen to a guy who has battled injuries in the past and had to be excited to go in there and prove to everyone what he can do. I hope he can recover quickly. The team needs him badly.
Watching Muamba perform like he did was great. It makes me think that we are one step closer to waving goodbye to Kelvin Sheppard. I was also impressed with Studebaker. Correct me if I'm wrong but it looked like he played a little bit of ILB and OLB. He made some plays from both positions and that could make him valuable. Before finding out about his injury, I was starting to think Adongo may not make the 53. Seeing Studebaker play well and Adongo injure his bicep (hoping it's not serious) makes me think he might end up on the practice squad again.
But hey, it's only the first preseason game, right? The first team offense was great to watch as well as the first team D-line. Football's back!
@erhall01 I miss good nicknames in general. Now all nicknames are some sort of play on a player's name (TRich) or conglomeration of a player's name or initials and jersey number (CP3).
There used to be some awesome nicknames, Dominique Wilkins' being my favorite (The Human Highlight Reel). I loved William "Refrigerator" Perry as well.
I used to shake my head when John Gruden called Peyton "The Sheriff" but now I have come to appreciate it a bit because it somewhat captures the level of command Peyton has of the offense and the respect his teammates and opponents have for him. At least it's not "PMan18" or something like that.
It would be fun to come up with nicknames for the players.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/2014-articles/coltscamp-musings-players-are-people-too.html
"The guy loves football." - Yeah, coach. I would hope so. I mean, how many players out there are like, "Really? You want me to run out there and catch this ball again?" or "C'mon, coach. Can't you just put me on IR and say I broke my leg?" Good ol' coach-speak.
Ok, the injuries are just depressing. I cannot imagine how Vick and Donald feel right now.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
Notice to anyone who bought one as a gift: have the recipient check his/her spam filter. My friend's pass didn't make it past hers. So, if you are hoping to surprise someone, he/she may not get it at all if it doesn't make it to the inbox. My friend uses gmail, fyi.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://coltsauthority.com/
@Kyle Rodriguez @bradicus18 Whoops! Apparently I missed that in the article. Thanks, Kyle.
Is there a way to buy one as a gift?