View Full Version : JC you're letting me down

03-27-2009, 12:17 PM

“We have guys who can do both, who can stand up against the run, but then also rush the passer as well,” Caldwell said. “Keyunta Dawson was kind of in that mode. He's a guy who played outside for us, and some inside as well. He's capable of being a real strong run stopper. He's a guy who certainly has been very effective. He's been very active. We like what we see from him.”

If Dawson starts at DT this year we may as well forget doing anything this season.

03-29-2009, 07:44 PM
What is he supposed to say? He can't just come out and rip the DTs to the public, that would be bad. Also, the team doesn't want to tip their hand as to what position they're targeting in the draft, even if it is obvious (see 2006 articles where Bill Polian said he felt Rhodes could be a Pro Bowl RB). IMO that's not a reason to be "let down".

03-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Maybe Caldwell says Dawson is a real run stopper because he has way more tackles than sacks. :p

I still like Dawson, I think the more DT he plays and the more experience he's able to get, the better he becomes because it's a relatively new position for him. That said, he's not a great starter right now plus it's way too much to ask him to hold up there full-time for a whole season. But I certainly wouldn't want to get rid of him, he works hard and plays hard, I'd rather seriously try him at LDE than cut him.

Eric Foster might start over Dawson, or those guys could rotate. Or maybe Foster becomes the pass-rushing NT. Daniel Muir looked better at the end of last regular season than when he first played, maybe he builds on that into this year. And I wouldn't rule out a quality addition in this upcoming Draft, in fact I'm counting on it, honestly.

Caldwell did say that the team needs to get better at DT. So while he is guilty of talking up his guys like you would expect a coach to, he did say the truth.

Now, I know Polian has never drafted a DT in the 1st round in his time in Buffalo, Carolina, or Indianapolis. Unless I missed it when I recently double-checked his early draft history. And there's a quote by Polian that, for the Colts, usually the 1st round DTs are taken in the first 15 picks and then the value doesn't re-emerge until the latter rounds of the Draft.

However I am thinking the Colts will draft Evander Hood (or Peria Jerry if they get the chance). Maybe I'm flat-out wrong on thinking that. Of course if playmaking Percy Harvin reaches their pick, that might definitely ensure that a 1st round DT won't happen, but I don't expect Harvin to reach the Colts' pick.

03-29-2009, 08:47 PM
Back to Polian's quote though: it's a valid point, but this Draft might be the exception, I think.

Let's take a look back and see if we can really name a DT who was on the board for the previous Colts' 1st round pick who was as good as Peria Jerry or Ziggy Hood? And/or as good as the pick the Colts made?

1998 & 1999- Don't even ask, not worth checking.

2000- Well, Cornelius Griffin (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/2000/nfldraft/players/40628.html) and Fred Robbins (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/2000/nfldraft/players/40644.html) were taken in the 2nd round and both are still playing in the league today. If the Colts had stayed in a standard 4-3 though, Rob Morris probably would have been a fine starting MLB for many years.

2001- Traded down and lost a chance to get Ryan Pickett, but took Reggie Wayne. Which is to say, great freaking move. Although they traded up in the 2nd round to get Idrees Bashir, with Kris Jenkins (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/2001/nfldraft/players/99032.html) and Shaun Rogers (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/2001/nfldraft/players/99050.html) taken later on in the round. I once heard the Colts had a 3rd round grade on Rogers though, because of his motor.

2002- The Colts took Dwight Freeney over Wendall Bryant (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2002/draft/players/99578.html) and Albert Haynesworth (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2002/draft/players/99581.html). I'd make that same move today without hesitation.

2003- Huge run on tackles early. Colts draft Dallas Clark with William Joseph (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2003/draft/players/1303.html) still on the board. Hmm, a Top 5 if not Top 3 TE in the league over some bust who I don't think is even currently signed to a team, that is close.

2004- No DT worth taking in the 1st. Colts traded down twice anyways, ending with with a mid-2nd round pick and two early 3rds on day one. Unfortunately for the Colts, Darnell Dockett (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2004/draft/players/43094.html) was taken with the very first pick in the 3rd round, three picks before the Colts' two 3rd round picks. Dockett had 1st round talent but major character concerns (read that draft profile) dropped him, so you can't say the Colts should have taken him in the 1st round. That 2nd round pick was some guy named Bob Sanders btw, just some schlub who can be a potential Hall of Famer if he stays healthy.

2005- Probably the closest argument you'll have, the Colts drafted Marlin Jackson over Mike Patterson (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2005/draft/players/55821.html). I'd still rather have Jackson, but Patterson gets considered only because of how unlucky the Colts were at DT in '06-'08.

2006- John McCargo (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2006/draft/players/2117.html) didn't even reach their 1st round pick in '06, and he was a reach by the Bills anyways who I wouldn't consider as good as either Jerry or Hood. Gabe Watson (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2006/draft/players/18803.html) didn't go until the 10th pick in the 4th round, I did want to draft him though, but certainly not over Joseph Addai.

2007- 2003 the sequel, the Colts take Anthony Gonzalez over Alan Branch (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2007/draft/players/21631.html). I would have gone Branch myself, and am not afraid to admit how grossly wrong I was. I also loved Brandon Mebane (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2007/draft/players/4743.html) and would have been fine with him as the Colts' 1st round pick, although he didn't go until the 21st pick in the 3rd round and was more of a pure NT.

2008- No 1st round pick anyways but in the 2nd, Mike Pollak over Marcus Harrison (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2008/draft/players/6657.html) last year. Harrison was regarded as having 1st round talent but an off-the-field incident/arrest and injuries dropped him to the late 3rd round, taken three picks before the Colts' 3rd rounder. He is a great pick for the Bears as long as his off-the-field mistakes are behind him and he can relatively stay healthy, he was a big addition to their defense last year. If the Colts could have seen into the future, that Ed Johnson and Pitcock would leave the team and that the cap would unexpectedly raise up much more than expected so that Jeff Saturday would be re-signed, perhaps that might of changed their 2nd round pick in Mike Pollak. I am very big on Pollak though, he's going to be a great starter for the Colts for many years imo.

So Polian does have an excellent point in terms of the Colts' 1st round options when it comes to DTs, but again, I think this year could be different with Peria Jerry and/or Evander Hood.

Hood is a better Marcus Harrison I think, or a more lofty pro comparison I might also use is the aforementioned Darnell Dockett, but without the character concerns of either player. Not as sure on Jerry, Corey Simon in his prime (who was much better - and lighter! - than his Indy or Tennessee days)?

I think this year might just be the exception. Although I wouldn't very surprised if it wasn't, shrug.

03-29-2009, 08:51 PM

03-30-2009, 06:21 AM
I think people are being very hard on Keyunta Dawson. Consider this. He is a 2 year Veteran, who played most of his Rookie season at either LE or on Special Teams and he is asked to be an every down Defensive Tackle, with a bunch of undrafted Rookies rotating beside him. I think in that situation he played decent enough. I still don't see Dawson as a starter though but he would be a very good player to sit behind and eventually replace Raheem Brock. He could start at LE on Run Downs and slide in to Under Tackle on Pass Downs, something Brock did this year, which meant on pass downs that the Colts were able to unleash a fresh Robert Mathis. Coincedently, Mathis had his best year in a Colts jersey.

Here is the way the Colts start the Defensive Line last year.

Run Downs

LE: Raheem Brock
UT: Keyunta Dawson
NT: Antonio Johnson (Johnson, rather than Foster, started most Run Down situations towards the end of the season)
RE: Dwight Freeney

Pass Downs

LE: Robert Mathis
UT: Raheem Brock
NT: Keyunta Dawson
RE: Dwight Freeney

I personally, unless they resigned Josh Thomas (I seem to be the only one here who likes him), think that Dawson is the future Run Down LE for the team. Raheem Brock is getting paid an ubscene amount of money and mightened be resigned when his contract is up at the end of 2010. Before that I would prefer to see Dawson taking snaps at LE.

Currently, here is how I see the set up.

Run Downs

LE: Raheem Brock/Keyunta Dawson
UT: 1st Defensive Tackle Need
NT: 2nd Defensive Tackle Need
RE: Dwight Freeney

Pass Downs

LE: Robert Mathis
UT: Raheem Brock/Keyunta Dawson
NT: 1st Defensive Tackle Need
RE: Dwight Freeney

If we were to do that, draft say Peria Jerry or Ziggy Hood, or even Marks or even Alex Magee, and then were to get a big Run stuffer like Taylor, Sammie Lee Hill or Chris Baker, then the line would be complete. The first pick, the 3 Technique, could play Under Tackle on Run Downs and could play that Pass Rushing Nose Tackle on Pass Downs, while the big Run Stuffer could play the Nose on Run Downs. It means that those Rookies who played last year like Foster, Johnson and players like Daniel Muir now have adequate experience to really back those players up.

03-30-2009, 10:16 AM
You guys are right, the DT position is fine. We'll stop the run and collapse the pocket consistently next year with Dawson as a starter. Sure.

03-30-2009, 12:25 PM
I get what you're saying, kxs, I do. I wouldn't say the DT position is fine nor would I call Keyunta Dawson a run stopper, for sure. If he is starting at DT this upcoming season, chances are that's not good. Especially playing against the Titans, Texans, and Jaguars twice a year. But he could be a quality back-up DT imo, or back to DE like Seamus noted so well.

The Colts need to draft at least one DT to have five in the fold. Especially considering Dan Muir couldn't stay healthy for all of last season.

Ideally the Colts could get two quality starting DTs, although I am fine with Antonio Johnson at NT. I like him and think he's going to get better, so I am fine with him at NT on regular downs (again noted so well by Seamus, as usual).

And I think, or I guess I am hoping, that the Colts will draft either Jerry or Hood if there are (hopefully) still on the board at the 27th overall pick.

You guys know I think next year has a great class of DTs, I definitely want to draft at least one then if not two.

03-30-2009, 12:36 PM
I think moving Dawson back to pass-rushing DE would be a great move Geo, since that is exactly what he was at Texas Tech. He was bad vs. the run then and he's worse now, because he is a pass-rushing DE.

I agree also on Johnson as I think he's an incredible steal from the Titans and IMO the NT position doesn't require as much as the UT position in this defense. Both he and Muir are strong enough and position their bodies well enough with the right leverage to stand up fairly consistently vs. run blockers, and will be able to protect the more undersized pass-rushing UT.

03-30-2009, 01:10 PM
I thought both Johnson and Muir showed slight improvement in their pass rushing at the end of last regular season, compared to when they first played on the field. Hopefully that improvement can continue as they get more than coaching from John Teerlink and co., than just less than a full season's worth.

I'm also wondering if Marcus Howard can see the field, same thing with Curtis Johnson. Great to have such talented pass-rushers in the fold just in case, and I'm sure Rychleski will love having them on his special teams.

The Colts should feature Curtis Johnson as much as possible this preseason I think, because when other teams - 4-3 or 3-4 - in the league realize how good this guy is, they'd be wise to offer a 5th or 6th round pick for him. I would, if I was with another team that needed another pass rusher.

Unfortunately for the guy he probably won't see many snaps on defense behind a budding beast in Howard and of course the Pro Bowl duo of Freeney and Mathis, barring an injury. Howard might have been considering for SLB if the Colts didn't already have Philip Wheeler, who is perfect for blitzing if that is something Coyer does want to do more of.

03-31-2009, 03:30 PM
2005- Probably the closest argument you'll have, the Colts drafted Marlin Jackson over Mike Patterson (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2005/draft/players/55821.html). I'd still rather have Jackson, but Patterson gets considered only because of how unlucky the Colts were at DT in '06-'08.

You may want to take another look at this draft Geo, as it probably highlights and begins the run of poor luck the Colts have had with DTs. In round 1, Luis Castillo is selected by the Chargers just one pick prior to the Colts' selection, then in round 2, the Falcons grab Jonathan Babineaux, again one pick prior to the Colts' selection. Both have gone on to become very good starters for their respective teams. This, in part, led to the Corey Simon signing IMO, and we all know the rest of the story from there.

04-29-2009, 10:35 AM
Given our draft and UDFA signings it appears JC was indeed just blowing smoke. I wonder how hard it was to keep a straight face during those Dawson comments.

I do think Dawson could do well if he was kicked back out to DE. That is what he played in college, and with more beef up front there's a good chance teams will pass more. That means more reps for Freeney and Mathis, which means both will need more breathers.

04-29-2009, 12:13 PM
Caldwell did not let you down! He's always there for you, like life insurance, lol.

In retrospect, I'm glad Tony Dungy retired. Don't get me wrong, he is the absolute best coach in the league in building a consistent winner in the regular season, there is no one active or retired I would rather have then him in that respect.

But he's awful in the playoffs because the postseason is the antithesis of who he is as a coach. The concept of taking it to another level in the postseason and for defeating his specific opponent that week, to make big plays to win the game, is the opposite of his coaching style. He failed year after year in Tampa and Indy, and if he does come back to coaching, will do the same at the next spot. Harsh but true, but he's still a Hall of Fame coaching candidate.

The only reason the Colts won it all in 2006 under him was because they were very very lucky with the match-ups. Kansas City, Baltimore, and Chicago all had predictable gameplans that worked in the Colts' favor, to keep Bob Sanders in the box as much as possible to help mask their poor run defense, and the Colts were able to pull off the amazing, historic win against New England in the AFCCG.

Of course for all we know Caldwell is just as bad in the playoffs and even worse in the regular season, but I'd take the chance to find out. To have a chance at winning some playoff games.

04-30-2009, 10:49 AM
Given our draft and UDFA signings it appears JC was indeed just blowing smoke. I wonder how hard it was to keep a straight face during those Dawson comments.

I do think Dawson could do well if he was kicked back out to DE. That is what he played in college, and with more beef up front there's a good chance teams will pass more. That means more reps for Freeney and Mathis, which means both will need more breathers.

I don't feel that he was blowing smoke. Jim Caldwell knows that Bill Polian's draft strategy can, at times, appear some what erratic. If he didn't like the pick then Polian mightn't have addressed DT until next year when the class is better. Jim Caldwell was commenting on the player who was then, and until Training Camp still is, is starting Under Tackle.

I still feel that Keyunta Dawson will contribute. I think he is the perfect successor to Raheem Brock. Here's how I see the Defensive Line.

Run Downs

LE: Raheem Brock/Keyunta Dawson
UT: Fili Moala/Eric Foster/Pat Kuntz
NT: Terrance Taylor/Antonio Johnson/Daniel Muir
RE: Dwight Freeney/Curtis Johnson

Pass Downs

LE: Robert Mathis/Marcus Howard
UT: Raheem Brock/Keyunta Dawson
NT: Fili Moala/Eric Foster/Pat Kuntz
RE: Dwight Freeney/Curtis Johnson

Now, we have 12 members of the Defensive Line, taking up 5 positions. I feel that at least 2, if not 3, won't make the 53. Right know, that is probably Kuntz (who could be cut just because his name will cause way too many faux pas), who was brought in simply as a Training Camp guy, Muir, because they won't bring 3 NT onto the 53, and possibly Curtis Johnson, because of all the remaining players he will contribute the least.

04-30-2009, 12:06 PM
I don't see Marcus Howard anywhere in your list. Do you expect him to move to LB?

And if complimenting Dawson on being able to play the pass and the run isn't blowing smoke then I don't know what is.

04-30-2009, 12:58 PM
I don't see Marcus Howard anywhere in your list. Do you expect him to move to LB?

And if complimenting Dawson on being able to play the pass and the run isn't blowing smoke then I don't know what is.

Howard is the backup to Mathis on pass downs according to Seamus.

04-30-2009, 01:27 PM
Woops. I don't know how I missed it, it's right there.

04-30-2009, 01:51 PM
See the way I look at it is that there are 5 positions the Colts use on the Defensive Line:

3 Down DE: This position, with Freeney as the starter, is able to rush the passer on every down (which is needed on the Tampa 2 to prevent play action) but also be able to tackle the Ball Carrier if he runs to the LT. Personally, I feel we don't have a real backup here, as I don't feel Curtis Johnson is the answer and feel that, unless Johnson impresses, the team should resign Josh Thomas. At the moment, similar to Hagler and Keiaho, with no-one taking interest in him, we should get him on the cheap.

2 Down NT: This is used to defend massively against the Run. There isn't much point on this player being on the field on Pass Downs as, by the nature of their build, their Pass Rushing skills aren't briliant. The two players here are Terrance Taylor and Antonio Johnson. I feel that Muir will be cut.

3 Technique: This position, which is key to the Tampa 2, is used to not only defend against the Run but also penetrate the pocket and rush the quarterback. The Colts haven't really ever invested in this position (at least not in the draft) and so the drafting of Moala was a welcome move. The backup here is going to be Eric Foster who played the position at times last year.

LE/DT: This position was used to pretty good effect last year means that the Colts are bigger at LE on Run Downs, but smaller and quicker at DT on Pass Downs. It allows the to be stouter against the Run and quicker against the Pass, a rare thing. Currently the starter is Raheem Brock, with, in my opinion, Keyunta Dawson backing him up.

LE: This position is a situational Pass Rusher. He comes in on 3rd Down, or Nickle and Dime Packages etc, and pins his ears back. Playing Mathis in this role allowed the Colts to keep him fresh and he had one of the best seasons of his career. The backup is Marcus Howard, who has very good pass rush skills but is too slight to play the Run.

04-30-2009, 02:38 PM
I would rather see Dawson at least tried out at your 3 down DE spot Seamus. I think he is a complete failure as a DT, but might do well backing up Freeney.

My general idea about the line would be

- Brock on 1st down and whatever down turns out to be a running down
- Mathis on 3rd down and whatever down turns out to be a passing down, with Howard the occasional sub

- Rotation of AJ and TT, usually on first two downs, running downs in general
- Moala on 3rd and long

- Usually Moala, Foster to sub
- Brock on 3rd and long

- Usually Freeney, Dawson or CuJo to sub

It is hard to lock any player into a set of downs. When we play Tennessee or Jacksonville 3rd down might be a running down more often than not. Likewise if we play any pass-happy teams with poor running games they might throw on us on 1st down. Especially if we are giving up the 5-10 yard completions like we did so much last year.

04-30-2009, 11:07 PM
I'd agree in giving Dawson a shot to take Josh Thomas' place as a rotational DE to help keep Freeney fresh.

That just might be his best shot at making the roster.