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Old 03-17-2009, 06:12 PM    (permalink
Seamus2602
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Default State of the Franchise


Starting tonight I will be going through each position, one by one, and dissecting what the Colts need to do in this Offseason, especially in the Draft. I will post what I feel they need in the position, what can be done to fix this need and what prospects the Colts could sign or draft. Bear with me, because it could take me a while but I plan on doing at least 2 positions a day.

Offense

Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End
Offensive Tackle
Offensive Guard
Offensive Centre

Defense

Defensive End
Defensive Tackle
Outside Linebacker
Middle Linebacker
Cornerback
Safety

Special Teams

Kicker
Punter
Return Game
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.

Last edited by Seamus2602 : 04-01-2009 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:12 PM    (permalink
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Quarterback


The Colts are obviously fine for the Starter in this position. The only question mark at Quarterback is over depth. When it was a possibility that Manning mightnít be fit to play the opening weeks of the Season, the Franchise entertained the notion that Sorgi wouldnít be good enough to step up if Manning wasnít there. It is a position that I think needs to be strengthened and could be upgraded in either this draft or next yearís draft. I personally think it should be this year. I donít think there is as much talent in the 2009 Class but Sorgiís contract is up after the 2010 Season. He will be an Unrestricted Free Agent and he will have to be resigned or replaced. If we draft a Rookie now, then he will have two years experience by the time Sorgiís contract is up. If we draft in 2010 then he will only have one yearís experience. We need to bite the bullet, draft a Quarterback in the 3rd or 4th Round.

Key Prospects

Nate Davis: Ball State University Ė Junior



I like Nate Davis. I think he could be very suited to our system. He played the spread Offense at Ball State University and played well in a system where he had to make multiple reads in quick succession. His down side is that he is relatively inexperienced and his technique could use work. He has good speed, a good size for Quarterback and can by himself time against the rush. His footwork and pocket presence could be better but all in all he is a very talented individual who will be a good player in the NFL. If Nate Davis is there by our pick in the 3rd Round I think we need to draft him.

Stephen McGee: Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University Ė Senior


With Stephen McGee you have to focus more on the good than the bad because if you focus too much on the bad then you mightnít like this guy. He only played a couple of games his Senior year due to an injury to his throwing arm. He also played in a Run first Offense in College. His upside though is very good. He is very athletically gifted, being a good size for the position, with good arm strength, the ability to take hits from defenders, as well as the ability to make yards with his legs. He is very good at the short and intermediate routes but also has the arm strength to be a threat from the deep ball. McGee is a risk, especially as he wonít be there by our pick in the 5th Round and we would have to use a 4th Rounder on him but he has impressed a lot of teams and if one of them is the Colts then he could be playing in Indy next year.

Sleeper Pick: Jason Boltus: Hartwick College Ė Senior


If the Colts donít like the idea of giving up such a high pick for a player that wonít start for a long time, they could give up a 7th on Jason Boltus. The fact that this Division III player is even being discussed as a potential Draft choice shows that he has exceptional physical tools. He has unbelievable arm strength, a strong build as well as decent accuracy on the short and intermediate routes. He has decent pocket presence and can gain yardage with his legs when needed. He does have his downside as well. He has a very slow release so much that his throw may have to be completely rebuilt, tries to force his throws and ultimately has never played against the level of competition that will await him in the NFL.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:40 PM    (permalink
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Running Back




The running game just didn’t happen in 2008. The Colts had 79.6 yards per game (31st in the League) as well as 3.4 yards per carry (a league worst). This obviously needs to be improved as a poor running game allowed teams to concentrate on stopping the passing game. Another significant problem the Colts had was running the ball on 3rd/4th and Short. Multiple times did the Colts try to run the ball on 3rd or 4th down and fail to get the necessary yards. This also needs to be fixed.

The difficulty though is deciding how to fix it. Some people have argued that a complete overhaul is needed and that the Colts need to retool their Running Backs while others, like me, take a more conservative approach in that only slight tweaks are needed to regain past form.

The key for me is getting Manning, the Running Backs and the Offensive Line all into Training Camp healthy. That is the key priority. Last year Manning and Ryan Lilja (the team’s best Run Blocker) both missed all of Preseason (Lilja missed the entire year). The effect was that when the Colts started to play, the rhythm between Manning and the Running Backs and also the rhythm between the Backs and the Line was off and the run game was completely out of sync and never got going. Take Addai, for example. You don’t go from 4.1 average, with over 1,000 yards and 12 Touchdowns to a 3.5 average, with less than 550 yards and only 5 Touchdowns. Addai, in one year, lost more than half his production. If he was in his 30s I would understand, but not as a 25 year old. The problem lies in the injuries and lack of preparation because of those injuries. That being said, improvements can be made.

Addai’s contract is up in 2010 and no moves should be made to replace him until after the 2010 season. In my opinion, Joseph Addai is our starter for at least the next two years. That rules out any talk of using our 1st on a Running Back. I personally wouldn’t use a Day 1 pick on a Running Back. Looking at the backups, I like what I see but we probably need a back to share multiple carries with Addai. I believe Mike Hart could be that back, but until he shows it we can’t assume that he will be. With Simpson, we have a fast Running Back who can back up Addai but doesn’t, in my opinion, have the ability to be an every down back should Addai get injured again. Simpson started way too many games for my liking. I like Lance Ball more with every bit of footage that I see of him. One of his big attributes that I like is that he is difficult to bring down. Clifton Dawson is a donkey and should be cut.

The other area I spoke of was the run game 3rd/4th and Short. The only thing worse than the Colts general running game was the running game when we really needed it. We had the least Clutch running game in the NFL. I was thinking at times, when the Colts could be 4th and Inches, that they should throw the ******* football. I put this down to three reasons. The line didn’t cover itself in glory all year long, we don’t have a bruising Running Back and we don’t have a Fullback. Last year our Fullback was Darrell Reid. We played an Under Tackle as our Fullback. It just didn’t work. In either the 7th Round of the draft, or from the undrafted Free Agents, the Colts need to pick up a real Blocking Fullback.


Update: On 22nd March, Clifton Dawson was cut following the signing of LB Adam Seward. This is no surprise. Personally, I think the Franchise should have cut Dawson a long time ago.

Key Prospects

Dominic Rhodes: Free Agent


The resigning of Dominic Rhodes could provide the Franchise the time it needs to properly evaluate Mike Hart. Rhodes is the only other back on the Colts Roster last year who could step up into more than a backup role and actually carry the load when called upon. Without resigning Rhodes the Colts may be forced to draft a powerful Running Back in the early rounds of this year’s draft, using a pick that could be used to strengthen other parts of the team. If Rhodes is brought back it will give the team more time to develop Mike Hart into Rhodes long term successor. The only problem is that Rhodes is 30 and signing him to a long term deal might put the team off.

Shonn Greene: University of Iowa – Junior


If the Colts don’t resign Rhodes, and don’t think Mike Hart is up to the task of spelling Addai, then Shonn Greene would be a Running Back that I would be willing to spend our 2nd Round pick on. His is a brilliant Running Back, in my opinion. He is a brilliant runner, finds his lane and hits it hard. He runs with a low centre of gravity and with his pads low, making it hard for defenders to bring him down. His downside is that he as only had one good year of College production and may be a one hit wonder. The fact that he is as dumb as hell is another problem. He doesn’t have outstanding speed and wouldn’t be able to use the Colt’s Stretch Plays to great effect but he could be a very effective between the Tackles Running Back. If the Colts are hoping to remove the one dimensional aspect of their Running Attack then Shonn Greene would be a good start.

Frank Summers: University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Senior


According to the rumours, Summers has impressed the Scout from the Colts at his Pro Day. He is the sort of Full Back who not only carries the ball but is a dominating Run Blocker. He would be the perfect addition to the team to help them sort out the mess that is the short yardage running game. The problem is that he mightn’t make it out of the draft. He would have to be drafted. The Steelers are apparently very keen on Summers and Indy couldn’t count on them not drafting him come their pick at the bottom of the 7th Round. He would have to be the Colt’s 7th Round choice, if they wanted him. This one pick, a 7th Rounder, could sort out our biggest Offensive problem from the 2008 season.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.

Last edited by Seamus2602 : 03-25-2009 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:22 AM    (permalink
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Default Nice thread

I like the idea of discussing 2 positions a day. Here is my take on it:


Quarterback:

First, we have not carried more than 2 QBs on the roster, ever. Plus, I think Manning has at least 5-6 years left in the tank, maybe 3-4 years at a high level. So, anyone we bring in right now would have to wait very likely another 5 years. Based on how good a job Howard Mudd has done, even with a bunch of rookies ending up in the top 5 in the "least number of sacks" category, I am confident Manning will not end his career with an injury. Even with any future bursa sac issues, he will always try to come back from it, not end his career with it. I would wait a year or two before getting another QB in the draft. I would have to think next year would be a better year for QB with better quality ones coming out.

In 2010, I feel we could get Jimmy Clausen in round 2 if he was available and declared after his junior year next year. Even Darryl Clark of Penn State in round 4 may not be a bad project. Both come from good programs.

Running Back:

This is a "make or break" year for Addai. I agree with your assessment of Lance Ball. He could be the reason why Bill Polian did not re-sign Rhodes right away. The one thing I expect from Caldwell that he will be unlike Dungy and be less stubborn to keep using the same personnel even if they do not do well. So, if Lance Ball starts doing even somewhat well, he will be inserted into the line up. Also, if on day 1 of the draft, if BP pulls the trigger on an RB, I think it will be a sign of 2 things: a) Dom Rhodes will not be back (mostly because of the mileage on his tires) and b) Mike Hart's recovery is slower than expected.

You forgot to mention Rashad Jennings of Liberty, who I think would be a better 2nd round RB at our pick than Shonn Greene if he gets to our pick, that is. Based on the size of RBs we have normally picked, both Rashad Jennings and Shonn Greene would be about 15 lbs bigger. The RB that can provide close to that size but has speed as well would be Andre Brown of NC State. I would not mind getting Andre Brown at all. In fact, that is the guy I want most in the 2nd round, if we do get an RB.

Last edited by chad72 : 03-18-2009 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:03 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad72 View Post
You forgot to mention Rashad Jennings of Liberty, who I think would be a better 2nd round RB at our pick than Shonn Greene if he gets to our pick, that is. Based on the size of RBs we have normally picked, both Rashad Jennings and Shonn Greene would be about 15 lbs bigger. The RB that can provide close to that size but has speed as well would be Andre Brown of NC State. I would not mind getting Andre Brown at all. In fact, that is the guy I want most in the 2nd round, if we do get an RB.
I also think that Rashad Jennings and Andre Brown would be a better picks than Shonn Greene. I just also think that 20 other teams just might think the same. On my board, I have Rashad Jennings as the first Third Tier Running Back in this years draft. I just don't think that either Jennings or Brown will reach the pick. Greene probably won't reach the pick but I think of the three he has the best chance of reaching us.

Tier 1 - 1st Round

Beanie Wells
Knowshon Moreno

Tier 2 - Bottom of 1st/Top of 2nd

Donald Brown
LeSean McCoy

Tier 3 - 2nd Round

Rashad Jennings
Andre Brown
Shonn Greene

Added note: I just looked at the Draft Order and there are 6 Teams, with 7 Picks between them, who could legitimately take a Running Back in the 2nd Round. Even if Brown and McCoy make it out of the 1st, we have to hope that at least 2 teams don't bite on a Running Back in order to just get Shonn Greene.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.

Last edited by Seamus2602 : 03-18-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:12 AM    (permalink
Seamus2602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad72 View Post
First, we have not carried more than 2 QBs on the roster, ever. Plus, I think Manning has at least 5-6 years left in the tank, maybe 3-4 years at a high level. So, anyone we bring in right now would have to wait very likely another 5 years. Based on how good a job Howard Mudd has done, even with a bunch of rookies ending up in the top 5 in the "least number of sacks" category, I am confident Manning will not end his career with an injury. Even with any future bursa sac issues, he will always try to come back from it, not end his career with it. I would wait a year or two before getting another QB in the draft. I would have to think next year would be a better year for QB with better quality ones coming out.
I am reminding of an old English proverb. "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst". We can hope that Manning will never miss a game through injury but we must prepare for a situation in case he does. And while I agree with you that the talent in later years is better, I feel we need to start now, just in case.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:58 AM    (permalink
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Sorry about the lack of an update, I have been rather busy but I will try to get another couple churned out over the Weekend.

Wide Receiver




The Colts Offense wasnít at its best last year and the Receivers played a part in that. Our top Receiver last year was Reggie Wayne, who had only 82 receptions. That just isnít good enough. He had 1,145 yards, which again isnít good enough and he only had 6 Touchdowns, which again isnít good enough. That was our top Receiver and his friends werenít any better. But all is not lost. Last year, in my opinion, was a blip year for the Offense. It never really got going. It was put under the cosh by the poor showing from the Running Game, as well as poor play by the Defense. Next year, if the Running Game gets going, the O Line stays healthy, and the Defense plays better then the Offense will click back into place and the Receivers will have better years.

Obviously, talking about the Wide Receivers means that Marvin Harrison must be mentioned. I wish we could have parted with him on better terms and it will be very strange seeing him play in a different uniform next year, but both financially and, in my opinion, on the pitch, Marvin moving on is good for the Colts. His last two years have been riddled with injuries and poor performances. His only notable game was the game against Baltimore. The problem with keeping him was that he cost too much money but he also claimed a larger part of Manningís attention. Manning threw the ball to Marvin Harrison like it was still 2004 and Harrison was one of the elite Receivers in the NFL. The problem was that Harrison didnít have the legs anymore and Manning was wasting a lot of throws at him. By moving him on it means that Manning doesnít have his Go-To guy anymore and it means that he will forge a stronger bond with some of the younger Receivers. Letting Harrison go was important to the development of Gonzalez and Garcon.

I donít think we need to replace Marvin Harrison. There is the chance that Bill Polian may take a Receiver in the 1st Round but I feel it will be a wrong move. I believe that Gonzalez played his better football on the outside, not in the slot. If we are drafting a new 3rd Receiver then we need to draft a Slot Receiver, not a Stretch the field type. We mightnít have to even draft a Slot Receiver if Bill Polian is confident that either Roy Hall or Pierre Garcon can step in and play the Slot. The Coaches are fond of both players so Bill Polian might wait a year before pulling the trigger on a new Receiver. Neither GiguŤre nor Smith are expected to contribute anything this season and almost certainly wonít make the 53 Man Roster while Smith isnít even likely to make the 8 Man Practice Squad.

Key Prospects

Before anyone complains, I havenít included every prospect the Colts could draft. I have only done the more likely ones in each round.

Marvin Harrison: Free Agent


There has been increased chatter about this. Both Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell have stated that they could bring Marvin Harrison back. While I would prefer to draw a line under the sand and move on, if they could bring Harrison back on the cheap, with an incentive laden deal, then I would be happy to have him back. I donít believe we should bring him back on a flat contract but if it was a deal depending on his yards, touchdowns etc then I would be happy.

Percy Harvin: University of Florida Ė Junior


The most obvious person to draft in the 1st Round would be Percy Harvin. Harvin could contribute in multiple areas and could play both out wide and in the slot if the Franchise isnít sure about what Gonzalezís role is. He would also provide more depth at Kick Returner and give Ray Rychleski more options in the Return Game. Harvin has brilliant vision, who can make players miss in the open field and is good at finding running lanes. His is good at going both over the middle and along the sideline, with both good hands and a strong frame, despite his size, as well as rare straight line speed. My concern with Percy Harvin is that some very good Receivers in Urban Meyerís system havenít transitioned to the NFL all that well. As a Receiver, Harvin could take a year or two to transition and thus not contribute straight away.

Possible 1st Round: Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt

Juaquin Iglesias: University of Oklahoma Ė Senior


I like Iglesias. I believe he is the perfect Slot Receiver. He will never have the speed to stretch the field but he is good going over the middle and has a very good pair of hands. He has very good agility and can get quick separation from defenders. Malcolm Kelly was drafted in the 2nd Round last year and Iglesias caught more passes in Kellyís Senior Year than Kelly did. I believe that Wayne and Gonzalez out wide, with Iglesias as the Slot and Clark as Tight End would provide Peyton Manning with all the weapons he needs.

Possible 2nd Round: Mike Thomas and Mohamed Massaquoi

Ramses Barden: California Polytechnic State University Ė Senior


Ramses Barden is a very different Receiver to anything Indy has. Currently, the sorts of Receiver that the Colts have are all around 6 even and so wonít win any jump balls by themselves. Ramses Barden would provide a very good Red Zone threat and could be a Touchdown machine but I donít like the idea of drafting him. He would have to be a high pick, probably a 3rd Round pick, and will be a one dimensional player. He doesnít have the speed to go against Corners on the outside nor the build to repeatedly go over the middle. He is a poor manís Kenny Britt and I donít like the idea of the Colts drafting Britt either.

Possible 3rd and 4th Round: Austin Collie, Johnny Knox and Mike Wallace

Sammie Stroughter: Oregon State University Ė Senior


I am quite fond of Sammie Stroughter but the problem is that he has jumped up draft boards in recent weeks. A few weeks ago it looked like Stroughter mightnít get drafted or would be a 7th Round pick but now seems to have jumped to the bottom of the 5th, top of the 6th type of pick. He would be a very good Slot Receiver, who has good hands, runs good routes and has the perfect size, speed and strength for the Slot.

Possible 5th and 6th Round: Demetrius Byrd

Jamarko Simmons: Western Michigan University Ė Senior


Similar to Stroughter, Simmons is a prototypical Slot Receiver, with the good size, separation, hands and strength. Simmons impressed a lot of teams with his hands at his Pro Day and if the team donít take someone like Iglesias or Stroughter then Simmons could be a good pick in the 7th Round.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:34 AM    (permalink
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Tight End




This is the only position that wonít have attention paid to it this season. In terms of both starters and depth, the Colts have everything they need.

Dallas Clark in the last two years has showed that he is among the elite pass catching Tight Ends in the NFL. Increasingly he has become Manningís favourite target as he automatically creates a mismatch. He is faster than any Linebacker, or Safeties (and even some Corners last year), but too strong for Safeties and Corners as well. That combined with his excellent hands means that it is very difficult to defend against Dallas Clark.

Gijon Robinson came on leaps and bounds in the latter part of the 2008 season, playing out of the H-Back position. Robinson needs to pay a bit more attention but is a good blocker and has a decent pair of hands which will give Manning either an extra blocker or an extra Receiver on any play.

The Colts drafted two Corners last year, Jacob Tamme and Tom Santi. Until he got injured early on I was very impressed with Santiís play and both players will provide decent backup for the Colts going into 2009.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:37 PM    (permalink
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Offensive Tackle




The Coltsí Offensive Tackle situation isnít what it should be but is fixable. My take on the Coltsí Offensive Line is that we have two Right Tackles and two really poor backups. I feel that Tony Ugoh is still the long term successor to Ryan Diem. We need, in a year or two, a new Left Tackle. Ryan Diemís contract is up in 2011, but the last year is voidable by the team. If he was cut after the 2010 season, at no cost to the Cap (if there is a cap then), then a new Left Tackle would be needed, rather than a Right Tackle. At the start of the 2011 Season Ryan Diem will be 32 and probably starting to wane. I like Diem as a player, but the team, and especially the Offensive Line, are trying to get younger and at Right Tackle I donít think that Diem offers a hell of a lot more than Tony Ugoh.

Ugoh has his critics. My major problem with him is that he is quite injury prone. In terms of his skills, I think he has come on leaps and bounds as a Pass Blocker. In his two seasons with the Colts, Ugoh has a better Sack per Game ratio, and Sack per Pass ratio, than Joe Thomas. Iím not suggesting that he is anywhere near the quality of Thomas but as a Pass Blocker, Ugoh doesnít give up too many Sacks. Ugoh is also a very good Run Blocker. The Coltsí Running Game had a 4.27 average to the Left hand side last year, compared to the 2.85 average on the Right Hand side. The Stats speak for themselves. Ugoh doesnít give up many Sacks and Indy run the ball better going to his side. That sort of dominating Run Blocking should be on the Right Hand side, and while he didnít give up many sacks, Ugoh was still put under pressure by edge rushers and as such would be better on the Right Hand side.

I donít like either of the Coltsí backup Tackles, and clearly neither does the Coaches. The two backup Tackles are Michael Toudouze and Corey Hilliard. When Ugoh was hurt last year, Charlie Johnson replaced him at Tackle, not Toudouze. The Franchise clearly doesnít expect much out of these two and they should be either relegated to the Practice Squad or cut all together. In response though, Indy needs to find at least one good backup in this yearís draft. They need someone who can play both Right and Left Tackle.

Key Prospects

William Beatty: University of Connecticut Ė Senior


If the Franchise likes the idea of shifting Ugoh to Right Tackle, sooner rather than later, then they will have to find a replacement Left Tackle. William Beatty is a very good prospect, who will fit very well in the Coltsí Zone Blocking system. He is a very good Pass Blocker and has blocked for UConnís successful Running Game. Beatty could very easily come in a Left Tackle, allowing Ugoh to shift to Right Tackle and the Franchise saves nearly $2.6 Million dollars from Ryan Diem, more than enough to sign Beatty.

Troy Kropog: Tulane University Ė Senior


Even if the Colts donít decide to replace Diem this year, they will need to invest in the depth at Offensive Tackle. Troy Kropog is a very strong, athletic Offensive Tackle out of Tulane. He has very good footwork, sets up blocks at the second level during the run game and a very good pass protector. Most analysts say he could add a bit of weight, but he is probably the optimum size in a zone blocking system and should only add weight if he is sure it wonít impact his speed and agility. Another weakness is that he has a history of recurring shoulder injuries, one of which has stopped him lifting during both the Combine and his Pro Day. Kropog would be a good acquisition who could eventually take over from Ugoh after Diem is cut but he wouldnít be able to play straight away and if the Franchise are only interested in gaining a depth player then there isnít much difference between the value of Kropog and Xavier Fulton but Kropog would have to be drafted a Round higher.

Xavier Fulton: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ė Senior


In my opinion, Xavier Fulton will be ideal for the Colts. He is a player that can play both Left and Right Tackle and is also a player who will excel in a Zone Blocking System. He is athletic, a very good pass blocker as well as a run blocker who sets his blocks up quickly. He has durability concerns as he tore his ACL that kept him out for most of 2005 and all of 2006, while a shoulder sprain dogged him in 2008 but he has a lot of talent upside. Potentially, Fulton could backup the current partnership of Ugoh and Diem with the idea that in two or three years he could start. I would be very happy if the Colts were to get Xavier Fulton as he will be well worth a third or fourth round pick on.

Andrew Gardner: Georgia Institute of Technology Ė Senior


Andrew Gardner would be a decent addition to the Franchise. He, despite quickness and a thinner build, plays very strong. He good arm size and his good at keeping defenders on the outside. He is very good in the Run Game, blocking for Tashard Choice for a number of years and he also finishes his blocks. His problems are that he probably lacks the athleticism to play Left Tackle and will only be a backup at Right Tackle, meaning if Ugoh gets hurt then we still have no-one to cover the Left hand side.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:21 PM    (permalink
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Default Wide Receiver Position

Wide Receiver: I agree, the slot is the position we need to draft for. You forgot to mention 2 Penn State wideouts - Derrick Williams and Deon Butler. He had a Mike Hart like combine and his stock dropped a bit but unlike Mike Hart, he made up for it at the Pro Day.

Mike Hart had 4.7 40 at the combine last year and did not fare much better at the Pro Day but BP saw the entire body of work and drafted him in the 6th round. Derrick Williams had the flu at the combine and ran the 40 even though his agent advised him not to, he ran 4.58. Then the Pro Day came and he ran 4.37 or 4.38, much better. He has done extremely well in the KR/PR role as well. With the time it takes rookie wideouts to flourish in the Colts sytem (3 years at least), I'd be happy to have someone like Derrick Williams if he does fall to our 3rd round pick, they can at least be serviceable as a KR/PR (nodding after seeing how Santonio Holmes helped the Steelers in the punt returning for special teams). If we are going to get a project, I might as well do so in round 3 or later, not on day 1. His teammate Deon Butler is as fast and has been more productive at Penn State too but the knock on him is his size. Deon Butler seems to have better hands than Derrick Williams but is projected to go somewhere in rounds 4-5.

Johnny Knox and Mike Wallace are on my radar though I would have to say Knox has been more consistent throughout the year and has better hands. Mike Wallace though has faced better competition and came along towards the end of his season and has probably done more KR/PR as well. But Mike Wallace, to me, is more of a post route guy and Knox is the more polished route runner we can use in the slot.

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Old 03-26-2009, 02:40 PM    (permalink
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Default Tight End Position

Tight Ends: I feel that the more the Colts use 2 TE formations, the better off we will be and less predictable we will be as an offense. We have Tom Santi & Gijon Robinson for the underneath routes and Dallas Clark & Jacob Tamme that can stretch the field more as a TE. Once we start having good solid production week in and week out from the 2nd TE, it opens up a lot of things for the other options. As long as our 2nd TE can hold on to the ball (cough Utecht, cough:) ), we should be fine there. The TEs along with the RBs become our best receiving underneath options when we play the best defenses in the playoffs.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:27 AM    (permalink
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Interior Linemen






The Colts Interior Line didnít have the greatest year, mostly due to the fact that it was nonexistent for half the Season. At one stage, against Minnesota, when Charlie Johnson was playing Left Tackle, the Colts Interior Line was Jamey Richard, Steve Justice and Dan Federkeil. At that time they had a combined 2 Starts between the 3 of them, both of which had come the week before against Chicago. The Interior Line the year before of Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday and Jake Scott had all started every game. Lilja was PUP all year, Scott was having a Pro Bowl calibre season in Tennessee and Jeff Saturday was injured for a quarter of the Season. The team regularly used Rookies in the Interior Line this year, and in the end, in my opinion, it has paid off. The team gave up 9 Sacks in the first 5 games and gave up 5 in the last 11. In total, the Offensive Line gave up 14 Sacks, equalling the best performance in Pass Protection for the line in the entire time that Peyton Manning has been at the Franchise. Unfortunately, the same canít be said for the Run Game, which suffered this season, especially up the Middle.

Ryan Lilja, who is probably the teamís best Run Blocker, missed the entire Season on the PUP list. The Franchise didnít send out hopeful signs when they restructured Liljaís contract to a situation where if he doesnít play then he only gets a minimum salary. The signal I am getting from the Franchise is that Liljaís recovery isnít going as scheduled. The team resigned Jeff Saturday this Offseason and it was a good move, even if they overpaid slightly. The team is better with Saturday in it than out of it and he will be able to contribute while the younger players like Richard and Justice get experience. The other starter is Mike Pollak, who I felt played very well this season, despite missing parts of Training Camp, Preseason and the start of the Season. If the team can get those three players into Training Camp healthy, then the Interior Line should be back to its best for the 2009 Season.

While the Starters arenít as good as previous seasons, the Depth in the Interior Line is better than it has been in a long time. Charlie Johnson started every game for the Colts this year and if Ryan Lilja isnít fit to play this season then Johnson will start at Left Guard. Johnson has played extensively the last two seasons as he can play at least four, if not all five, positions on the line. I would prefer the Franchise to draft an Offensive Tackle, though, so that Johnson can focus purely on the Interior Line jobs. Along with him are Jamey Richard and Dan Federkeil, both of which had extensive playing time this year and both played very well, in my opinion. Federkeil is another player who can play multiple positions and can fill in at Tackle if there was no one else to play there. Due to injuries along the line, Richard played from the start and played very well. Both these players provide very good backup. The other player is Steve Justice. Justice, I feel, is more of a pure Centre than any of the other backups and as such had limited opportunity to play. Still, going into 2009, I am happy about the Starters for the Colts as well as the backups, and as such, canít see any investment here this Offseason.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:02 PM    (permalink
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A couple of points I disagreed with in skimming through this thread:

- Why would the Colts ever invest in a Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno type? The price is way too high and the players don't fit the system, plus any RB that would be coming in now would be a backup. IMO the only RBs worth considering are (maybe) LeSean McCoy and then mid round guys like Kory Sheets.

- Percy Harvin is an obvious 1st round pick for the Colts? When did this happen? He's not a refined route runner, has had durability issues, and is mostly upper body in terms of mass, IMO those last 2 things add up to an injury waiting to happen. I really don't like any of the "1st round WRs" this year outside of Maclin and Crabtree (maybe Nicks depending if you consider him one), they all seem to have their flaws, and not small ones.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:30 AM    (permalink
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Firstly, sorry about the lack of updates.

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Originally Posted by Dam8610 View Post
Why would the Colts ever invest in a Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno type? The price is way too high and the players don't fit the system, plus any RB that would be coming in now would be a backup.
They wouldn't. I was pointing out how I saw the current Running Back draft board, with Beanie and Moreno being 1st Round guys. I don't see McCoy as a pick either as it would cost a 1st Round pick to get him as he wouldn't be there when the Colts pick in the Second.

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Originally Posted by Dam8610 View Post
Percy Harvin is an obvious 1st round pick for the Colts? When did this happen? He's not a refined route runner, has had durability issues, and is mostly upper body in terms of mass, IMO those last 2 things add up to an injury waiting to happen.
I never said he was an obvious pick for Indy, just the most obvious 1st Round WR. Harvin has more physical tools, even if they are a bit raw, than any Receiver in this draft. I don't like the idea of going Wide Receiver in the 1st (I would prefer retooling the D with the first couple of picks), but if we do then it should be Percy Harvin.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:39 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus2602 View Post
They wouldn't. I was pointing out how I saw the current Running Back draft board, with Beanie and Moreno being 1st Round guys. I don't see McCoy as a pick either as it would cost a 1st Round pick to get him as he wouldn't be there when the Colts pick in the Second.
Fair enough, I saw that board and assumed it was a board for the Colts rather than an overall board. I agree with pretty much everything there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus2602 View Post
I never said he was an obvious pick for Indy, just the most obvious 1st Round WR. Harvin has more physical tools, even if they are a bit raw, than any Receiver in this draft. I don't like the idea of going Wide Receiver in the 1st (I would prefer retooling the D with the first couple of picks), but if we do then it should be Percy Harvin.
Personally I'd prefer Hakeem Nicks to Harvin, for reasons previously stated. Physical gifts don't mean much if they're on the sideline, and fly routes only last for so long before the DB starts giving huge cushions. IMO Harvin is going to spend the first part of his NFL career, assuming he stays healthy, learning the WR position. By the time he became a good WR, Peyton Manning would definitely be on the back end of his career.
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If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, then clutch is where failure meets luck.

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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Default I have a problem with Hakeem Nicks as well

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Personally I'd prefer Hakeem Nicks to Harvin, for reasons previously stated. Physical gifts don't mean much if they're on the sideline, and fly routes only last for so long before the DB starts giving huge cushions.
His low wonderlic score will be a concern for BP plus the fact that he put on 15 lbs after the combine tells me he is not disciplined enough, two big red flags. If he drops to the early part of the second round and we trade down, I might consider him then. Even if we trade down and I find myself choosing between Brian Robiskie and Hakeem Nicks, Brian Robiskie will be a safer bet. Hakeem Nicks will be like a Anquan Boldin, safe big hands, yards after catch, and hard to bring down but he will not stretch the field like the Anthony Gonzalez that we already have but the 15 lbs, more than the wonderlic score concerns me.

I do feel BP will give Larry Coyer some foundation stones to build around, a solid LB or DT is bound to happen on day 1.

I feel that the true value for WRs that can stretch the field as well as play the slot like Johnny Knox, Deon Butler etc. will be found on day 2 in this WR deep class. Derrick Williams had a bad combine because of the flu but he had lousy QBs throwing to him at Penn State, will not be the case with the Colts:). Plus, he provides us the instant upgrade at KR/PR and we won't have to burn a round 1 pick on him as well (he will be round 2 or round 3 material, IMO) and be able to groom him at WR.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:29 PM    (permalink
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My personal preference of Nicks to Harvin was meant to be more of an indictment of Harvin than it was an endorsement of Nicks.
__________________


The problem arises when people use statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support instead of illumination.

If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, then clutch is where failure meets luck.

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:42 AM    (permalink
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Default O-linemen

O-linemen: I think the Colts were effective running to the outside of Ugoh than Diem not because of Ugoh or Diem but because of effective guard pulling that happens when runs happen to the outside. This meant that our left guard that does the pulling while Ugoh gets to the next level did a better job than the right guard that does the pulling while Diem gets to the next level.

Our left guard was Charlie Johnson for the most part when Ugoh was in there and when Charlie Johnson was playing left tackle, it was Jamey Richard, if I am not wrong. Mike Pollak was the one at right guard and has to be singled out as the biggest disappointment among the rookies because he was picked at the end of round 2 while Jamey Richard was picked at the end of round 7. Plus there were more holding calls on Mike Pollak's end as well. The right side is where we need the most help.

Like Seamus said, the right guard will be solidified with Lilja's return and I do believe Charlie Johnson belongs on that right side where he played well while substituting for Ryan Diem in SB XLI (though he is versatile enough to play anywhere). CJ, once he and Lilja man the right guard, Jamey Richard and Mike Pollak should be given more experience at the left guard position, IMO.

However, from a salary cap point of view for Ryan Diem and from an injury point of view for Tony Ugoh, we need someone who can play both right tackle and left tackle if one of the above two has to be let go eventually.

Seamus has already touched on the 3 candidates I would not mind the Colts pick - William Beatty, Troy Kropog and Xavier Fulton. However one of them, William Beatty would be a top of round 2 pick and unless we trade down, I do not see the Colts going for him. The others, I can see the Colts go for.

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Old 04-01-2009, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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Defensive Ends




The Indianapolis Colts currently start 3 Defensive Ends. On Run Downs, Raheem Brock and Dwight Freeney both play, while on Pass Downs, Brock shifts inside and Robert Mathis starts at Left End. This system allows the team to be heavier on the Defensive Line against the Run Game while also allowing Mathis to reserve his energy and be very fresh on Pass Downs. It was one of the reasons that Robert Mathis was so effective this year, especially in Clutch moments.

The Colts are in a position of strength when it comes to DE. Of the three positions they have all three starters, and if they draft Interior Defensive Linemen, potentially 2 of the backups.

Freeney plays in a certain way for the Colts, at times a way that causes some people to criticise him. On nearly every play, Freeney will go after the Quarterback. The reason behind this is that the Tampa 2 is very susceptible to Play Action. Being a Bend-Donít-Break philosophy means that the Defense must be willing to give up an extra yard, or so, on Run Plays but not give up any big play due to Play Action. Last year, Freeney was backup up by Josh Thomas, who is still a Free Agent and could be resigned by the Franchise. Another backup is Curtis Johnson, a player who, in my opinion, is more suited to playing 3-4 OLB than 4-3 DE, isnít of good enough quality to backup Freeney if he was to get injured again. Other than that the Colts donít have a Defensive End who is able to play every down. If the Colts donít resign Josh Thomas then I feel they need to draft his replacement.

With Mathis the Colts have an excellent Pass Rusher. This year, the Franchise decided to start Raheem Brock on Run Downs and keep Mathis fresh for Pass Downs and it had tremendous effect. The Franchise will almost certainly use a similar tactic next year. Behind Mathis, in a similar style of play, is Marcus Howard, a former Georgia Linebacker. Howard is currently to slight to be an every down End in the NFL but has very good pass rushing skills and is perfect to back Mathis up on Pass Downs.

Raheem Brock provides a very important role, as he is one the field on almost every down, both as a Run Stopping Left End and a Pass Rushing Under Tackle. The suits Brock perfectly as he is both two slow to play an every down Left End and two slight to play an every down Defensive Tackle. Last year, Brock was backed up by Darrell Reid, a player in a similar vein who could play both Left End and Under Tackle. Reid had some off the field issues and wasnít resigned and will be playing 5 Technique next year in Denver so Indy need to find his replacement. In my opinion, his replacement is already on the Roster. Keyunta Dawson is a similar style player but due to the retirement of Quinn Pitcock, and the waiving of Ed Johnson, Dawson was pressurised into playing Defensive Tackle permanently. If the Franchise can draft at least one, possibly two, Defensive Tackles in this yearís Draft, the Dawson will be able to play that dual role and eventually replace Brock, whoís Salary is very expensive.

Josh Thomas: Free Agent


The key thing that Josh Thomas has over any other backup Defensive End on the roster is that he could play every down. Neither Brock or Dawson are fast enough to play Pass Downs on the outside and Howard is too small to play Run Downs, and I donít believe Curtis Johnson is good enough and he will probably not make the 53, so the resigning of Josh Thomas would give the Colts the backup player for Dwight Freeney.

Henry Melton: University of Texas at Austin Ė Senior


I feel that Henry Melton brings everything the Colts need to complete their Defensive End team. Melton isnít an elite talent but unlike other people he isnít a one dimensional player either. He can play every down. He can play both the Run and the Pass. Melton was long overshadowed by Brian Orakpo and is severely underrated. The Colts could get this excellent player with as low as a 6th Round Pick.
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Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:46 PM    (permalink
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Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm going to put this on hold. I have been concentrating on other things and haven't been able to get the updates going. If anyone else wants to finish it off feel free.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Carlin

In Football the object is for the Field General to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the Defence by hitting his Receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the Blitz, even if he has to use the Shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemyís Defensive Line.

In Baseball the object is to go home and be safe.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:36 PM    (permalink
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First off, this is a super thread, Seamus. Amazing effort. I've put off reading it because I wanted to really digest it, which I'm going to start now.

Just wanted to say something about Joseph Addai, thought this would be the best place for it. Maybe it's distance from the season, but I think we've been overly harsh on Addai. Or at least I think I have been.

Obviously what Seamus said rings true, the injuries and the shuffling around on the offensive line these last two years have hurt the Colts' running game as a whole. The Giants have had the same offensive line for about 40 or more consecutive starts, hopefully the Colts are now over the injury bug and can get back to that type of consistency. Also helps that Howard Mudd isn't coming off a serious knee injury like last year, I think was the case. Lilja ... last year was a crummy year for the Colts, with what they had to deal with.

All of that at OL and TE plus Peyton's knee, it limited some of the playbook. Especially for some running plays that suit the Colts, like the stretch play. It's such a great play because, besides the great play action potential, it gives a quick back the chance to use his vision and cutting ability to deliver an effective gain.

But back to Addai, I think we've been a bit too harsh. Love the guy and now I'm thinking the Colts should sign him after his rookie deal ends. Again, I've been thinking about this. Sure, we knew when he came in from college that he had an upright running style and that contributed to him getting banged up a bit. And he'll probably never be a superstar.

But he can really play and he does a lot of things so right. For as much as he's been banged up, he's missed 5 games in 3 years - he probably could have played in 1 or 2 of those games if the Colts weren't cautious with him - and has been ready for the playoffs.

The Colts might even get more out of him. He could easily catch 60-70 balls a season and be very productive as a receiving threat out of the backfield, it suits his game. If the Colts would just pass the ball to him more, I think they would have more 3rd and shorts and 1st downs to show for it. Addai can make the first guy miss when he has the chance, and is such a great slasher. If anything he might cut too much, when he manages to break free to the second/third level. Obviously he's an elite pass protector amongst RBs, which is so important as Peyton is the franchise.

I think if the OL can get back to being a gelled consistent unit and Peyton is healthy, Addai should bounce back just fine with two more great years. And if so, the Colts should probably re-sign him depending on the finances at the time.

(I would say Tony Ugoh is the biggest priority. Also there will have to be a decision made down the line about Reggie Wayne, who will be a 33-year old free agent in 2012. Maybe a 2 or 3-year extension to his existing contract might be ideal, especially to pay him a little more nowadays as he's a Top 5 receiver in the league.)
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:00 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Geo View Post

But back to Addai, I think we've been a bit too harsh. Love the guy and now I'm thinking the Colts should sign him after his rookie deal ends. Again, I've been thinking about this. Sure, we knew when he came in from college that he had an upright running style and that contributed to him getting banged up a bit. And he'll probably never be a superstar.

But he can really play and he does a lot of things so right. For as much as he's been banged up, he's missed 5 games in 3 years - he probably could have played in 1 or 2 of those games if the Colts weren't cautious with him - and has been ready for the playoffs.

The Colts might even get more out of him. He could easily catch 60-70 balls a season and be very productive as a receiving threat out of the backfield, it suits his game. If the Colts would just pass the ball to him more, I think they would have more 3rd and shorts and 1st downs to show for it. Addai can make the first guy miss when he has the chance, and is such a great slasher. If anything he might cut too much, when he manages to break free to the second/third level. Obviously he's an elite pass protector amongst RBs, which is so important as Peyton is the franchise.

BP, in the Polian corner after the 2007 Chargers playoff loss, told about Kenton Keith in that pass he failed to catch that resulted in an INT close to the end zone in the Chargers playoff game "if it is near you, you have to catch it." Now, KK is gone.

Forward it by 1 year, another Chargers playoff loss, BP said "Addai could have hit the hole faster and we would have had the first down on the 2nd down play" before the infamous 3rd & 2.

Now, I wonder about Addai's future as a starter. The least I expect is Addai demoted if he continues the play of last year in the first few games, to be honest. I am not picking on him, his burst is just not there like his first year and a half. It could also be because he was never a full time starter at LSU, so making him a starter with 80% of the load in his second year was the biggest mistake the Colts made.

Our first pick will either address the run offense or run defense. I am fine with either way as long as one of them is addressed - so OT, RB or DT, LB is fine with me.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:03 PM    (permalink
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I wouldn't compare a CFL punk to a 1st round pick, different situations. Especially when the 1st round pick was instrumental in helping win a Super Bowl in 2006.

Now granted, Polian may be already decided/leaning on not re-signing Addai once he is an UFA.
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Last edited by Geo : 04-14-2009 at 01:10 PM.
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