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  1. 60 likes
    On January 24, 2017, the Colts Forum lost a treasured member of its family, @Gavin Brandon Lee Marshall, known as Gavin to us, was a long-time member (Senior Member and Hall of Famer). A diehard Colts, Cubs, and Pacers fan, he was active on the forum nearly every day, sharing his thoughts and insights. He had over 25,000 posts and more than 7000 likes. He made us laugh. We learned so much from him; his contributions will be missed. We are not aware of the cause of death, but regardless of the cause, he was taken from us too soon and we'll miss him. So glad Gavin (Brandon) got to see the Cubs win the World Series. And he shared his joy with us. Now he can celebrate with Harry Caray and all other Cubs greats. RIP Gavin. We miss you. Please use this space to share your remembrances of our brother Gavin. Visitation and Funeral services: Tuesday, 1/31/17 at Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory -- Lahm Chapel 211 East State Street, Pendleton, IN Visitation: 12 to 2pm Funeral service: 2pm Donations can be made to: Spin Bifida Association of Indiana https://www.sbain.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.general Additional information can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/brandon-marshall-obituary?pid=1000000183728942 Many thanks to \m/colts\m/ and Nadine for their assistance with writing this.
  2. 42 likes
    Jesus Christ, one post in, this turns into every other thread from the last three months. OP: I'm looking forward to next season. Everyone else: Yeah, but Pagano's still the coach. OP: I hope the new GM brings in some good players. Everyone else: Won't matter, Pagano's still the coach. OP: I think cucumbers taste better pickled. Everyone else: Makes no difference as long as Pagano's the coach. SMH... It's gonna be a loooong offseason.
  3. 40 likes
    My deepest sympathy to Brandon's family. He was smart, opinionated, passionate, funny, and kind. The forum will miss him terribly. He was an important part of this band of very talkative Colts fans, our Colts family. RIP Gavin, we wish you were still here.
  4. 38 likes
    Press conference is set for tomorrow. The time is TBD.
  5. 28 likes
    Seriously, is there a better dude in the NFL right now? Andrew Luck is the type of guy that can get absolutely rocked on an out-of-bounds late hit, and still get up congratulating his opponent on a great play, while every other player in this game would be screaming at the refs for a flag. Maybe it's because I'm up and drinking, but I don't think there's been a more genuine person to play this game. Andrew Luck is the type of person who would befriend the weird, Dungeons & Dragons kid in high school, rather than going along with everybody else in making them feel like crap. Being born from an ex-NFL Quarterback, this is a guy that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He could have looked down on everyone he's ever met and turned into Johnny Manziel, but instead he turned into the amazingly humble human being that he is today. I freaking love the guy. As much as I loved Peyton, I can't honestly say that I ever saw him being as real as Andrew Luck. He was great, and his media personality is top notch, but that's all it has ever seemed to me; a media personality. Andrew Luck actually seems real. How many number one picks have run a book club? And not just a LeBron James "I love to read" photo op kind of book club. This is a dude that truly has a hobby, and actually wants to get others to enjoy a constructive hobby beyond the superficial kind that a lot of us tend to take up. While every other elite QB to play the game graduated college with a degree in communications or general studies, Andrew Luck got a degree in architectural design. That itself tells me a lot about the guy. Anyway, there's not much of a point to this thread other than to say how much I appreciate our current signal caller. I've been getting bummed out by the divisiveness of our nation of late. There's too much hate going on. My own group of friends couldn't even have a Super Bowl party without getting in to a massive political debate during the third quarter. It's starting to really mess with my state of mind. Andrew Luck is the type of person to transcend all political, social, and cultural differences. He is a genuine human being, and the type of person that I would like to strive to be. I freaking love the guy.
  6. 28 likes
    NFLFan reached out to Brandon's mom. We posted this thread with her permission. She and \m/COLTS\m/ became concerned when Gavin wasn't around for several days. All, the Colts are sending flowers to Gavin's Visitation from all of us here on the forums. We wanted his family to know how much he will be missed.
  7. 28 likes
    Just wanted to be first in with a fire Chris Ballard thread. News cycles are so short these days...you gotta get in early. Mods, please pin this.... What? Too soon?
  8. 28 likes
    Remember when it was SOOOOOO obvious that Raye was going to get the job because he and chuck are buddies? Bon apetit!
  9. 27 likes
    Apologies to everyone..... I've been away all day and night with family. Been loosely monitoring things by phone to see what the new GM has to say. Then, on the long drive home tonight, I took another look and saw the terrible words. "Remembering Gavin" What a punch in the stomach. What a kick to the...... well, you know.... I'd like to share that while Gavin's body ultimately took his life, one part of his body was functioning beautifully until his last breath. Our friend Gavin had a great heart! He was a friend to us all. I won't pretend that I was as close to Gavin as other's here clearly were. I knew he was sick, but did not know any details, and it didn't feel right for me to inquire. But we did communicate a fair amount off-line in our own odd way. Because I'm on the west coast and often awake late and I'm three hours ahead of you good folks, I'd often see Gavin's name listed as being on-line when it was midnight or 1am here in California. 3a or 4a Indiana time. I knew he was somewhat young, so being up late is one thing, but that late said something wasn't right. He told me it wasn't a work thing. He once shared with me that his dream job was to be a member of the media and cover sports for a living. For that reason and others, Gavin was among my favorites here. And it appears he was with almost all of you. I'm not surprised. Gavin was a good guy. A really good guy. He put up with me when I was at my worst (hard to believe, I know!) and almost always kept his cool when things would get a little sideways here. He was easy to like, and I did. I really liked him and will really miss him. I've read some on Spina Bifida, but science is one of my weakest subjects, so I don't pretend to fully understand. All I know now is that Gavin is pain free. He can now run free and have fun. He's full and whole and happy. And he can now cheer for his beloved Colts, Pacers and even the Cubs from the Best Seats in the House! Parents are not supposed to bury their children. It's not supposed to be that way. But as you get older you sometimes learn the hard way that life isn't always fair. That none of us are promised tomorrow. I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone here for doing all that they could to let us all know about Gavin and including info about donating to the Spina Bifida cause. And also wanted to add my admiration for everyone here who has posted to express their heartache over this unexpected loss. All of you were great today. You honored Gavin beautifully. Saying he'll be missed just seems so woefully inadequate...... But he really will be missed by all of us...... Michael Forrest NCF
  10. 26 likes
    Definitely one of the more knowledgeable posters on here... I do not follow college ball very much, so one of my favorite aspects that Gavin brought to the board was all of his great insights into potential players during draft time... This place will not be the same...
  11. 25 likes
    Why would you bash a bashing thread, designed to bash the bashers?
  12. 24 likes
    Maybe we could get them to send us Manti Te'o's girlfriend
  13. 23 likes
    Very good QB. Most accomplished QB. Who's to say who's the greatest. It's a personal preferance, and he's not mine.
  14. 23 likes
    Wow I am speechless, I really do not know what to say. He was one of the best members here IMO and I always enjoyed his posts for so many years. Colts football was a true passion of his and analyzing the game and the X's and O's part. I know he had some health issues though I believe. He had spoken off and on in OT sections about health things and scares a while back that sounds at times to me pretty scary. But, I never knew the details. Going to miss him terribly. And going to his profile just now was very sad. He was far too young, he was a year younger then I am. RIP Gavin and we know your spirit is around here somewhere.
  15. 22 likes
    Jim Irsay‏ @JimIrsay Colts Nation...I want you to know New GM Chris and HC Chuck are clicking on all cylinders...#12 is healing and great things to come!!
  16. 22 likes
    Colts fans... This past Presidents day one of my closest friends and lifelong Colts fan passed away at the very young age of 53. His name is James Parker, however everyone knew him as JT. JT, like myself, are Colts fans from the Baltimore days. We both grew up rooting for our Colts in the Maryland/Northern Virginia area. Over the last 10 years or so, a small group of die-hard Colts fans have faithfully watched our colts play every Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday, etc. unless we we're at the games live, from the same corner area of our local Northern Virginia bar. For every year we all continue moving forward, it just won't be the same without JT physically there, although he will always be with us in spirit. I realize no one knew him on this forum. I have posted a few things from time to time, some good, some bad, but I wanted to share this with the community as on Monday of this past week the Colts nation not only lost a great fan, but the world lost a great man as well. I miss my friend already. Thanks for allowing me to share this. The picture attached is my friend JT and his wife Ginny taken at the Luke at couple years ago. Thanks again Mitch, otherwise known here as Indeee
  17. 22 likes
    You can't be serious, right? This is sarcasm - has to be.
  18. 22 likes
    Awful to hear this. Gavin contributed a lot to threads that aren't as active, like the college ball or the Pacers thread, so you could always count on him to contribute to discussions. I'm glad he got to see his Cubs win the World Series. Rest easy, bud
  19. 21 likes
    Andrew Luck 25-0 in his career when our Defense holds team below 20 points. We get a Defense we will be tough to beat. It may take a couple of years though but now that we have Ballard instead of Grigson my patience has become better.
  20. 21 likes
  21. 21 likes
    The Colts are sending flowers on behalf of all of us here
  22. 20 likes
    I wanted to first say thank you to everyone that has posted in this thread. I have not been here as much as in the past, but I came on here and "Remembering" Gavin was the first thing I saw. I remember when I first came to the new site, and I really had a difficult time with some of the old timers on here. It did, as others have noted, seem like Gavin was on here all of the time. I guess that means I was too. With us it was me old school and Gavin new school. As we know these two heads tend to 'come together' once in awhile. We went back and forth so much, I think 8,000 of my posts were arguing/debating with Gavin. Yesterday's stars for example. I got a warning or two in my early tenure on this site. Thanks Gavin!!! This kid wanted to learn everything, and was willing to research anything he needed to provide insight as well as debate information. Even though we debated a ton, he asked me to go over the Offensive line schemes. He wanted to learn!! As time rolled on, I have to admit the old school guy was happy to see Likes going both ways. Friendly comments instead of snide remarks. The Colts, Cubs and Pacers have lost a great friend. Peace is now. Please rest. We will miss you.!!!
  23. 19 likes
    Now that we’re firmly into the offseason lull, I thought it would be as good a time as any to look back at Luck’s career over the last 5 years from a statistical point of view and compare him to other QBs first 5 years in the league (since 1970). All numbers cited have been sourced from Pro Football Reference (http://www.pro-football-reference.com) , a most excellent site. With every category in this breakdown I’ll list Luck’s numbers, where that ranks in parentheses, as well as the numbers of a few QBs who I feel are good yard sticks. Without further ado: A lot is made of passing yards and TD numbers but their use as an evaluator is somewhat flawed, especially when we’re looking at the 1st 5 years of a QB’s career with some players sitting for a few years or injuries limiting their production. Player Passing Yards TDs Games Played Andrew Luck 19078 Yds (3rd) 132 TDs (3rd) 70 Peyton Manning 20618 Yds (1st) 138 TDs (2nd) 80 Dan Marino 19422 Yds (2nd) 168 TDs (1st) 71 Russell Wilson 18193 Yds (8th) 127 TDs (5th) 80 Cam Newton 18263 Yds (7th) 117 TDs (7th) 78 Ryan Tannehill 18455 Yds (5th) 106 TDs (14th) 77 Ben Rustlersburger 14794 Yds (19th) 69 TDs (27th) 72 Tom Brady 13925 Yds (32nd) 97 TDs (24th) 64 Aaron Rodgers 8801 Yds (91st) 59 TDs (73rd) 39 Drew Brees 12348 Yds (48th) 80TDs (36th) 36 Kurt Warner 14082 Yds (31st) 101 (20th) 51 You can’t argue with his production volume, and I’d feel confident in wagering if he’d played the full 80 he’d top both passing yards and TDs. However as stated, and as we can see from the lowly ranking of some elite QBs it’s not a great measure. So let’s look at it from a per play perspective as well as passer rating (again a flawed metric IMO but it still has value). To briefly explain Adjusted Net Yards per attempt the formula used is: (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) - 45*(interceptions thrown) - sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks) Player TD % Passer Rating Y/A ANY/A Andrew Luck 5.00% (12th) 87.3 (21st) 7.20 (34th) 6.29 (14th) Peyton Manning 4.90% (20th) 85.9 (27th) 7.32 (25th) 6.20 (19th) Dan Marino 6.70% (1st) 94.1 (5th) 7.79 (6th) 7.27 (1st) Russell Wilson 5.60% (4th) 99.6 (1st) 7.98 (4th) 7.01 (4th) Cam Newton 4.80% (24th) 88.3 (17th) 7.55 (11th) 6.26 (16th) Ryan Tannehill 4.00% (54th) 86.5 (23rd) 7.00 (46th) 5.61 (40th) Ben Rustlersburger 5.30% (7th) 89.4 (12th) 7.86 (5th) 6.03 (26th) Tom Brady 4.80% (25th) 86.5 (20th) 6.90 (52nd) 5.93 (32nd) Aaron Rodgers 5.20% (9th) 97.2 (3rd) 7.75 (8th) 6.96 (6th) Drew Brees 4.40% (36th) 84.9 (31st) 6.83 (59th) 5.70 (37th) Kurt Warner 6.20% (2nd) 98.2 (2nd) 8.68 (1st) 7.25 (2nd) We see a great example here of volume not always being a product of great QB play when we look at how Tannehill drops like a stone in all the metrics. Conversely we see with players like Rodgers/Warner who don’t have huge numbers from not playing, that when they did play they played very well. Luck himself slides down somewhat, especially on his Y/A but his ANY/A and TD% numbers are decent enough. Now would be as good a point as any to address the two biggest elephants in the room when it comes to Luck, accuracy and turnovers: Player Cmp Att Cmp % Int Int% Fmb Fmb% Ttl T/O Ttl T/O % Andrew Luck 1570 (5th) 2651 (3rd) 59.22% (38th) 68 (72nd) 2.57% (21st) 38 (71st) 8.60% 106 3.43% Peyton Manning 1749 (1st) 2817 (2nd) 62.09% (19th) 100 (98th) 3.55% (63rd) 27 (31st) 10.07% 127 4.12% Dan Marino 1512 (7th) 2494 (8th) 60.63% (25th) 80 (91st) 3.21% (47th) 33 (54th) 19.07% 113 4.24% Russell Wilson 1476 (10th) 2281 (15th) 64.71% (4th) 45 (22nd) 1.97% (3rd) 46 (88th) 6.69% 91 3.07% Cam Newton 1440 (12th) 2418 (10th) 59.55% (35th) 64 (29th) 4.80% (76th) 35 (60th) 4.46% 99 3.09% Ryan Tannehill 1653 (3rd) 2637 (5th) 62.68% (12th) 67 (66th) 2.50% (16th) 47 (90th) 10.96% 114 3.72% Ben Rustlersburger 1189 (30th) 1905 (38th) 62.41% (14th) 69 (74th) 3.62% (70th) 32 (50th) 8.42% 101 4.42% Tom Brady 1243 (22nd) 2018 (31st) 61.60% (21st) 52 (38th) 2.58% (22nd) 43 (83rd) 14.70% 95 4.11% Aaron Rodgers 726 (90th) 1136 (97th) 63.91% (6th) 21 (1st) 1.85% (1st) 23 (18th) 10.55% 44 3.25% Drew Brees 1125 (38th) 1809 (47th) 62.19% (18th) 53 (41st) 2.93% (33rd) 24 (21st) 10.57% 77 3.78% Kurt Warner 1083 (40th) 1623 (62nd) 66.73% (1st) 64 (60th) 3.94% (83rd) 31 (58th) 16.75% 95 5.25% We see the fallacy again at just looking at the volume numbers, the dangers of looking at a number which is lacking context. Has Luck had a lot of turnovers in his first 5 years? Yes. But when you look at his percentages he’s actually been better then Manning, Marino, Big Ben even Brady. All QBs who I think we can all agree belong firmly in the elite bracket. I was actually more surprised at how low Cam Newton’s number of turnovers was considering the style in which he plays the game. Bottom line though is the myth that Luck is a “turnover machine” is just that, a myth. In terms of accuracy though, there’s no hiding he’s not in the same ball park as the others, somewhat worrying. But playing Devil’s advocate somewhat here. Look at Tannehill’s raw production (volume) and his completion %. Both are pretty good, but would you say he’s an elite QB? A common excuse or reason for poor accuracy and/or turnovers is a QB getting hit/hurried/sacked a lot and it’s again a common perception that Luck has been hit more than any of his peers due to the shocking line he’s played behind. But how true is that statement? Player Sacks Taken Andrew Luck 156 (21st) Peyton Manning 108 (69th) Dan Marino 67 (95th) Russell Wilson 205 (6th) Cam Newton 185 (9th) Ryan Tannehill 213 (4th) Ben Rustlersburger 192 (7th) Tom Brady 130 (49th) Aaron Rodgers 93 (82nd) Drew Brees 92 983rd) Kurt Warner 108 (72nd) A common thought on these forums is that the incompetence of the FO would lead to Luck suffering from Derek Carr syndrome (for reference Carr was sacked 249 times in his first 5 years). We can see from the above however that Tannehill, Wilson, Newton and Big Ben were far more in danger of getting the jitters from being sacked a number of times. I will confess that I’ve missed out a huge part of the story here in that I’ve not looked at QB hits. I was struggling to find one consistent source of data for the time periods I required so felt it was better to leave it out then present incomplete data. Lastly I wanted to look at what Luck can offer with his legs, as much as we don’t really want him running around too much (see RG3) it is priceless having the threat of a QB who can make plays with his legs. Even a QB like Brady who’s not exactly a sprinter but who has perfected the QB sneak gives you another dimension on offense: Player Attempts Yards Y/A TDs Andrew Luck 286 (12th) 1442 (11th) 5.04 (23rd) 14 (10th) Peyton Manning 160 (44th) 556 (50th) 3.48 (54th) 9 (29th) Dan Marino 105 (80th) 6 (100th) 0.06 (100th) 3 (81st) Russell Wilson 483 (2nd) 2689 (2nd) 5.57 (10th) 13 (12th) Cam Newton 599 (1st) 3207 (1st) 5.35 (12th) 43 (1st) Ryan Tannehill 209 (20th) 1065 (20th) 4.93 (25th) 6 (48th) Ben Rustlersburger 188 (34th) 616 (43rd) 3.28 (59th) 10 (24th) Tom Brady 163 (42nd) 244 (81st) 1.50 (94th) 2 (94th) Aaron Rodgers 125 (67th) 570 (47th) 4.56 (32nd) 9 (28th) Drew Brees 135 (57th) 366 (67th) 2.71 (71st) 4 (68th) Kurt Warner 77 (96th) 200 (90th) 2.61 (77th) 1 (95th) No real surprises here to see Newton way out in front with Wilson not far behind. Still it’s pleasing to see Luck is an effective runner when needed and is more than capable of tucking it and getting to the end zone all by himself. I suspect there is an issue with some of the numbers above due to rule changes surround running yardage and sacks, Marino’s numbers look way off. So what does this little burst of data actually mean? That as always is in the eye of the beholder, numbers can only give the information to inform your opinion, but at the end it’s still just an opinion. You have to factor in too this is just looking at stats and doesn’t include any play analysis/grading (a la PFF) or any attempt to quantify off the field attributes such as leadership and personality. That aside, for me personally, I think it confirms what I already thought. We have a very good young QB who’s carried this team by himself pretty much for 5 seasons. Has he lived up the hype? No. But I don’t think that was ever going to be possible. Is he head and shoulders above his peers (the younger QBs), again no I don’t think so. Doing this little piece of data digging I was shocked somewhat at Wilson’s numbers, I knew he was good, but the above has shown me just how good. However I do think put Andrew Luck on the Seahawks and he has one if not more SB rings by now. Outside of those 2 I will be curious to see how Carr/Mariota continue to develop. If Luck continues to progress and improve past the 5 year mark at a similar pace to some of the QBs listed above I don’t doubt he will end up in the “elite” tier, probably with Wilson, possibly with another one of two of the young up and coming QBs. The future is still bright and if we can put a semblance of a decent roster around him I don’t doubt we can be contenders consistently for years to come.
  24. 19 likes
    Deion Sanders is so stupid that he once stayed up all night studying for a urine test. That's really all you need to know about "Prime Time."
  25. 19 likes
    A representative from the funeral home confirmed that they had received the flowers from the Colts organization. I was told, "They were BEAUTIFUL. They (Brandon's family) were very happy." I just thought you all would want to know.
  26. 19 likes
    That is a damn shame. We lost a very knowledge and loyal fan
  27. 18 likes
    right move in the right direction. Now let Art Jones also go.
  28. 17 likes
    That is Brandon's legacy to us. He brought this crusty and contentious band of football fans together and made us remember that in the end......people are what is really important. Thank you Gavin
  29. 17 likes
    I wasn't going to quote your entire post, as to save space here, however, others might have missed it and I wanted to tell you what wonderful words you wrote, and reflect how we all feel. It is amazing to me, how some of us have never met in person, yet we feel so connected, and feel like we really truly know each other. I am thankful for all of you here, and yes, I too, really really liked Gavin and will miss his presence here.
  30. 17 likes
    I read that line & it stopped me dead in my tracks...Wait, our Gavin? I never met the man personally, but I felt like I knew him. Like Chad72 said, "I knew, he had spina bifida." That's why I developed a bond with him or felt a tie with him. I was born with Cerebral Palsy myself & my childhood neighbor Kerry had a son born with spina bifida so I could relate to Gavin on the grounds of learning different ways to become self sufficient & find new to do ordinary tasks in life that most people take for granted & don't struggle with on a daily basis. Gavin knew his football, loved the Colts, & he never made anybody feel stupid if they weren't exactly a draft wizard. I liked that you could carry on a conversation with him about football on any level. Gavin didn't care if you didn't know formations or what the A gap or b gap even was. He was always kind, respectful, & informative. Man, it saddens me when I lose 1 of our own from the disabled community. This really hurts. I admired your positive persona, was pleased to see your CUBs win it all again & after a long drought, & there will always be a visible void on the forum now that will never be filled here again. Peace be with you Gavin. Thank you NFLfan for taking the time to post this melancholy news as well. We all need to give Gavin his props & well deserved accolades.
  31. 17 likes
    This guy seems to be the exact opposite of everything Grigson was...
  32. 17 likes
    Why wouldn't a GM candidate talk with the existing head coach? I mean if I were in the running for a GM position I would want to know who I'm getting.
  33. 16 likes
  34. 16 likes
    That is truly honorable and classy on the part of the Colts to value someone that they may not have met in person but whose character did shine brightly throughout his posting history. Life is bigger than a game on the field and the fact that so many of you took the time to say a few words shows us the character of this forum. I love my Colts and this forum!!!
  35. 16 likes
    Jim Irsay's Press conference on the 21st of January.....
  36. 16 likes
    My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. One of the first friends I had on here, and although we didn't always agree on things, he was always very friendly and respectful, as well as knowledgeable. His presence will be missed.
  37. 16 likes
    RIP brother gonna miss your great insight around here!! Prayers for his family.
  38. 15 likes
    Junior RB, was Heisman runner-up in 2015 after setting an NCAA record for most all purpose yards in a season. He suffered an undisclosed injury in 2016, not sure what it was or whether it has any long term implications, but he still had plenty of highlight plays and went on a tear in the last five games -- 991 yards rushing, 10 rushing TDs and 2 receiving TDs. I'm assuming he's fine. http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/christian-mccaffrey-1.html# http://draftbreakdown.com/players/christian-mccaffrey/ Size: Listed at 6'0", 201, which is smallish for an NFL RB. He's slender through the middle, including hips and thighs. Built more like a solid receiver or even a safety, not like an every down, between the tackles back. Decent sized hands, not sure how he'll measure there in comparison to other backs. 2/5 Athleticism: Elite athleticism in every respect. Gets to top speed quickly, can blow through to the second level or turn the corner and run away from everyone. Quick and shifty, start/stop ability, change of direction, good balance and agility, can and does make WOW plays on a regular basis. Not Reggie Bush level suddenness, and not Chris Johnson level open field speed, but plenty sudden and plenty speedy. The son of a track athlete mom (who's father was an Olympic sprinter, btw) and an NFL receiver dad (who comes from a line of athletes himself), he's bred for speed and athleticism. 8.5/10 Vision: Good ability to find the hole, or the slight crease, and get to and through it. Patient when necessary, decisive when appropriate, high level decision maker. Cuts back to make room and gain yards, sometimes runs into defenders on the back side. Shows some LeVeon Bell type of patience at times. Does a good job of finding his way past the line of scrimmage for even moderate gains when the play breaks down. Can run behind a FB in man schemes, and does well as a single back in zone schemes. 8/10 3rd down ability: Natural hands, catches the ball on the run, away from his body, will snatch it out of the air. Tracks it well on swing routes and up the field. Good body control to secure position. Good productivity in college as a receiver, and can line up everywhere, runs routes from any spot. Nice stutter/juke on option routes to create separation. I think he would be a hybrid back/receiver in the NFL, not an every down back. Doesn't stack like a refined receiver. Good awareness in pass pro, willing blocker, not a good blocker, though he does have some big sticks on tape. Because of his size he won't hold up as a frequent blocker in the NFL, and should be out in the open field in passing situations anyways. Gets into good position for cut blocks, not just diving around recklessly. Intelligent player, makes good decisions in both phases 4.5/5 receiving, 2.5/5 blocking -- 7/10 Balance: Great balance in the open, can make defenders miss with great moves, good stop/start ability, turns and changes well. Despite his size he won't always go down with an arm tackle, but typically doesn't require multiple defenders to be brought down. Can slip through traffic to avoid contact and get positive yardage, but once he's hit he's probably going down. Has some plays where he slips multiple would-be tacklers who don't approach with good technique. Keeps a low center of gravity once he gets moving forward. 7/10 Physicality: Plays with aggressiveness and willingness to charge right into the middle of the defense. Blocks the same way. His size limits his effectiveness, but not his mentality. Finishes well, but not carrying defenders on his back or blowing through arm tackles. 6/10 Improvisation: Shiftiness and quicks on display regularly, can turn a loss into a gain with his cutbacks and change of direction. Usually makes defenders miss in the open field, then gets back to top speed in a heartbeat. Has spin moves, stutter steps, and other jukes that make him a problem for single defenders at every level. 8.5/10 Ball control: College stats are unreliable for fumbles, but I only remember seeing two, and one was a botched QB exchange. No notable drops, typically sure handed. Holds the ball high and tight as a ball carrier. 9/10 Overall: 54/75, 72%, late 1st/2nd rounder, hybrid position player Should be used as a scatback / receiver, not as a straight ahead ball carrier. Has Darren Sproles potential, but bigger, will probably have similar workout numbers. Would need touches manufactured, but could handle 15-20 touches a game, as long as they mostly aren't between the tackles touches. Reggie Bush is a lofty comparison as a prospect, but that's what I see, just not quite as fast. For some reason I think he could have a pedestrian Combine (though he's probably receiving the very best coaching and training, in which case a pedestrian Combine would be a bad Combine, for him), which could push him down into the 40-50ish range. I haven't watched enough players to say whether he's a top 20 player, but I've watched enough of him over the past two years to know that he's one of my favorite college players of all time, and that I think any team that can't get production out of him isn't well coached on offense.
  39. 15 likes
    The NFL offseason can be a pretty slow time on the forums. To combat this and keep the discussions going, I've decided to make a series of different discussion topics called the Offseason Reading Series (ORS). Throughout the offseason, I will randomly post these threads to give people something to talk about. They will be about all kinds of different football topics, but I will try to keep them mostly focused on the Colts. Of course, the point is to keep everyone entertained during a slow time of the year, so if people don't like them, I will discontinue them so as to not annoy anyone. With that said, let's begin with ORS#1... The best Indianapolis Colts team ever Since the start of the millennium, the Indianapolis Colts have been fortunate enough to have two exceptional QBs running the show for them. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck have both set multiple NFL records; when your QBs are setting records, your team is usually winning. But of the many successful Colts teams since 1984, which one is the best? The 2004 team put up all kinds of insane offensive numbers. The 2005 squad looked destined for a Super Bowl before losing to Pittsburgh in the playoffs. The 2006 squad looked like an easy out in the playoffs, but won it all. The 2007 team had the league’s 3rd best scoring offense and top scoring defense. So many great teams and accomplishments, but which single year was the best Indianapolis Colts team? Keep in mind we're looking for the best Indianapolis Colts team and not the best Colts team, thus we don't include any Baltimore Colts teams. To begin, let’s sort all of the 10+ win teams since 1984 by their W/L record. 2005: 14-2 2009: 14-2 1999: 13-3 2007: 13-3 2003: 12-4 2004: 12-4 2006: 12-4 2008: 12-4 2012: 11-5 2013: 11-5 2014: 11-5 2000: 10-6 2002: 10-6 2010: 10-6 Now let’s trim away the fat. Setting 12 wins as the minimum requirement, that leaves us with 8 seasons. 2005: 14-2 2009: 14-2 1999: 13-3 2007: 13-3 2003: 12-4 2004: 12-4 2006: 12-4 2008: 12-4 John Madden once told me the winner of a game is the team that scores the most points. Taking his great advice to heart, let’s narrow the list even more by removing any years that didn’t have a top 10 scoring offense and a top 10 scoring defense. That leaves us with 3 teams. In addition, I’m going to include the 2006 squad for analysis because they won the Super Bowl, even though the scoring defense was ranked 23rd/32. 2005: 14-2 2009: 14-2 2007: 13-3 2006: 12-4 We’re now left with four teams spanning five years. The Colts’ five year stretch from 2005 to 2009, where they won 65/80 regular season games (81.25%) is one of the greatest five year stretches in NFL history. Since 1980, it is the second best five year stretch of any team, only marginally behind the 2003-2007 Patriots (66/80, 82.5%). In the entire Super Bowl era, it is third, sitting behind the aforementioned Patriots and the 1970-1974 Dolphins (57/70, 81.4%). In fact, I did ANOVA statistical analysis and determined there was no statistically significant difference between the top three teams at the p < 0.001 level, so the Colts’ 5 year run from 2005 to 2009 is tied for the best 5 year stretch among all teams in the NFL in the Super Bowl era. There’s no doubt the greatest Indianapolis Colts team is going to come from this period. Now we get into the numbers. I wanted to know which team was the most complete. Not only did your offense score and your defense not get scored on, but which team was the best at moving the ball and preventing the opponent from moving the ball? How did your team do at getting interceptions and sacks? There is a commonly used formula that takes all of this into account, and it’s the DVOA from Football Outsiders. Let’s look at the defensive numbers for the four aforementioned teams and how they ranked in the league: Year PPG YPG Sacks Interceptions 2005 15.4 (2nd) 307.1 (11th) 46 (5th) 18 (9th) 2006 22.5 (23rd) 332.2 (21st) 25 (30th) 15 (20th) 2007 16.4 (1st) 279.7 (3rd) 28 (26th) 22 (2nd) 2009 19.2 (8th) 339.2 (18th) 34 (16th) 16 (15th) Forced Fumbles QB rating given up DVOA 2005 32 (4th) 83.0 (23rd) -10.5% (8th) 2006 28 (8th) 80.4 (15th) 11.3% (27th) 2007 27 (11th) 73.3 (3rd) -10.8% (3rd) 2009 20 (24th) 80.6 (12th) -0.8% (16th) Let’s look at the offensive stats: Year PPG YPG Pass TDs/Rush TDs Interceptions 2005 27.4 (2nd) 362.4 (3rd) 31 (2nd)/18 (6th) 11 (5th) 2006 26.7 (2nd) 379.4 (3rd) 31 (1st)/17 (6th) 9 (2nd) 2007 28.1 (3rd) 358.7 (5th) 32 (4th)/19 (2nd) 14 (6th) 2009 26.0 (7th) 363.1 (9th) 34 (1st)/16 (12th) 19 (23rd) Fumbles QB rating DVOA 2005 14 (1st) 103.3 (1st) 30.5% (1st) 2006 13 (1st) 101.0 (1st) 33.8% (1st) 2007 14 (1st) 96.1 (5th) 28.3 (2nd) 2009 11 (1st) 95.4 (9th) 16.8% (6th) Sorry for the funny looking tables. I had to format them this way to get them to fit on the screen. On a little side note, the Colts did an excellent job of not fumbling the ball in these years. Next, we’ll assign points to each team based on their ranking. A ranking of 1st will be 1 point, 2nd is 2 points, etc. Using this points system, the lower the score is, the better. This gives us scores of: 2005: 83 2006: 161 2007: 77 2009: 177 Clearly, the best regular season teams were 2005 and 2007. However, to determine which team was the best team, we’d have to consider playoff stats as well. This means we need to repeat this process, but look at the stats differently. I’m going to look at the stats that give the average per game instead of overall season totals: PPG, YPG, time of possession/game (since running the ball becomes so important in the playoffs), and QB rating. This time, keep in mind the rankings are out of 12, not 32. Thus, each ranking is multiplied by 32/12 = 2.6667 to normalize it to the regular season data. But playoff games are more important and carry greater consequences with them, so your performance in the playoffs must be better than in the regular season. One loss in the regular season is no big deal; one loss in the playoffs is the end of your season. Therefore, we need to multiply each ranking by what I call its “significance factor”. If your team’s ranking for a certain statistic is 1, 2, 3, or 4, your team is playing exceptionally. Therefore, those rankings will be divided by 2 (remember, lower score is better). For example, the top ranked scoring defense in the playoffs would be given [1 x (32/12)]/2 = 1.333 points. Rankings 5-8 will be kept as they are since they’re average among playoff teams, and rankings 9-12 will be multiplied by 2 because you’re performing poorly when it counts the most. Defensively, this gives us: Year PPG YPG Time of possession QB rating given up 2005 21 (7th) 295.0 (6th) 34:52 (2nd) 95.3 (6th) 2006 16.2 (2nd) 238.5 (1st) 24:58 (1st) 62.8 (3rd) 2007 28.0 (8th) 411.0 (12th) 29:39 (6th) 73.3 (3rd) 2009 17 (1st) 330.0 (5th) 28:16 (2nd) 89.3 (7th) Gary Brackett did say the Colts were the “number one defense of the post-season” after winning Super Bowl XLI, and he did so with good reason. Look at those rankings! And the offense: Year PPG YPG Time of possession QB rating 2005 18 (7th) 305.0 (6th) 25:08 (11th) 90.9 (3rd) 2006 26.2 (3rd) 395.2 (2nd) 35:02 (1st) 70.2 (8th) 2007 24.0 (5th) 446.0 (1st) 30:21 (6th) 97.7 (2nd) 2009 22.3 (5th) 308.7 (3rd) 31:44 (3rd) 99.0 (4th) In terms of the scoring system we’re using, this gives us: 2005: 83 + 150.67 = 233.67 2006: 161 + 38.67 = 199.67 2007: 77 + 138.67 = 215.67 2009: 177 + 62.67 = 239.67 Keeping in mind that the lowest number is best, we see that the 2006 squad blows away all other teams because of how well they played in the playoffs. After the regular season stats were taken into consideration, the 2006 squad was 2nd last. However, that team did enough to make it to the playoffs and have a chance to win it all. What caused these changes? When the playoffs came around, Bob Sanders returned to the defense and the entire defensive unit played lights out when it mattered most. In fact, the 2006 team did what everyone said they couldn’t do. Can’t stop the run? They held Larry Johnson – a 1700 yard rusher – to 32 yards on 13 attempts. Can’t beat an elite defense in the playoffs? They beat the league’s #1 ranked defense in the divisional round. Can’t beat Tom Brady? They staged an amazing comeback to beat Brady and the Pats to make it to the Super Bowl. Can’t win outdoors in bad weather? The Colts won the first Super Bowl ever played in the rain against a team known for playing in the elements. When you put it all together, based on this method of analysis, the 2006 Indianapolis Colts were the best team in Indianapolis history. It certainly helps your case when you end your season this way... What do you think? Was the 2006 team the best Indianapolis Colts team ever? Let's hear your thoughts! And keep your eyes peeled for the next ORS! All stats taken from NFL.com, Football Outsiders, and pro-football-reference.com.
  40. 15 likes
    Gavin..... I'm going to miss all of your contributions to this forum....You were a very knowledgeable(somewhat opinionated like me, lol) poster and I learned a lot from you. Enjoyed celebrating the Cubs World Series win with you in the Misc. topics thread. A straight shooter with no problem putting someone in their place, this forum is going to miss you. RIP Gavin.
  41. 14 likes
    I think he's as good as cut. He played decently when he played, but he never played... 17 games in 3 years I think he played and it's not like he set the world on fire in those games. He missed 4 last year because of suspension and ended the last two on IR. The very definition of unreliable. I don't see what he brings to the team. I do see your point. At a reduced salary, he won't be a risk or a hindrance as far as building a defense for the future goes. I just don't think he's shown that he can be available when we need him. I'd rather see a young player with upside take the roster spot... It's better than bringing up a P.S. player when Art is injured. JMO, though.
  42. 14 likes
    It's one of those picks that everyone would collectively hate... until Cook breaks a 60 yard TD run in week 1. Then we'd all be like "That's what this offense has been missing, a legitimate homerun threat at RB!!!"
  43. 14 likes
    I would take Peyton every day and twice on sunday
  44. 14 likes
    Literally me when I saw this thread
  45. 14 likes
    Wow, Gavin looked amazingly young, if it didn't say his age, I would of thought he was in his 20s. Going to miss him a lot. Also, sorry if I ever was a jerk to anyone on here. You guys treat me like a 2nd family and I've never been on any forum that is as close to this one in human quality. Most of them are pretty vicious, this one the people here are genuine. Lets all make an effort to treat each other with respect and kindness from now on. I'm not saying we can't argue or disagree, that's what's great about being on here, we have differing opinions, but you never know when you can be mean to someone and something like this can happen and you'll never be able to take it back. Miss you Gavin and this forum will as well.
  46. 14 likes
    This is the truth right here. Mental health is a serious issue and people feeling lonely or depressed isn't something to scoff at. If anyone ever needs someone to listen, fire me a PM!
  47. 14 likes
    Jesus Christ. I was just on his thread literally 5 minutes ago about loneliness and was going to offer a lending ear if he ever wanted to talk about stuff(He was pretty opinionated like me)... My God i'm truly shocked; I can't believe this, man. Weird that i'd be so emotionally affected by the loss of a guy on a forum I go on. Rest in peace, Brandon. You were always a guy I liked seeing post on here and often were my favorite poster. Seriously saddened to hear this but I know you're doing well in Heaven now
  48. 13 likes
    Probably still bitter over this..... http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/02/04/time-marvin-harrison-dusted-deion-sanders/79856476/
  49. 13 likes
    I believe we are going to see an immediate impact on how the Colts front office operates with Chris Ballard at the helm. I have taken a lot of pride in carefully listening to Colts general managers, in the attempt to understand their philosophy of how to build a football team. Over the years, I have learned a great deal from the Colts general managers. I will admit that I started to tune Grigson out over this past season though. I lost faith in his vision. During Chris Ballard's press conference, he said the words I have been longing to hear from a Colts General Manager. "You win with the guys up front." The Big Uglies will determine football games, especially later in the year. This isn't rocket science. To win in this league you must protect your quarterback, run the ball effectively, stop the run, and get after the opposing teams quarterback. Any team that does all those things well will be competitive in the playoffs, every single year. On offense it is your front five, and on defense it is your front seven. Those two areas should always be the primary focus of any NFL front office. It amazes me to watch teams (front offices) fall in love with players who handle the ball. There have only been a handful of players in my lifetime, who could take a team on his back, and make it competitive. Every year a team wins the Super Bowl with good defense, sustaining drives, and not turning the ball over. I am impressed by Chris Ballard's thoughts on building through the draft, and buying young players in free agency. This is what Bill Polian did well for many years. When we must dive into free agency (our current situation), I believe we are much better off to roll the dice on a player who is 26 years old than we are of making several one-year deals with the 30 and over crowd. Grigson never really did get over the Philly idea to assemble a dream team of soon-to-be retired players. I think it is quite possible that Doyle and Swoope may be the only UFA's we bring back in 2017. It is possible that Butler could get another go around on a short deal, but I like the attraction of looking at a much bigger fish. A young player who could make a real impact on our defense. I am talking about Trumaine Johnson, because I believe he is the best free agent available in the 2017. Imagine the smile on Chuck Pagano to have two shut-down corners, and he is easily worth what the market will pay him (4 years / 55 million). It will be interesting to watch us sign players in their mid-20's, and draft trench players high. Chris Ballard wisely chose a moment to pull the weight off Andrew Luck's shoulders. Sure, Andrew is a great player, but we have to look at our team as a 53 man roster (63 including the practice squad). It's not about any one player. We are absolutely very fortunate to have him, but we can't win just because we have him. We need all of the pieces working together. For our Colts to be playoff competitive in 2017, Ballard needs to walk away from this off-season with a starting right corner, a pass rusher who makes a difference, and future starters in the trenches. It would also be nice to have some youth at running back. I believe those are his intentions.
  50. 13 likes
    I'm available. I'm not that funny nor can I kick the ball very far. But I'm available.

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