Mods, you may want to move this to the NFL topics, but I felt the Colts OL line play has been such a point of contention on this board that the article was a very good piece to use when we look at the Colts OL play, how we judge them and what the future holds.
The article "In the line of Fire" just came out on CBS. I have long been one the many who have bemoaned the OL of the Colts. What really made me the angry was how
certain positions were seen as we can fill them with late rounders. The center position for me has been my point of contention for three years. I just did not understand why
we would not get a good center. I wanted us to go after Mack two years ago. When this draft came around, I and a couple others were vociferous in our support of taking Kelly. He was a plug and play from day one, who several talent evaluators felt was a pro bowler waiting to happen. This is what Mayock, who I like the most as a talent
evaluator had to say about Kelly:
"He is scheme diverse, and can play zone or man. He can play all three interior offensive line positions. He's as good a center prospect as I've seen in years. I think he will be a Pro Bowler."
Still, most posters to my surprise felt it was a reach to take Kelly at #18, and I understood due to many wanting a pass rusher, which is a desperate need, but I just did not agree with the thought. I cheered, jumped up and down when Goodell came to the podium and announced his name. Clark in the third, was just icing on the cake. In the last several years, when a Center is drafted in the first round, that player has gone on to be a Pro Bowler. I believe Pittsburgh selecting Pouncey was huge for their team. He has had injuries, but when healthy, he is the glue and the leader of the line. The OL needs someone to hold it together, and I believe Kelly will be this type of player, who is respected and will be a leader. The major problem for our pass rush was guys up the middle. No More!!!
So why am I posting this article. Well it is an interview of several lineman and the general atmosphere towards the OL. I have never heard so many people talking about
so many teams and saying how bad their OL was.
I have said for years one of the largest problems with lineman was they are coming out of the spread, which does not teach basics for blocking, and the coaching they receive when they get to the NFL is not looked at as an important point of emphasis. How many times do you hear someone ask, who is your OL coach? I believe the draft of Kelly, pro system, and having Philbin as the OL coach were two major points in this off season which could lead to a special OL in time.
Many of the things these lineman say point to the same thing, and reinforce my thoughts, that we may have turned the corner if things go our
way, and coaching takes over and the talent listens. It is an interesting read.
One more thing, anyone who uses PFF and its analytics to judge players in general, yes it has some good uses, but is the end all? Just read what OL players said about it. They make some very interesting observations. Hard to grade players if you don't know the assignments on each play. Just a good read, and hopefully you will come with the same conclusion about the future of our OL.
I think we sign another veteran running back. Now that the draft is over there will be more cuts to come...add the fact that teams will have to get down to 53 by week 1...there will be a surplus of cheap veteran running backs on the market. I'm fairly confident we scoop one up. A lot of teams will let go of some quality veterans now that they have their replacements from the draft on their roster and when those guys clear waivers I believe we will fill in a few wholes left on the roster. Running back will be one that shouldn't be hard to find some additional help.
Those would both be very surprising. I'd say experience would give them the edge over any rookies that perform equally.
Like me you said, if they stink it up in camp, or more likely, have nagging injuries, I could see them getting beat out.
Definitely, my grandfather lived in Baltimore for a while and grew up watching him. He still pulled for Indy but always referred to them as Baltimore. I wasn't allowed to say the name Irsay in my house. The game sure has changed. I wish I could go back in time when players didn't get flagged for breathing on a player and defenses were actually feared by offenses.