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A Look Back at the Colts' Offseason


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#1 Andy

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:11 PM

This past offseason was a tough one for Colts fans as they had to let go of Peyton Manning and some other fan favorites, but this was actually the best offseason the Colts have had in years.


Hiring the General Manager

The Colts hired Ryan Grigson on the 11th of January, and this hiring has definitely paid off. He's made some great signings and some great trades. All of his trades have benifited the Colts. His biggest trade came when he traded his 2nd round pick for Vontae Davis. Davis has been injured for about half the time he's been on the time, but when healthy, he has a positive impact. He has a bright future with the Colts, and that's because of Grigson's bold move.


Hiring the Coaches

After firing Jim Caldwell, the search was on for a new coach. Out of all the good candidates that included Brad Seely, Brad Childress, Jim Tressel, and Perry Fewell. You have a lot of good candidates, and because of that, it's easy to make a mistake, and be deceived. Grigson made the right choice and hired Chuck Pagano, who had an impact right away. The Colts also hired offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Manusky has done a nice job transitioning this defense to a 3-4, but Arians' impact is something that can't be summed up in one sentence. He's done a tremendous job with the offense, and because of Pagano's sickness, he had to take over as the head coach. As the head coach, he has a 7-2 record. This shows us that we have solid head coaches working as our coordinators too. Great hirings!


Free Agency

The mentality going into free agency was "Out with old, in with the new." They got rid of all the old starters, and signed a lot of new ones.

The Colts were able to find a lot of gems through free agency and some "outside league" signings. The past several years, the Colts have been very quiet when signing free agents. This year, with the new management, they exploded with a lot of signings. Not just nobody's either. They signed Cory Redding, Tom Zbikowski, Samson Satele, Donnie Avery, and Brandon McKinney. All proven players that had a good history. What also impressed me was the fact that the front office looked outside the NFL for prospects. He signed CFL superstar Jerrell Freeman, with the expectation of him being a backup. He's done much more than that. He's become a permanant starter in this defense, and is making a good case for going to the Pro Bowl. He's a tackling machine. As for the NFL experienced guys. Redding has become the leader of the defense and a star. Avery is becoming a big part of the offense, and is becoming more reliable (on top of being the deep threat that we knew him as). Samson Satele is having an ok year as a center. Zbikowski has had some good games at strong safety. A lot of the free agents the Colts signed are having an impact.


Draft

This was the best draft the Colts have had in the last 10 years.

The Colts first drafted quarterback, with hopes that he would become the franchise of this team and become the perennial pro bowler that he's expected to become. It looks like he's well on his way to becoming that person.

They then drafted Coby Fleener, who, compared to all the other high picks, has performed the weakest. Granted that he's missed 4 games, but nevertheless, he's hasn't a big part of the offense. The news is, that the potential is still there, and he's getting better blocking. It's still too early the next top 5 superstar quarterback, and it's still too early to start calling Fleener a bust.

After that, in a surprise, the Colts drafted another tight end in Dwayne Allen, who was probably more proven and better overall than Fleener. Fleener had that receiving potential, which is more aesthetically pleasing to general managers, but Allen could block extremely well and was a good receiver. Allen has turned into a great starter for the Colts becoming a very solid receiving tight end, showing off his good speed (that many viewed as his weakness), and good hands. His blocking is up there with the Heath Miller's, Jason Witten's or Marcedes Lewis'; it's very good.

Then, with perhaps the best pick when it comes to value, the Colts selected TY Hilton at the end of the round. The Colts traded up to get him, and many thought it was a questionable decision. Those people were wrong. He's broughten an explosive side to this offense, and him and Donnie Avery have helped spread this offense vertically. He's probably the frontrunner for the best rookie wide receiver this season.

The Colts used a 5th round pick on Vick Ballard, who if you're a reader of mine, know I predicted him to be the starter by midseason, and look, he's the starter. He's been playing very well as a rookie, considering the line is not very good. He has a lot of potential, and it just puts the cherry on top for this clas.

The rest of the picks were used on Josh Chapman, who has yet to play. Lavon Brazill, who has had some big impact plays against the Patriots and Lions. He has good potential. Justin Anderson has yet to play. Chandler Harnish is on the practice squad and the Colts decided to cut Tim Fugger.

In this draft class, the Colts drafted the core of their offense for the next several years. They have the QB, the receivers, the tight ends and the running backs. Add the fact that you have your left tackle of the future in Castonzo and you're set.


Conclusion

Best offseason the Colts have had in years!

Andy
Writer for: The Montreal Gazette, and various other websites

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#2 Captain Americolt

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

Awesome write-up. At first I really disliked the Allen and Hilton picks, based on speed and the other on height. Man I feel dumb. They are my two favorite from this draft class now, along with Ballard.. and Luck.

All of them.

#3 coltsrule91

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

good job andy nice write up :thmup:

its not T.Y its T.watttttttttt WHAT DID T JUST DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#4 Gavin

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

Good write up andy, I wasn't that thrilled with the Fleener pick (I wanted Janoris instead or Upshaw)

#5 Smonroe

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:13 AM

Good write up andy, I wasn't that thrilled with the Fleener pick (I wanted Janoris instead or Upshaw)


Yeah, Janoris probably would have been a better pick but he just doesn't 'feel' like a Colt, if you know what I mean. Fisher has already had to discipline him once, right? I think Fleener will be a play maker eventually.

Nice write up Andy. The FA acquisitions are a prime example of doing the most with a relatively small amount of cap space. I can't wait to see what Grigs does with real money. Personally, I like the approach of spreading it over several good players instead of one or two high priced FAs.

#6 Superman

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:16 AM

Yeah, Janoris probably would have been a better pick but he just doesn't 'feel' like a Colt, if you know what I mean. Fisher has already had to discipline him once, right? I think Fleener will be a play maker eventually.


I think Grigson had decided beforehand that he just didn't want Jenkins. Maybe he would have taken him in the 3rd, but I think the plan was probably to get Casey Heyward. Either way, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Jenkins simply wasn't on Grigson's board, due to his off the field issues.
LET'S HUNT

#7 TKnight24

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

I enjoy the Fleener pick. I just wanted Blake Gideon. Went undrafted and is now reunited with Sam Acho in Arizona smh. If we drafted Gideon... we could've used the money we gave Zibikowski elsewhere
"I differ what they prefer, so they count me like the census"

#8 SteelCityColt

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:20 AM

Nice write up as always Andy.

#9 JlynRN

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:57 AM

Great write up Andy !!! I agree, we had a great draft this year. Looking forward to next season and beyond :coltslogo:

#10 braveheartcolt

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:29 AM

Good stuff Andy, appreciate the time taken to post this. I do think you were a tad harsh on Fleener, but semantics....
"If I make a comment and it is not backed up by factual evidence, take it as my opinion, and my opinion only"....

#11 ColtsHappy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:32 AM

Yes, really NICE job recapping the offseason.

Much appreciated!

GO COLTS!

ColtsHappy

#12 Steagles

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:40 AM

I remember wanting to trade our 2nd rounder and a late rounder up to the late 1st for Doug Martin. I just like to think about if we would have drafted Martin and picked another tight end later on. Granted It gave Luck a familiar face, it's just an interesting thing to contemplate.

Currently a Louisville Cardinal. Greenfield-Central Cougar (Class of 2014) forever. 

I am predicting 11-5 this year for the Colts. 


#13 SteelCityColt

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

I don't think Martin would look nearly as good running off O line. I'm still ok with the Fleener pick for the now.

#14 TKnight24

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

Dwayne Allen is basically playing in a system he played in at Clemson. He lined up at WR, FB, TE. He's used to Blocking & Catching from that. This is a cakewalk for him lol
"I differ what they prefer, so they count me like the census"

#15 TennEngr

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

This past offseason was a tough one for Colts fans as they had to let go of Peyton Manning and some other fan favorites, but this was actually the best offseason the Colts have had in years.


Hiring the General Manager

The Colts hired Ryan Grigson on the 11th of January, and this hiring has definitely paid off. He's made some great signings and some great trades. All of his trades have benifited the Colts. His biggest trade came when he traded his 2nd round pick for Vontae Davis. Davis has been injured for about half the time he's been on the time, but when healthy, he has a positive impact. He has a bright future with the Colts, and that's because of Grigson's bold move.


Hiring the Coaches

After firing Jim Caldwell, the search was on for a new coach. Out of all the good candidates that included Brad Seely, Brad Childress, Jim Tressel, and Perry Fewell. You have a lot of good candidates, and because of that, it's easy to make a mistake, and be deceived. Grigson made the right choice and hired Chuck Pagano, who had an impact right away. The Colts also hired offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Manusky has done a nice job transitioning this defense to a 3-4, but Arians' impact is something that can't be summed up in one sentence. He's done a tremendous job with the offense, and because of Pagano's sickness, he had to take over as the head coach. As the head coach, he has a 7-2 record. This shows us that we have solid head coaches working as our coordinators too. Great hirings!


Free Agency

The mentality going into free agency was "Out with old, in with the new." They got rid of all the old starters, and signed a lot of new ones.

The Colts were able to find a lot of gems through free agency and some "outside league" signings. The past several years, the Colts have been very quiet when signing free agents. This year, with the new management, they exploded with a lot of signings. Not just nobody's either. They signed Cory Redding, Tom Zbikowski, Samson Satele, Donnie Avery, and Brandon McKinney. All proven players that had a good history. What also impressed me was the fact that the front office looked outside the NFL for prospects. He signed CFL superstar Jerrell Freeman, with the expectation of him being a backup. He's done much more than that. He's become a permanant starter in this defense, and is making a good case for going to the Pro Bowl. He's a tackling machine. As for the NFL experienced guys. Redding has become the leader of the defense and a star. Avery is becoming a big part of the offense, and is becoming more reliable (on top of being the deep threat that we knew him as). Samson Satele is having an ok year as a center. Zbikowski has had some good games at strong safety. A lot of the free agents the Colts signed are having an impact.


Draft

This was the best draft the Colts have had in the last 10 years.

The Colts first drafted quarterback, with hopes that he would become the franchise of this team and become the perennial pro bowler that he's expected to become. It looks like he's well on his way to becoming that person.

They then drafted Coby Fleener, who, compared to all the other high picks, has performed the weakest. Granted that he's missed 4 games, but nevertheless, he's hasn't a big part of the offense. The news is, that the potential is still there, and he's getting better blocking. It's still too early the next top 5 superstar quarterback, and it's still too early to start calling Fleener a bust.

After that, in a surprise, the Colts drafted another tight end in Dwayne Allen, who was probably more proven and better overall than Fleener. Fleener had that receiving potential, which is more aesthetically pleasing to general managers, but Allen could block extremely well and was a good receiver. Allen has turned into a great starter for the Colts becoming a very solid receiving tight end, showing off his good speed (that many viewed as his weakness), and good hands. His blocking is up there with the Heath Miller's, Jason Witten's or Marcedes Lewis'; it's very good.

Then, with perhaps the best pick when it comes to value, the Colts selected TY Hilton at the end of the round. The Colts traded up to get him, and many thought it was a questionable decision. Those people were wrong. He's broughten an explosive side to this offense, and him and Donnie Avery have helped spread this offense vertically. He's probably the frontrunner for the best rookie wide receiver this season.

The Colts used a 5th round pick on Vick Ballard, who if you're a reader of mine, know I predicted him to be the starter by midseason, and look, he's the starter. He's been playing very well as a rookie, considering the line is not very good. He has a lot of potential, and it just puts the cherry on top for this clas.

The rest of the picks were used on Josh Chapman, who has yet to play. Lavon Brazill, who has had some big impact plays against the Patriots and Lions. He has good potential. Justin Anderson has yet to play. Chandler Harnish is on the practice squad and the Colts decided to cut Tim Fugger.

In this draft class, the Colts drafted the core of their offense for the next several years. They have the QB, the receivers, the tight ends and the running backs. Add the fact that you have your left tackle of the future in Castonzo and you're set.


Conclusion

Best offseason the Colts have had in years!

Good read Andy and I agree with you. I was extremely upset with letting Peyton go and then letting almost everyone else go. Starting over is a tough thing and you always hope to get it right "the next time". I think we got it right this time. Now if my Tennessee Volunteers can do the same thing. GO COLTS!

#16 ruksak

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:42 AM

Andy is smart

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more." ~ Bill S. 


#17 Andy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the nice responses, but...

...Man, I really wrote this too fast. Forgot to write a few words.

I need an editor :(

Andy
Writer for: The Montreal Gazette, and various other websites

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