I didn't want to go all in on them, but no one covering the Colts does a very good job, IMO. They'll pick some stuff out at times, but for the most part, they aren't offering any real insight or sharing information.
I did listen to Holder and Keefer's Choppin Wood podcast for the first time last week. Wasn't bad, and they did share some behind the scenes stuff on Ballard's temperament and personality. Nothing earth shattering, but it was at least somewhat informative.
Well, I mean, I touched on it in the post you quoted. Look at how the Steelers have under-performed against far inferior teams...they play down to their opponents regularly...this has been the case for a while now...and it's this cocky, toxic environment that he has created. Not the first time the Jaguars have beaten them at home in a playoff game under Tomlin with the guise of a big opponent to follow...Bort beat them, David Garrard beat them...Tim Tebow, one of the worst QBs in NFL history, beat them...that wild card loss to Baltimore a few years ago was a joke too...but ignoring the big stuff, even during the regular season, they cut it way too fine against teams they should be trouncing with their talent.
This might be the most talented offense in the league. And they might know that, but they don't utilize it. They always try to get too tricky for their own good, they want to be geniuses...4th & 1...power forward QB Ben Roethlisberger...a sneak is too easy, even un-athletic 40-year-old Tom Brady still runs sneaks, Ben is like 15 for 15 on getting first downs on sneaks or some ridiculous stat...in a big spot, they go back to back toss sweep right against a diesel front 7. They need to go 1 yard, their QB is 2 yards tall, they go 5 yards behind the LOS and stretch it out into WRs and TEs who can't block LBs. This was the same thing with their overuse of the TE screen in years passed that cost them dearly in big spots.
Even the guys in the locker room, Mike Mitchell, a horrendous player in his own right...talking about how they were prepared for New England...as a result, they didn't get to play them.
You can go on and on, and it's tough to judge coaches from the outside...but if you can sense danger, so to speak, you can sense this thing stinks...it's buoyed by talent, that's fine, but it's not clear that the environment is really healthy there, it's not clear that this thing is really organized. It seems like a country club atmosphere (coincidentally, the Pittsburgh Penguins went through this for a time as well...which I can speak much more about it if only it were the appropriate board) and that falls on the organizational leadership that promotes that.
GMs do that all the time. John Elway could have inked Malik Jackson before he was part of that 2015 historic SB winning season but chose to focus on other priorities knowing that the Von Miller re-signing was coming up. It is possible the Panthers anticipated other priorities then.
The Steelers problem is mainly on defense. They just haven't done a good job replacing that studly defense they had in the 2000s. Those linebackers, the secondary, the d line. They just don't have that dynamic defense anymore....and the one pretty athletic side line to side line line backer Shazier got hurt. They don't intimidate anyone any more....they are basically the 2000 Colts...overwhelming teams with offensive firepower.
I think this is actually a pretty good FA group for making a shift to a 4-3 defense. Fortunately, all of his long-term commitments from last offseason will fit (which I assume was the plan). But even given the amount of activity last offseason, I fully expect Ballard to get heavily involved in FA on the defensive side...including in the front 7.
A few more names to keep an eye on that haven't been mentioned:
DL - Kony Ealy, Alex Okafor
CB - Kyle Fuller
ILB - Christian Jones
OLB - Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks (if cut)
I think we could see pickups at ILB, OLB, DE and DT. Could look something like this in early March:
RDE - Ealy
RDT - Hankins
LDT - ?
LDE - Sheard
Will - Kendricks
Mike - Hitchens
Sam - Simon
That would set up a ton of flexibility heading into the draft. Get an elite defensive prospect (ideally a pass rusher) and then go after some positions on offense like OL, RB and WR.