Most of us forget about this hiring, the ex Green Beret brought in to measure and analyze e very player the Colts attempt to sign. His analysis involves character as well as many other things to help us determine if the plAyer has the right stuff for an NFL career. I only bring it up wondering how much influence he may have already had with some of our trades and signings. Like Brissett maybe. I know he wasn't involved in the previous draft. Here's a link. https://www.stampedeblue.com/2017/5/10/15611404/chris-ballard-explains-what-brian-decker-rex-hogan-bring-to-colts-front-office
With the Colts not playing this week, it allows a chance to look at where we are as a team and, if you are to look at our season so far based on pre-season expectations, it makes for quite good reading, in my opinion.
So I decided to make a list, based on pre season expectations, listing who has been a pleasant surprise so far, and who has been a disappointment:
Jacoby Brissett - Goes without saying, he has been a very solid stand in for Andrew. Has made errors but I don't think anyone could expect a 2nd year player to move systems and play as well as he has. Not worth thinking about how the team would have played with Tolzein under center.
Cornerbacks - Did anyone expect Desir and Melvin to be as strong as they have been? Melvin asking to go up against Brown last week says a lot about his character too.
Nate Hairston - I love this guy. Potentially my number one pick for this category and a long term asset for this defense.
Al Woods - Hankins was the big money addition, and has done well, but Woods has been excellent value.
John Simon - I cant decide if I love him or Hairston more!
Mathias Farley - Hard hitting, strong in the tackle. Very solid player.
Rigoberto Sanchez - When Locke was cut, did anyone else have a sinking feeling in their stomach? Sanchez has played so well I don't even think anyone has missed Pat (for his punting anyway), which is a massive compliment to the kid. Kudos Tom McMahon for unearthing this talent.
Vontae Davis - A real disappointment for me. All the talk from training camp was that he was back to the old Vontae, then picks up an injury and comes back and plays poorly.
Donte Moncrief - It was interesting hear the WR coach talk about him last week, admitting that he has been "hot and cold" and its so frustrating to see the raw ability not convert to the field regularly enough. I still think there is something there but would not be surprised if Ballard lets him go.
Jack Doyle - It was interesting listening to the "Chopping Wood" podcast where they mentioned that Doyle cost us two games. He did have that one game where he was phenomenal but he had high expectations from last year and being made TE1 for 2017. I am not worried about him long term, but has to be listed here.
Le-Raven Clark - Say no more.
Marlon Mack - I don't think I can put him in as a pleasant surprise as there were expectations on him and, although he has been explosive in some instances, still a lot to work on in protection and inside running.
Offensive Line - I did think hard about putting them in disappointments (not just Clark) but I don't think anyone came in thinking they would be an elite unit and, with the amount of injuries and shuffling, I actually think they have faired as I would have expected. A long way to go but Castonzo has been strong I think (and unfairly targeted) and Kelly is a stud so there are strong building blocks and I trust Ballard will address this after focussing so hard on the defense this year.
Honourable Mentions - Mingo, Gore, Hunt, Sheard.
Looking at the above, although the record is poor (and you are what your record says you are), to look at what we have done in recruitment and the increasing trajectory of play, a change of coaching (which seems inevitable) could mean we come back strong in 2018, with the potential for strong draft acquisitions.
Feel free to add your own for either category but thought I would share my perspective....