DaveA1102

Bye Week: Gaining Some Perspective

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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:

 

Pleasant Surprises

 

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! haha 

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.

 

Disappointments

 

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.

 

Other Notes:

 

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....

 

:colts:

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I think you have done a very nice assessment of our teams progress and where we are right now.  Most of the teams improvement has come on the defensive side of the ball coming from additions and improvement from our young players.  The loss of Luck for the year and the hurried assimilation of Brissett to the lineup certainly has not helped the offense meet our preseason expectations.  I read where Doyle was second in the league in receptions among TE's before the Pittsburgh game.  A stat that blew me away actually.  Who knows what a healthy Luck and a better OL  would have done for Moncrief and the rest of the WR's.   I think you have to congratulate the coaches for this progress and continued improvement that we have seen from this team.  They have gotten better and that's what we are looking for.  It might be a lost season record wise but if you are looking at player and overall team development you have to be pleased with the great progress they have made this year.  No one is happy with the record but you can not ignore the overall improvements that have been achieved.  Everyone is looking forward to new coaches next year but this years staff has done some pretty impressive work teaching and improving the overall contributions of our players.  

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I like the assessment. I would personally include Mingo in pleasant surprises, the guy is all around the ball all the time, he is rejuvinated it seems with us after lackluster play in Cleveland and NE. I also would include Mack in pleasant surprises as i believe we have only seen glimpses of the REAL Mack attack yet due to the coaches not playing him, i understand we have a proven veteran RB on the team, after this season when Gore leaves im fully confident Mack will assume the number 1 role and become a top 5 running back in the league. Then lastly i would put the Oline in dissapointments, as you stated nobody expected them to blow anyone away but i personally dont think anyone expected them to be as bad as the have been either.

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16 minutes ago, Nesjan3 said:

I like the assessment. I would personally include Mingo in pleasant surprises, the guy is all around the ball all the time, he is rejuvinated it seems with us after lackluster play in Cleveland and NE. I also would include Mack in pleasant surprises as i believe we have only seen glimpses of the REAL Mack attack yet due to the coaches not playing him, i understand we have a proven veteran RB on the team, after this season when Gore leaves im fully confident Mack will assume the number 1 role and become a top 5 running back in the league. Then lastly i would put the Oline in dissapointments, as you stated nobody expected them to blow anyone away but i personally dont think anyone expected them to be as bad as the have been either.

I think everyone expects Mack to be something he is not ......  he is not an every down back.   Everyone sees the couple of big runs and thinks he can do that all the time.    Most don't see that without those 5 big runs he is only averaging 2 yards per carry.   

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I like the assessments as well.. I really think next year with some players healthy we have a good squad!

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Random things im throwing out..

 

Desir's int was absolutely a play of the year candidate. I replayed that a few times for a couple days.

 

TY's flop TD in Hou and his Cleveland TD where he broke Peppers ankles...beauty.

 

I think John Simon will continue to get better.

 

Moving on from McGill, Parry and Kerr were absolutely the right moves as none of them have done squat. Same with Walden as Sheard is solid and looking better each week.

 

Al Woods has been a pleasant surprise as well as Hankins even though he's not getting sacks and accolades, he's a solid force in the middle who doesn't miss any time.

 

Jacoby has saved us from looking like a Curtis Painter led team.

 

Now that we've had a good sample size of what we look like. I'll say I think next year we actually could make a run if things go well obviously. Guys like Luck and Hooker will be back and add in another solid draft by Ballard coupled with some serious cash to play with and I definitely think we'll at least get our South crown back again.

 

Ballard seems intelligent and knows the Oline can't be fixed with a 3rd or 4th pick and a udfa or two. I think he's going to get 2 new guards in FA (solid legit nfl guards) and draft a T along with the udfa guys. They (Ballard/Jim) know they can't just wing it anymore.

 

Sorry for the novel.

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49 minutes ago, Coltfreak said:

I think everyone expects Mack to be something he is not ......  he is not an every down back.   Everyone sees the couple of big runs and thinks he can do that all the time.    Most don't see that without those 5 big runs he is only averaging 2 yards per carry.   

i think they are not using him right, he is not an up the gut runner, he can get outside with his speed and would be great at pitchouts and shuttle passes, run him outside he can turn the corner

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21 minutes ago, IinD said:

Random things im throwing out..

 

Desir's int was absolutely a play of the year candidate. I replayed that a few times for a couple days.

 

TY's flop TD in Hou and his Cleveland TD where he broke Peppers ankles...beauty.

 

I think John Simon will continue to get better.

 

Moving on from McGill, Parry and Kerr were absolutely the right moves as none of them have done squat. Same with Walden as Sheard is solid and looking better each week.

 

Al Woods has been a pleasant surprise as well as Hankins even though he's not getting sacks and accolades, he's a solid force in the middle who doesn't miss any time.

 

Jacoby has saved us from looking like a Curtis Painter led team.

 

Now that we've had a good sample size of what we look like. I'll say I think next year we actually could make a run if things go well obviously. Guys like Luck and Hooker will be back and add in another solid draft by Ballard coupled with some serious cash to play with and I definitely think we'll at least get our South crown back again.

 

Ballard seems intelligent and knows the Oline can't be fixed with a 3rd or 4th pick and a udfa or two. I think he's going to get 2 new guards in FA (solid legit nfl guards) and draft a T along with the udfa guys. They (Ballard/Jim) know they can't just wing it anymore.

 

Sorry for the novel.

good post we are making progress

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1 hour ago, OLD FAN MAN said:

i think they are not using him right, he is not an up the gut runner, he can get outside with his speed and would be great at pitchouts and shuttle passes, run him outside he can turn the corner

I agree.  He has a purpose on this team.  Just not a 3 down back.   Ballard was smart to get him.   If Gore goes he will need to address the RB situation.   And I have confidence he will 

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Jabaal Sheard may not be a surprise, but has been very good. Same goes for Hankins.

The gunners on return team (Kenny Moore and Chris Milton) are both excellent.

To some degree, I have been pleased with Margus Hunt and Mingo.

Before he got hurt, Henry Anderson was playing great.

I admit Doyle has made his share of mistakes, but also many good plays as well.

Chester Rogers is on track.

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I think Chris Ballard has shown us all enough that he can turn this team around.

I'm actually excited for our future.

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2 hours ago, OLD FAN MAN said:

i think they are not using him right, he is not an up the gut runner, he can get outside with his speed and would be great at pitchouts and shuttle passes, run him outside he can turn the corner

 

IMO ,part of the reason Mack has so many negative plays is when he enters the game , more often than not he gets the carry. So I think teams stack the run a bit more when he enters. If he were the #1 RB , I think he would get a few less stacked boxes and run blitzes.

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3 hours ago, 1959Colts said:

Jabaal Sheard may not be a surprise, but has been very good. Same goes for Hankins.

The gunners on return team (Kenny Moore and Chris Milton) are both excellent.

To some degree, I have been pleased with Margus Hunt and Mingo.

Before he got hurt, Henry Anderson was playing great.

I admit Doyle has made his share of mistakes, but also many good plays as well.

Chester Rogers is on track.

Hunt has been a pleasant surprise as a cheap signing.

 

Although he's missed time, Rodgers is electric when he's on. I forgot about some of his 'flash' from last year. If he develops, he looks like he could be a good player.

 

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2 hours ago, dw49 said:

 

IMO ,part of the reason Mack has so many negative plays is when he enters the game , more often than not he gets the carry. So I think teams stack the run a bit more when he enters. If he were the #1 RB , I think he would get a few less stacked boxes and run blitzes.

He also honestly never gets a chance to get into a rhythm. He'll get a carry or two then nothing.

 

Like the week after that great game, he was given little or no play the next week (IIRC). Or have a game with no screen passes to him.

 

It's a mix of several things.

 

He could be dangerous if you utilized him a little better.

 

Sunday he had that bad carry where he ran 20 yards to get no gain I think, then Chud gave it right back to him on the next play right up the middle for minimal gain. Seems like a dumb time to give him another carry after he was probably gassed off that first run.

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7 hours ago, Coltfreak said:

I think everyone expects Mack to be something he is not ......  he is not an every down back.   Everyone sees the couple of big runs and thinks he can do that all the time.    Most don't see that without those 5 big runs he is only averaging 2 yards per carry.   

 

I think Mack would be best used as a dual option in the backfield with a more punishing back. I really like LJ Scott and Royce Freeman in the 4-5th rounds of the draft. 

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12 hours ago, 1959Colts said:

Jabaal Sheard may not be a surprise, but has been very good. Same goes for Hankins.

The gunners on return team (Kenny Moore and Chris Milton) are both excellent.

To some degree, I have been pleased with Margus Hunt and Mingo.

Before he got hurt, Henry Anderson was playing great.

I admit Doyle has made his share of mistakes, but also many good plays as well.

Chester Rogers is on track.

John Simon before injury was probably our best player on d all year

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3 hours ago, MackAttack said:

John Simon before injury was probably our best player on d all year

 

Can't disagree with that. The frustrating thing is that his injury has coincided with Sheard becoming a force. Imagine if we can get them both on the field at top form!

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On 11/17/2017 at 12:18 PM, DaveA1102 said:

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:

 

Pleasant Surprises

 

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! haha 

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.

 

Disappointments

 

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.

 

Other Notes:

 

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....

 

:colts:

Basically Ballard is great. He’s the reason the team has a bright future.

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23 hours ago, richard pallo said:

I think you have done a very nice assessment of our teams progress and where we are right now.  Most of the teams improvement has come on the defensive side of the ball coming from additions and improvement from our young players.  The loss of Luck for the year and the hurried assimilation of Brissett to the lineup certainly has not helped the offense meet our preseason expectations.  I read where Doyle was second in the league in receptions among TE's before the Pittsburgh game.  A stat that blew me away actually.  Who knows what a healthy Luck and a better OL  would have done for Moncrief and the rest of the WR's.   I think you have to congratulate the coaches for this progress and continued improvement that we have seen from this team.  They have gotten better and that's what we are looking for.  It might be a lost season record wise but if you are looking at player and overall team development you have to be pleased with the great progress they have made this year.  No one is happy with the record but you can not ignore the overall improvements that have been achieved.  Everyone is looking forward to new coaches next year but this years staff has done some pretty impressive work teaching and improving the overall contributions of our players.  

   Agreed about the op’s assessment. Also with yours. 

 

   Since football is a team sport, the success or failure of individual players is affected by players around them. Likewise the success or failure of the coaches. All I know is, those players were giving effort and there are improvements, despite the record.

   Unfortunately, this year was devastating with Luck out.

  They could overcome most injuries, but not Luck. Same with the Packers and Texans.

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On ‎18‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 9:50 PM, coltsfeva said:

   Agreed about the op’s assessment. Also with yours. 

 

   Since football is a team sport, the success or failure of individual players is affected by players around them. Likewise the success or failure of the coaches. All I know is, those players were giving effort and there are improvements, despite the record.

   Unfortunately, this year was devastating with Luck out.

  They could overcome most injuries, but not Luck. Same with the Packers and Texans.

 

I always find it amazing the contrast between the game being the most team-oriented sport on the planet and the effect losing a QB can have.

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This is why I love the mentality of Chris Ballard.  He wants to build a TEAM that is not dependent on the success of Luck.  If we can build something similar to a team like the 00's Ravens or Pats you have solid TEAMS.  Great defense and simple offensive schemes help any plug-in QB.  Ravens had a few mediocre QB's to say the least and won a SB and were able to remain consistent as a threat each year.  Before Flacco!  Pats are a solid built team and having Brady helps but if he goes down the backup will do the same thing.  Build a team and get the most out of every position and do not ride one mans shoulders with all hopes on their health.  Peyton and now Luck had to deal with this.

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On 11/18/2017 at 12:08 PM, Defjamz26 said:

Basically Ballard is great. He’s the reason the team has a bright future.

 

Just so you realize that in late-November of 2012,  we all thought the exact same thing about Ryan Grigson in his first year as GM.      And he went on to be named the NFL's executive of the year.

 

Then he missed on way, WAY too many draft picks and free agents,  and ran a toxic program behind the scenes.

 

And then,  he got fired.

 

I like Ballard as much as anyone.....    but history says don't pass judgement too quickly about that job.   Things can change quickly.      

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35 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

Just so you realize that in late-November of 2012,  we all thought the exact same thing about Ryan Grigson in his first year as GM.      And he went on to be named the NFL's executive of the year.

 

Then he missed on way, WAY too many draft picks and free agents,  and ran a toxic program behind the scenes.

 

And then,  he got fired.

 

I like Ballard as much as anyone.....    but history says don't pass judgement too quickly about that job.   Things can change quickly.      

Where as I am not sold on Ballard yet, still to early, I was never sold on Grigson.

 

Luck was a foregone conclusion and an Irsay pick.  TY and Vick Ballard I liked.  That is about it!  Free Agency moves, I really was not pleased.  Never was a fan of Laron Landry, as he really played a full season and could not tackle or cover really.  One big hit was all he was good for and then hurt shortly after.  

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47 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

Just so you realize that in late-November of 2012,  we all thought the exact same thing about Ryan Grigson in his first year as GM.      And he went on to be named the NFL's executive of the year.

 

Then he missed on way, WAY too many draft picks and free agents,  and ran a toxic program behind the scenes.

 

And then,  he got fired.

 

I like Ballard as much as anyone.....    but history says don't pass judgement too quickly about that job.   Things can change quickly.      

True. But the way he’s handled FA off the bat is what I think makes him better already. His philosophy to bring in younger players under 30 and sign them to short deals is something Grigson didn’t do. He also cut most of the players over 30 on the roster. Not to mention Ballard hit on his very 1st, 1st round pick. Since we generally don’t give him credit for Luck, Bjoern Warner was Grigson’s first, 1st round pick and he missed big time. Also got a very good backup QB for nothing.

 

It has only been a small sample size, but I think he’s shown us enough to be labeled as good. The upside is promising. He’s already done a 360 with the roster and done so many things different from Grigson.

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