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Where Are All the Ballard Bashers Now?

From day one I've been telling Colts fans and pundits who were mad that Colts GM Chris Ballard for not being "active in free agency" that Ballard was the smartest man in the room when it came to building this new and improving Colts roster. He's been on the clock for two years now and that's how far back I've been telling people that the man knows his stuff when it comes to not only properly evaluating talent but also by building a team the right way. From the beginning of the 2018 free agency period (And last year's too), plenty of Colts fans were all calling for Ballard's head when he didn't go on a spending spree with the team having over 52 million dollars in cap space. I, on the other hand, echoed Ballard's sentiments from day one of his preaching of: "You need to grow your own, and build through the draft. "You wanna only use free agency in order to supplement your draft." As we go well into year two of his tenure, Ballard is doing exactly what I said he would: "Proving to everyone that he's the smartest man in the room when it comes to building a team the right way." Say what you want about his offseason gaffe regarding the Josh McDaniels debacle, but even with that I can understand his logic of going after McDaniels because had it gone through he would have killed two birds with one stone by A: making the Colts better while B: weakening a division rival in the process.   After gutting the roster (Literally) of Ryan Grigson's multiple draft and FA miscues, Ballard has been stacking the team with top-tier talent. From Malik Hooker to Marlon Mack. Anthony Walker to Grover Stewart. Quinton Nelson to Kemoko Turay. Darius Leonard to Tyquan Lewis. Nyheim Hines to Jordan Wilkins. Follow that with players he's acquired coming out of nowhere like Mo Alie-Cox along with FA castoffs deemed busts like Eric Ebron and Margus Hunt just to name a few and you see the work of a man who has an impeccable eye for talent. Now he hasn't hit on every one of his picks or free agents (See Terrell Basham and Quincy Wilson), but even when it comes to players like Quincy Wilson the jury is still out on them as they continue to learn a new system. All in all, this should come as no surprise to anyone who's actually taken the time to follow Ballard's illustrious career throughout his NFL journey. The man has done this everywhere he's gone, working with and learning from some of the game's best with the resume to prove it. From day one when Jim Irsay started his search for a new GM Chris Ballard was the man I wanted for the job from the beginning. After he was hired I began telling people that this was going to go down as one of the best hirings this team has ever had because there was no doubt in my mind that Ballard had the goods to turn this franchise into an elite dynasty as long as he was given the time and freedom to do this his way. Now that the fruits of his labor are starting to produce, Ballard can now look to the 2019 offseason with not only more money to count with but also for turning the Colts into a contender that many FAs on the market won't mind coming to play for. In spite of their current record, I still think this team can compete against the AFC's best and if the defense can rediscover the mojo they had towards the beginning of the season this is easily a SB team because no one is stopping the offense. Yes I said it. NO ONE. When you have the kind of offensive line and weapons that the Colts have with not only a franchise QB like Luck running it but also a HC who is as innovative as they come in Frank Reich to pair Luck with the sky is virtually the limit.

 

divineprodigy

divineprodigy

 

With Trade Deadline Approaching, Colts Should Call Cards, Trade for Peterson.

The Cowboys just added Amari Cooper, the player most Indy fans wanted to see come here and play for the horseshoe, and he apparently is one of many available players in John Gruden's "Raiders firesale" currently underway. Given the recent play and rash of injuries to the WR position in Indy who could blame Colts fans for being upset that Chris Ballard didn't go after him or Dez Bryant? Once again, I'm with team Ballard on this one due to the fact that Oakland's asking price was too much even for a WR of Cooper's caliber. Ditto on Dez who's baggage weighed more than the talent he would bring to the table. I know you're asking: "Well who would you go after then if not those two?" I'm glad you asked. Given the needs of both teams, the most willing dance partner for the Colts might be the Arizona Cardinals who have a Patrick Peterson problem right now. Peterson wants out of Arizona and has requested to be traded, preferably to the Saints. Nevermind that. I think he wouldn't mind playing for the Colts at the prospect of being given the opportunity to play with a bonified franchise QB for the 1st time in his career. The Colts need a shutdown corner and guess what? the Cards need a QB. Enter Jacoby Brissett. I know the Cardinals drafted Josh Rosen but given that there's no guarantee that he'll ever become the franchise QB they need him to be, it wouldn't hurt to have a QB like Brissett who at the very least would be a damn good insurance policy if he doesn't. This is a trade that could be made straight up given the fact that teams have been inquiring about Brissett since training camp. Look, I am just as big a fan of Brissett as most Colts fans around here, but truth be told he is just too good of QB to be standing on the sidelines. Although the selfish side of me doesn't want to see him go, I also don't want to see someone as talented as he is spend his career as a backup on a team where he most likely won't be given a chance to shine. This is a win-win situation for both teams. The Cardinals would get a damn good player at a position of need and the Colts would get the same. Peterson would absolutely kill it in this system and would transform the Colts D the same way Kahlil Mack is for the Bears now, and like Mack you can plug him in from day one & forget about it because the rest is history.
 

divineprodigy

divineprodigy

 

"Didn't I Tell You The Colts Offense Wouldn't Be a Problem? "I Might Be Wrong About D Though."

Remember when I told you guys back in the offseason that the Colts were in good hands with the new staff? I told you that the offense new head coach Frank Reich was bringing with him from Philly would be a perfect match for Luck's skill set. I also mentioned that I thought it would take by week 6 for the defense to come around and based that off of the team having so many young players who would need time to "figure it out" in a new system. Well if the first two games are any indication, the defense might not be far behind the offense. This young bunch of "I don't know any betters" spear-headed by the emergence of standout rookie LB Darius "The Maniac" Leonard has been nothing short of flat out amazing. When you compare this group to previous ones, the one thing that stands out immediately is the overall speed of the defense. I don't think I've ever seen a Colts team this fast from a trenches standpoint.   I watched the game against the Redskins this weekend and couldn't help noticing how quickly the D-linemen shot of the ball and wrecked havoc on a Skins O-line that was predicted by many to man-handle the Colts to the tune of Adrian Peterson going off for 200 yards rushing. AP didn't even sniff 50 for the entire game. He didn't even sniff 30. From Marcus Hunt to Jabaal Sheard Indy's front seven was a force to be reckoned with all game. One guy who has been overlooked though has been the surprising play of Hassan Ridgeway. Ridgeway was a monster until he injured a calf in the 2nd quarter. I counted numerous plays where he fired of the ball so fast that he was literally in the backfield at the same time Alex Smith was handing the ball off (When's the last time you saw that from a Colts defense?). The surprising play from the defense this early can only be accredited to two things: 1) Chris Ballard's eye for talent. and 2) Players being prepared for each game by their coaching staff. It's no secret how I've felt about this coaching staff and from office we now have in Indy. I've said on more than one occasion that before its all said and done this current front office and coaching staff will go down as one of the very best we've ever had here in Indy. In fact, Chris Ballard should lock up Matt Eberflus NOW before the end of the season because there's no doubt in my mind that he will be a hot commodity come this offseason for a HC job and it will probably start after the first game we play against the Jags.    I know everyone is on the Jags bandwagon and toting them as being the best team in football right now, especially after the way they beat the Pats last week. I, however, am not that impressed with them because I will never be a believer in Blake Bortles. He will only thrive in games where he is not required to carry his team on his shoulders. As long as you can stop the run and limit your turnovers against the Jags D, they are very beatable. I don't care what Bortles did last week against NE because I predicted the Pats will slide this year anyway. They really weren't that impressive last year and if we are all honest with ourselves, they haven't been since Darrell Revis was with the team. The Pats have had the luxury of playing in the weakest division in the AFC for well over a decade now and that has played a major factor in their continued "success." That said, the Colts should take a page from NE and do for Eberflus what the Pats did for Josh McDaniels. "Pay him. Pay that man his money." I'm not saying he should get the kind of money that McDaniels is getting, but I am saying at least make the effort to pay him enough to at least make him think about staying. Continuity is so important in this league especially when it comes to the coaching staff, or in the Colts' case keeping what could be one of the best staffs in the game intact for the long haul.    I know it's still very early, but I'm still not backing down from my bold predictions for this year's Colts team. I think they will be more than ready to challenge the Jags for the AFC South crown and due to the edge at QB I think we are more than capable of winning it. Unlike most fans, I'm not judging the Jags off of what they did vs the Pats. I judge them off of how they looked vs an offensively inept Giants team led by an over the hill Eli Manning in week one. The Giants are a team the Jags should have dominated, yet escaped with a 5 point win with one of their scores coming from a pick-six by the defense. That doesn't exactly spell "Superbowl" team to me. Mark my words. The Colts will be a force to be reconned with this year and the coaching staff that is now in place will be a big reason why.

divineprodigy

divineprodigy

 

Saquon Barkley Vs Bradley Chubb Comes Down to Which Would Make the Bigger Team Impact For Colts.

Well the Colts now have their man at HC in Former Pats OC Josh McDaniels. Although I admit I had some reservations on this hire even I can't deny the impact his offensive scheme should have with a healthy Andrew Luck and potential studs like Marlon Mack at his disposal. McDaniels is a mastermind in how to properly utilize the screen game, and when you have a suspect line like the Colts currently do, you can cover a lot of those holes with it. That brings us to the up coming draft and which direction the Colts should take between two outstanding talents who at the very least one of whom should be available when the Colts pick at #3 overall.    The general consensus around the MSM sports personalities and Colts fans alike is that the Horseshoes should either draft Chubb, or address the O-line to protect 12. I am of the mindset that the team should go in a totally different direction and draft Barkley and here's why. In terms of acquiring players who have the best chance of impacting your team the most, there's no doubt in my mind that Barkley has the better chance to do just that than Chubb would. Now I know that all of the Josh McDaniels fanboys out there will say: "We don't need a guy like Barkley because look at what McDaniels did with Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and James White." My answer to that is 1st off, McDaniels has never had a chance to have a back as dynamic as Barkley at his disposal, and there's a reason why he had to work with not 1, not 2, but 3 RBs for his offense: "All of them are just dudes" while Barkley is "the guy." The important thing to note here is that there's a difference between the type of RBs the Pats have been using vs that the caliber of Saquon Barkley. All of the backs the Pats have been using are 5,10, and occasionally (Key word: Occasionally) 15-20 yard "safety valve/dump off" guys. Barkley is a "68 and out the gate" guy... Let that sink in for a moment. I'll use one play from last weekend's SB for an example. Remember the screen play in the second qtr to Rex Burkhead that went for 46 yards that he was run down from behind on? Insert Barkley on that same play and its a TD. You aren't running Barkley down from behind once he gets into the open field and even if you do, at 230 lbs with 4.3 speed good luck bringing him down.   NE's RBs are not guys you have to "game plan" for. Barkley on the other hand is the kind of talent you have to account for no matter where he is on the field. Not only does he provide a lethal weapon for McDaniels to terrorize defenses with, he also makes your O-line look better than it really is. That also protects your QB because as long as opponents have to account for Barkley, they can't pin their ears back and T-off on Luck. This also improves your defense because not only will they not be on the field as much, the pressure their opponents will be under in order to try and keep up with the Colts offense will keep them in high stakes situations. If you want proof of that you need look no further than this year's SB. The Pats just made it to yet another SB appearance with a defense in the opinion of many (Mine included) to be down right atrocious. Sorry Lions fans, but Matt Patricia is no "defensive guru" and I predict that the honey moon in Detroit will not only be short lived, but also Patricia will be added to the list of Patriot coaching castoffs who failed once they left BB. Still, the Pats made it to the SB in spite of their porous defense and if you take a look at history as well as factor in the way the league has been consistently catering to the offensive side of the ball in terms of officiating, the smart thing to do as far as building a team would be to take advantage of that by putting the most formidable offense that you possibly can together on the field. In terms of history, even before many of the league's rule changes for today's game, teams that were stacked on offense fared better in going deep into the playoffs vs teams with good defenses while suspect on the other side of the ball did. Look at the Niners of Steve Young's era, the Bills under Kelly, the Broncos with Elway, and the Rams of the late 90s early 2000's.   Ladies & gentlemen the jury is in. Saquon Barkley without a doubt would impact the Colts much more than Bradley Chubb would, and when you look at the likely scenario that the Colts will be moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense there's a very real possibility that the pass rusher the Colts need is already on the team in Terrell Basham. I'm not ready to "give up" on the young guys from last year's draft, and as bad as the former coaching staff was from a player's developmental standpoint, there's only one direction those same players can go in with the new regime that's coming in: "up."

divineprodigy

divineprodigy

 

Peyton Manning Swag Drawing!

Follow this link to enter the drawing for a Peyton Manning Poster or towel.   http://forums.colts.com/topic/54273-peyton-manning-swag-drawing/   You must be logged in to enter the contests. Joining the forum is free.  

Nadine

Nadine

  • Blog Comments

    • All the drawing dates are here https://www.colts.com/news/fan-forum-2018-ticket-giveaway   Bills drawing is on 10/15/18    
    • It's LeBron being LeBron. I have never been a fan of his for many reasons. He looks like a decent family man and takes great care of his kids + has never been in trouble with the law so I respect him for that - he is also a Great Basketball player, best today.  Having said that his ego is outrageous, he left Cleveland in his prime because he couldn't win a Championship. Peyton Manning for example never thought about leaving Indy because he couldn't win for years against the Pats and Steelers in the Playoffs. Peyton stayed in Indy and won the SB. LeBron took the easy way out and went to Miami dead smack in his prime to join Wade and Bosh so he would be guaranteed at least 1 Championship. I just will never get over that because players like Magic, Bird, Jordan, and Kobe would never do that. He also left Miami to go back to Cleveland once he realized Wade and Bosh weren't what they were after the Spurs embarrassed the Heat in 2014. He had Irving in Cleveland who anyone can see is a younger version of Wade for major help to try and patch things up in Cleveland for leaving and win that city a Championship. He also seems to get upset over the silliest stuff, like the word POSSE. I personally think he just doesn't like Phil Jackson because Phil thinks Jordan and Kobe were better players than he is. To show I am not totally a LeBron hater I have him in my Top 10 players ever list. I take pride in my lists so that is just common sense. I don't think he is better than Jordan, Magic, Bird, or Kobe though. I have seen all of them first hand and have watched most of those players games. You cant put LeBron ahead of Kareem or Shaq either IMO. Kareem and Shaq were so dominant at the Center position that if there was an all-time Draft, if someone took them 1 and 2 I wouldn't blame them.
    • Yes, that is a fair point some individuals just like to stir the pot & cause controversy & mayhem simply because their life has not turned out as well as they wish it had. Like it's somebody's else's fault that they don't make enough money or have a pretty girlfriend or any girlfriend for that matter.    Look, I'm not trying to minimize any fatality white, black, male, or female & I know that being a police officer is not an easy job. I get that. I just wanna get to an atmosphere of mutual respect for human decency & dignity. The strange thing is this: The black community knows that not all cops are bad. They just want to return home safely every night & not feel singled out simply because they are driving a fancy car in an affluent neighborhood. Not all black citizens are violent criminals up to no good who couldn't possibly afford the wheels they are driving without doing something illegal. Or just because your vehicle may be run down & not new; it doesn't mean that the driver or their passengers are second class citizens to be harassed for no good reason.    I also get the police side too to some extent. Any routine traffic stop from running a stop sign to a broken tail light can turn dangerous in an instant if the driver feels threatened or uneasy given recent casualties around the country right now. I just wish more cops would be willing to talk to their supervisors about police officers too aggressive & guys who need to find another line of work since they either abuse their authority or they display anger too frequently to specific segments of society. Silence is a form of acceptance & good cops have to be willing to speak out & weed out bad cops. I don't view it as taddle telling...More like making sure that the right personalities respect the shield & protect the community on the street. I've heard the counter argument to this: If a cop doesn't turn a blind eye to bad behavior, then when you're in trouble no backup will show up to save your caboose. I'm not talking about minor infractions here. I'm referring to repeated cases of excessive force against suspects & using your gun & badge as an intimidation tool to make civilians fear you.    Community policing on foot goes a long way to the community viewing cops as a vital cog in the town or city along with attending local parades, picnics, games, & other social events. People need to see you as just a regular guy or girl not out to bust you, but a conduit to a safer & friendly community. Town hall meeting forums are good too as a way to clear the air & get to know the community whereby no one is looking to pigeonhole people into corners but figure out ways in which no segment of society feels unfairly categorized as a criminal from jump street & to not have 2 separate codes of justice purely based on a person's zip code, attire, appearance, or skin color.    It also bothers me how some police departments have access to military grade weaponry beyond basic SWAT units across this country. It's difficult to foster an air of trust among the locals when armed vehicles are being deployed & officers come out in full riot gear to get a handle on protests. I wanna be clear here. I do not want either civilians or cops hurt or killed in any way. But, when you see a cop holding a night stick with full gear on, it's not easy to approach that & feel safe & secure as a local person now is it? 
    • I am getting ready to get off work so I will have to respond to your Post tomorrow in more detail but all great points. Racism will probably never go away unfortunately as there are just people in this world that are ignorant and violent. I am not sure how anyone can solve some of the violence talking place. It just seems to get worse and worse with groups of people getting shot in night clubs, theaters, etc. for no reason. White cops aren't doing themselves any favors either by shooting unarmed black men during traffic stops. It just makes matters much worse.
    • Thank you CBE for your response to my blog entry. I know how busy peoples daily lives are so I am grateful for feedback & different points of view on this subject matter.    Max Kellerman on ESPN 'First Take' has made the intriguing argument that in America anyway the Natl. Anthem standing up during it is a mandatory gesture of compliance as opposed to a voluntary one where dissent is frowned upon & even called out publicly if you refuse to stand up while the Star Spangled Banner is being sung vocally or played through a variety of instruments.   If an act is required with backlash coming if you exercise defiance, where is independence & liberty being displayed individually without fear of retaliation exactly? Didn't George Washington defy King George III & call for a revolution against Great Britain's colonization & lack of religious & economic freedom which lead to the formation of the United States in 1776?    Still other American scholars have made the argument that the red in our nation's union jack represents the blood of the many black men & women who paid the ultimate sacrifice through war & forced bondage to play a crucial role in the United States autonomy away from the cash crop economies of cotton & tobacco via indentured servitude that survived slavery, Jim Crow laws, & city & natl. prohibitions against unfair restrictions on unlawful voting practices, unlawful access to an equal education; unlawful employment restrictions, unlawful housing practices; & unlawful guidelines about separate lunch counters; restrooms; water fountains & basic dignity rights about human survival minus lynchings & other forms of physical & psychological torture.      Relax, I'm not here to lecture anybody about our country's past missteps or injustices CBE. I am only pointing out what others have said about America's right to peaceful protest earned tragically through rebellion, wars, death,  & social unrest just to allow some US citizens the right to not stand during the Natl. Anthem. I like you dislike this act of defiance immensely, but that decision to not stand or kneel during the Star Spangled Banner is a choice they are entitled to exercise no matter how much others might firmly be diametrically opposed to this notion outright.    I've said this before & I'll say it again: To me, the flag & honoring it through the Natl. Anthem represents the land of opportunity where immigrants with nothing can come here & make something of themselves despite language barriers, cultural barriers, geographic barriers, & gender barriers. Yes, I know. The flag also means paying tribute to the fallen [military men & women & those who made positive strides forward as leaders of social change in this country as well].    Colin Kaepernick wants to use his quarterback clout as a conduit to convey his frustrations over so many black brothers & sisters dying over minor traffic stops when more police stations across this country need to focus their attention on how to de-escaltate volatile situations more calmly & peacefully with no fatalities at all. And when a police officer oversteps their bounds of authority...There is a heavy price to pay meaning hard time behind bars in a federal prison.   I also know we need to find a way to peel back the onion of racial bias & prejudice among different communities too. We need to start a dialogue between the black, white, & Latino communities where a safe comfort zone is established. By that I mean, create an atmosphere where all sides can ask each other anything not as a mechanism to upset or blame each other but rather to listen to everyone's hopes, dreams, & aspirations while unpacking misconceived prejudices about another community that are not accurate or truthful at all in the interest of real growth & awareness. It may sound like a far fetched pipe dream on the surface, but it can be achieved as long as different groups from different backgrounds really listen to one another & they don't get obsessed with protecting their own point of view exclusively at all costs. Yes, I know. The first thing any group needs is to know that they are safe, protected, & no bodily harm will come to them when interacting with powerful authority figures in society or expressing a POV that may be deemed unflattering or unpopular in contemporary circles. I understand completely. Trust me.    I have my first college roommate named Al who happens to be an America Indian that converse with somewhat frequently on provocative issues. I just enjoy our conversations because we respect the other person's backgrounds & life experiences & we can ask each other anything because for us it's not about a gotcha moment or look how smart I am stance. We wanna get deep below the surface & kick every rock/road block over. To quote HOF INDY head coach Tony Dungy, "are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"    Thanks again CBE for jotting down your thoughts. I respect you as a writer & thinker a great deal.         
    • Here's my short take on Colin and what is going on: I have no problem with people protesting about something they believe in or serious matters like racism, that is everyone's right to do so. Where I have the problem is dissing the American flag. It doesn't accomplish anything and it really gets many people to dislike you and question why you are doing that. To me it's dissing the Military and the USA when you don't acknowledge the flag. All you are doing is drawing negative attention to yourself when doing so. Had Colin just went on TV or got with some politicians on TV and discussed his issues on different talk shows to get his message out and how we should go about improving the neighborhoods I would be behind him 100%. I just don't get kneeling for a flag that represents your country. Some people say it's just a song but it represents our country, where we live. If someone is that upset with the USA they can always move to a different country if things aren't getting any better for them. This country has a lot of issues but it is still gives most people a lot of leeway to say and do what they want. Colin Kaepernick isn't African American either, His mother is white, he is mixed.
    • I hope you're hanging in there brother as well as can be expected given such heart wrenching circumstances. Miss you man. I'm here if you need me. God bless, my friend. 
    • YSGC,    Thank you for being brave enough to share such personal information about the loss of your beloved father. That took a tremendous amount of courage on your part.    Naturally, that void in your life will never be filled of course, but this line made me smile:    "He insisted we bury him in his Colts gear"  Awesome! 
    • When are people going to realize that the offensive line talent in last year's draft, outside of La'ell Collins, just wasn't that good? Sure we could've used a couple of picks on some mediocre o-line talent, and people would be right here, with their 20/20 hindsight, saying that they were terrible picks, and that Grigson should be fired.   Instead, we took a WR. People didn't like the pick, as the Colts allegedly were already "stacked at WR." Well, fast forward to this year: Johnson is all but gone come March, it doesn't look like Duron Carter will pan out, and Griff Whalen has been cut. The good news... we still have our trio of WRs for potentially the next 10 years in TY/Moncrief/Dorsett, and this year's draft is stacked with very talented offensive linemen. This, to me, makes the Dorsett pick look much smarter than it did a little less than a year ago.   And can we please stop trying to act like Bill Polian never missed on a draft pick? Jerry Hughes, Tony Ugoh, Anthony Gonzalez... do those names ring a bell? All first round BUSTS that happened on Polian's watch. Sure, Hughes went on to have success in Buffalo, but his failure to produce in Indy makes him a busted pick in my opinion.