Colts 2013 Offseason Preview: Colts Prefer "Big Time Playmakers" Over "Big Named Players."
If there's anything that can be said about the new regime running the Colts front office, it's that these guys will take a chance on players they see make plays over players who have all the hype usually associated with big names. Instead of going after high profile players who would demand big contracts, last year GM Ryan Grigson signed unheralded yet productive players like Jerrell Freeman, Corey Redding, and relied on a list of rookies who flat out produced on both sides of the ball. With the 2013 offseason under way, Grigs and company have continued that trend by beefing up the defensive side of the ball as well as adding low risk/high reward talent on the offensive side like Wr Darius Heyward Bey.
Year after year we see teams go after big named players, often depleting their wallets in doing so yet more often than not fail to get their money's worth on their investments. Decisions like this can set a team back for years. The Redskins have been the NFL's poster child in that regard for over a decade. In short, what Grigson and his staff have done thus far is nothing short of remarkable, which is why he is the reigning GM of the year. This approach has allowed the front office to fill many of the teams holes without setting themselves up for cap woes in the future.
With 245 college football programs in the US, each averaging roughly 90 players per team, I've never been one to believe in the process that seems to permeate the line of thinking of most scouts, GMs, and coaches in the NFL when it comes to their talent evaluation process of only focusing on the players who get the most burn time on the TV tube. Walter Payton, one of the best RBs to ever play the game came from a small, little known school named Jackson State. Jerry Rice came from Mississippi Valley State, another small, unheralded school. Both of these players had HOF careers. The NFL is full of players who had "big time names" in college, were drafted in the 1st round yet never lived up to the top billing they were projected to. It's also full of players who were snubbed, and overlooked yet have been better than what many of their critics thought they'd be. Alex Smith was drafted 1st overall by the Niners but Aaron Rodgers was drafted at the end of the first round (24th). The comparison of who's the better QB is not even close.
While most critics have teams like the Broncos, Niners, and Seahawks as the favorites to hoist this year's Lombardi trophy, the Colts could very well be this year's dark horse. I am gonna go out on a limb and say that I think the 2013 Colts will be just as good as the Broncos are projected to be. Maybe even better. The truth is the Colts (a team picked by many to be worse last year than they were the previous one) not only did more than double their win total, will be one of the best teams in the league while fielding a roster loaded with players that nobody is talking about. And remember, Andrew Luck was a rookie last year. The kid is only gonna get better..
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