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  1. I think he has a shot, especially if he continues to create or pickup turnovers (by create, I mean INTs and forcing fumbles.. by picking up, I mean someone else creates and he falls on the ball -- he had an INT, forced fumble and fumble recovery yesterday.. wow!). In years past, I think his tackle numbers were so insane which really helped him make all-pro as he was flying under the radar. He also had quite a bit of sacks for his position. Now he's a household name for fans around the league and his tackle numbers are down (not saying they are bad.. but he's not leading the league, heck he's not even leading his own team with 45 thru 6 games.. behind Okereke's 51). Unless he somehow really turns his tackle numbers up (which I don't foresee the way he's playing on this D, especially with his ankle issue), he's going to have to either start getting a lot of sacks or continue with the turnover streak if he's going to make all-pro again (probowl is a different story, as now that he's a household name, I think he'll get a lot of fan votes).
  2. Leonard has always seemed to have a knack for creating turnovers and he seems to be able to do it at key times (e.g., his forced fumble last year against the Texans). Today's game, though it wasn't a spectacular INT, it came at a key moment. Up 10-3, HOU got a stop on us to start the 2nd half... had they scored and tied the game after getting the ball back, it's a different game -- Leonard getting the pick to give us the ball right back (with good field position), really shifted momentum today and allowed us to blow the game wide open. It does seem to me like Leonard is having kind of a down year (considering he's been an all-pro his first three years, it isn't shocking to see him slip some). My guess is a good bit of that is due to his ankle. It also seems like he's being used a bit differently without Walker around. Additionally, as our front four (hopefully) continues to improve (remember we're missing Autry and Houston who were two of the 3 biggest pieces on last years front four, Paye and Turay have battled injuries all year, etc.), I think Leonard will benefit. Anyway, Leonard is definitely a leader of this team and brings a high level of energy and excitement to the group. Glad he is a Colt... hopefully he can get this ankle issue figured out and remain healthy and on the field for us for a long time to come.
  3. Ballard has been very open since day 1 that he is believes in coaching and that some players need a few years to develop with proper NFL coaching. The 2017 draft, like others have said, was largely based on Pagano's wants. As @EastStreetsays (quoted below), Hooker played well early. Quincy had a time period where he looked good (when Mike Mitchell was here), but definitely seemed to lack something in the mental part to really be a solid NFL player (at least while he was here -- he is still in the league and still relatively young at age 25). Turay has looked very good this year, IMO. His big issue has been inability to stay healthy, which stinks. Turay did have an injury history, so maybe it's fair to bash Ballard on taking a guy with an injury history... but Ballard said pretty much right away that Turay was a bit raw and would take a couple years to develop. He seems to be developing all right. Lewis has also suffered due to injury bug, though he really looks to be pretty good this year. I think his toe injury which hampered him most of his rookie year hurt him a bit, not just because he missed time or was playing hurt/slow, but also because I think it impacted the way he was used as a rotational DL who sometimes plays inside and sometimes plays outside. This year, he looks good and it looks like he is being used the most effectively he has been in his career. He's on pace for ~10 sacks this year, which (IMO) is pretty hard to say is disappointing from a guy drafted at 64. The 2019 draft... again Ya-Sin has been hampered by injury for sure. He had his ups and downs last year and got into a little rut with pass interference calls. He worked his way up to CB #1 this year before getting hurt again. If he stays healthy and on the trajectory he's on, he's a solid pick. Banogu doesn't look horrible this year, but of all the picks you mentioned, he has been the worst IMO.. still not giving up on him completely as he was definitely a project player when drafted, but he's gotta turn his potential into production ASAP. Then Campbell has shown a bunch of flashes. I thought he looked very good against Balt. and think as WEntz develops more confidence in him, the more he'll grow. Again, Campbell has been hit with the injury bug (and in this case, he had no real injury history when he was drafted)... which is unfortunate. I think, if healthy, you'll want to remove Campbell from this list by the end of the year. Now, I get it -- DK Metcalf is doing great in SEA -- that said, DK had a huge flag about him regarding a neck injury which is why so many other teams passed up on him, so I don't blame Ballard at all there. I think Hooker's inability to stay healthy was his biggest issue. I think he could be all right in Flus' system -- as you noted, he was a better fit for Pagano's D than Flus', but if he stayed healthy, I think Hooker would be all right in Flus' system. The other thing with Hooker was he kinda disappeared at times, which for a FS, I don't think is a terrible thing (i.e., I think teams were mostly avoiding throwing his way even in Flus' scheme).
  4. That loss was frustrating... though, some positives came out of it: 1) Wentz looked very good for the most part ( a couple plays I thought he held the ball too long or didn't make the right read, but just a handful... for the most part, he was very good, I was glad to see he was so poised on the last drive of the 4th Q, putting us in a position to win on a 47 yard FG attempt). 2) Our OL looked very good despite not having Q, B. Smith and having Kelly banged up (again, a couple plays weren't good, but for the most part, they looked very good against a tough D -- if you count STs, their worst two plays of the game, IMO were the last two field goal attempts, letting Campbell get that far inside -- he went right over Glow both of them, blocked the first one and if Rodrigo kicked the next one straight, it looked like it would've gotten blocked again), 3) Our WRs looked impressive -- Baltimore is a tough team with a very strong D, and our WRs did well for the most part, 4) Our RBs looked very good -- Taylor had a very solid game, so did Mack... Hines was OK in limited time, 5) Our D looked solid for 3/4 of the game -- I won't have time to rewatch anytime soon, but for now, I'm not sure how much of the 4th Q/OT meltdown is on Flus, how much it is on having the secondary so banged up, how much it is on the fact that Lamar Jackson is a legit MVP candidate year in and year out the past few years and there's only so long you can hold an offense led by him back, etc. Some major negatives: 1) Our injury bug is ridiculous -- it's been going on since preseason.. but it seems like it is hitting us at almost every position now (again, I imagine some of that 4th Q meltdown was the fact that we were without a huge chunk of our secondary), 2) We may have a major K problem -- if Blankenship is truly hurt/injured, I expect we'll see him IRed tomorrow and his replacement brought in... even if he's not, I gotta worry about his confidence now and never thought he had a strong leg to begin with... we have been spoiled as most of the Vanderjagt years and all but his last year, the Vinatieri years, we had one of, if not the best, kicking games in the league... it's never good when we're losing games due to missed PATs and FGs from within 50 yards, 3) Our LB pass coverage -- I thought they tackled OK... but Andrews (TE) gashed us up... I thought the coverage from Okereke on him, especially on the goal line in the 4th Q was pathetic. 4) Some dumb penalties -- the first that comes to mind was the pass interference against Pittman. I like Pittman, but it seems like he has at least one dumb play (penalty) too often. Not that our other 4 penalties were any better, but at least some on the OL I hope can be chalked up to the fact that we're missing 2 starters, still welcoming Fisher (his false start was bad), and at least one of our other starters (Kelly) is playing banged up. 5) Earlier this year, we let R. Wilson (a mobile QB) throw for a perfect passer rating against us... last night, Lamar had probably the best game of his career. Other than his fumble and his slow start.... the 3rd/4th quarters and OT, he absolutely scorched us. I get it, we were playing with a very banged up secondary. That said, if we make it to the playoffs, we're doomed if we can't figure out how to deal with mobile QBs, as we'll likely have to face Mahommes, LJ, Allen from the AFC (all of whom are mobile QBs who can also throw). A point I think is moot: 1) Offensive play calling and Wentz -- we played very well against a very strong D for most of the game. Other than the fumble, and maybe a few plays where he held the ball a bit long, Wentz played well. There were one or two plays where I thought he should have audibled out of the play he called, but otherwise, Wentz was solid. Reich and Brady, I thought, did a heckuva job on the offensive play calling. For all those complaining that we should have gone for a big play on 3rd and 8 before Blankenship had a FG blocked, I guarantee if we turned the ball over (INT or fumble), if Wentz got sacked and moved us back a few yards, if we had an offensive penalty, etc... you would be the same ones saying Reich was dumb for not going for a first down on a 3rd and long and settling for a FG which would have put us up by two possessions and made it pretty impossible for us to lose. Also, Blankenship missed a PAT (which stinks) and then up 22-3 we missed a 2 pt conversion which also stunk. That said, making the 2 pt conversion puts us up 3 TDs. For those calling for Reich to be fired because he went for 2 pt conversion instead of going for PAT, you all would have been just as bad had we gone for the PAT and Blankenship missed again. I'm sure Reich remembers last year when we held Balt to 7 points in the first half and gave up 17 in the second half and was thinking (aside from Blankenship possibly being injured) that 24-3 is way better than 22 or 23-3 with how explosive LJ and the Ravens O can be. Why I remain hopeful: 1) We have 5 very winnable games in a row with Houston, 49ers, Titans at home, NYJ, Jax. Should be realistically able to go 5-0 during this stretch... so if we are 6-4 going into Buffalo I think we'll be in a good spot. Then we have a tough TB at home, and Houston. Very realistically, I think we can go into the bye week at 7-6 .. after our bye, the only concern I have is AZ.. so I think a 10-7 record is very feasible for us (if not better, assuming we don't lose any games we should win, beat the Titans in the rematch, and potentially get a win over Buff, TB, or AZ). As bad at HOU and JAX are, I think our only competition in the AFC S if TEN. At 3-2 (with a loss to the lowly Jets), they have the Bills, Chiefs, us, Rams and Saints in the next 5 weeks... while I think we can legit go 5-0, assuming we beat TEN, I think the best they will be able to do is go 1-4 in the next 5 (with losses to Buff, KC, LAR and a win vs. the Saints). That would put us at 6-4 and them at 4-6 after 10 weeks.. assuming we beat TEN and I'm wrong on a couple games, it's very possible we both go into week 11 at 5-5. 2) We should, hypothetically, get healthier. I assume Q and Braden Smith will come back, that Fisher will continue to improve and that Kelly will stay as is or get healthier -- so our OL should only improve moving forward. We should get TY back at some point, which should help our O, especially if he comes back and is able to play healthy down the stretch (his major knock the past few years is that he was so banged up down the stretch). We should get Ya-Sin, Carrie, Paye, etc. back on D... I don't know how the injuries to X. Rhodes and all the other DBs that got hurt last night are, but assuming they come back healthy, our D should continue to improve (that said, I think if BoPete Keyes and Chesley are our CBs moving forward, we're in for some trouble). 3) I'm encouraged by some of our guys who are in kind of 'prove it' years. A couple examples: Tyquan Lewis, IMO, is playing by far his best football of his career. Turay is making impressive plays each week. As we get a bit healthier and these guys start gelling more, I think we'll continue to see improvement.
  5. Funny thing about our OL... they did play very well for most of tonight (a few bad pressures given up and a bad holding call late, as well as a bad blocking job on the last to FG attempts).. we're missing the guy who is our best G, Kelly has been banged up, Smith has been hurt... our OL, hypothetically, should be even better. Campbell got in pretty far in the kick at the buzzer, too... it was like Blankenship had to kick it left to avoid him.
  6. I could see that... I know a lot on here seemed to think Rochell may get cut... I see him almost as a clone of Autry when he first came here and 6 is about where I was thinking he would be.
  7. 1) Hot Rod will make at least one clutch game winning kick (by 'clutch' I mean as time expires or very near, rather than a game winning kick in a scenario where we are tied say 17-17 in middle of 3rd Q and he hits a FG to go up 20-17 and the score doesn't change the rest of the way). 2) Colts will have 6 or more pro-bowlers -- Buckner, Leonard, Q., Jonathan Taylor are my locks with at least two from the following group making it: Paye, B. Smith, Doyle, Wentz, Blackmon, Moore II, I. Rodgers (KR), Odum (STer), X. Rhodes, Hot Rod, Kelly, P. Campbell. 3) Flus lands a head coaching position after this season. 4) Colts win AFC South.
  8. Is there a link to the original source? I believe this... but would be interesting to see what the criteria for 'best' actually is and what angle the NFL Agents are voting from (e.g., is he the best to work with in terms of getting deals done? the fairest guy in negotiations? the best at engaging with fans? or is he, what I am most concerned with, the 'best at building a winning football team'?)
  9. Replying to all 3 above here... I tend to think it'd be weird to have an agreement before camp or at the time of signing. For multiple reasons -- 1) as previously eluded to above, Piniero most certainly didn't sign with a team with the expectation that he had no shot at making the roster, 2) Ballard basically said it was Hot Rod's job to lose, but I think it is fairly well known that Hot Rod's leg strength coming out of college was the major concern and last year he was 1/3 from 50+ and missed another two kicks from 40-49 yards, so my guess is Ballard/Reich/etc. told Hot Rod that he had to put on some leg strength in the offseason and he would be tested in camp/preseason by a guy who was 2/2 from 50+ last year, and 3) injuries are always a topic of concern in the NFL (confounded by covid these days), and I have a hard time believing Ballard would agree with someone upon signing them that they would be released after the 2nd preseason game if they hadn't done enough to make the team (e.g., suppose Blankenship had a very minor ankle sprain that they wanted to rest in preseason game 3, but they still favored him over Eddy P.. or suppose Blankenship had tested positive for covid and had to miss week 3/4 of preseason.. my guess is in either scenario, they would have kept Eddy P.). All that said, I wholeheartedly agree with @Supermanthat the timing of the cut was done to give him a shot to make another roster. Ballard is very good about this for players who he respects. Not the same situation, but he repeatedly said with Jacoby Brissett that he wouldn't consider trading him or doing anything if it weren't both in the best interest of Jacoby and the Colts organization. Obviously, Eddy P is a K (not a QB) and was only here a few months, but my guess is Ballard saw Eddy doing well and had a good feeling that he'd have a solid shot to compete for a job on another roster so he gave him a good chance to do so by releasing him now rather than at the final cut. It is pretty rare for teams to trade for kickers (especially ones who aren't spectacular, not saying Eddy's not good, but he doesn't do a whole lot to really stand out... e.g., there are rumors swirling that Santoso, the NYG backup K, may get traded for a pick, but the guy has also hit from 63 and 66 yards in camp.. I hadn't heard anything like those numbers about Eddy). Also, NFL GMs are pretty keen on having ideas of what other teams may do when it comes time to cutting players -- with injury concerns at QB, OL, and major decisions to be made a multiple other positions, it is very unlikely that we'd be able to keep 2 placekickers and a punter - so other GMs have pretty much 100% odds that either Eddy or Rod would be cut after the 4th preseason game, regardless of how well they both played in weeks 3/4 of preseason. And, because most teams only keep 1 K, it's not like Eddy would have all the options in the world of who he could sign with (i.e., come the end of preseason, there will be few, if any, teams who have an open kicking spot and are willing to sign someone to the active roster -- and it's not like Eddy's some superstar -- so even desperate teams would have the opportunity to try to sign him or someone else who got cut who is similar in skillset). I wonder if Tell's missing the season last year will hurt him at all this year. I tend to think it won't hurt him in the eyes of coaches or Ballard too much, but who knows. Where I imagine it hurts a bit is that he was developing nice as a rookie and who knows if that was stunted drastically due to not playing last year. Anyway, I thought a reason Ballard really liked Tell was because he had ability to play CB and S (and fits that long/rangy mold he seems to covet). As stated in a previous thread, I tend to not put much stake into the preseason depth charts. While it's impressive that Chachere is listed on the depth chart as FS and N... I don't see why Tell couldn't be listed as FS if needed when it really matters (i.e., regular season). My guess is we'll keep 10 DBs and my guess on them is: Moore II (N), Rhodes (CB), Carrie (CB/N), Blackmon (FS), Willis (SS), I. Rodgers (CB/N/Returner), Odum (SS/ST Ace), Shawn Davis (FS), Ya-Sin (CB), Tell (CB/potential backup FS). Won't be shocked at all if we let Tell go and keep Chachere... or if I'm wrong somewhere else up there... I just think of something happens to Moore II, we'd be better off moving Carrie to nickel and Ya-Sin to outside CB (honestly, won't be shocked if Ya-Sin gets the couple bad interference calls out of his head and beats Carrie out at some point for 2nd CB after Rhodes). Ultimately, I think the last couple of spots will come down the health throughout the remainder of preseason and who can contribute most on STs.
  10. Dulin has been very solid on STs for us (mainly as a gunner and in coverage, but also can return punts and kicks). He hasn't been called upon much, but when he has, he's shown promise as a WR. He played in 13 games as a rookie and made the active roster last year (I think he was out with injury for 3 weeks or so). So he's got 2 NFL seasons under his belt. As others have said, I don't think this depth chart really means much. However, I'm not surprised that Dulin is listed over Patmon. Patmon has 2 preseason games under his belt now, and has no regular season experience. The main issue with Patmon coming out of college was that he played too soft (or not up to his size) -- to me, that may suggest that he isn't an ideal candidate for being a gunner or a coverage unit guy who has to risk putting his body on the line pretty often.
  11. You're funny. And yes, when you quote someone and your response is directly regarding the post/topic the person you were quoting was talking about, it typically means you are responding to them. I've not seen many 'fawning over Harris like he's some hidden gem', though I think a lot of people have reason to be excited about him based on his performance last year - he showed a lot of burst and provided a spark on several occasions (even if he never really broke a huge play). I think it's too early to tell whether or not he has room at the inn. If I had to guess, I think he's on the outside looking in and if he clears waivers (which I doubt he will) they'll try to stash him on the PS. That said, he was an RB in college and he has shown he can play WR. In some senses, he reminds me a lot of Hines, where he could line up as a change of pace RB, in the slot or as a WR. There's still plenty of time left in pre-season and injuries can certainly happen, but he provides very good (albeit, backup) versatility which makes him unique compared to a guy like Patmon (and maybe Strachan) who likely won't even be able to contribute much on STs.
  12. We're pretty much set at returner with I. Rodgers and Hines. Then we have guys like Dulin (if he makes the roster), Mack, Carrie and others who can also return kicks. Harris is pretty small and I don't recall him being used as a gunner or on kickoff units. Sure, he would probably be all right returning kicks as the 3rd-5th backup, but I think his value is more like a swiss army knife (sort of like a poor man's Hines) on offense. I could be wrong, but it seems like Reich likes to have speedy/shifty guys on the roster (Campbell and TY both fit that mold, so does Hines, so does Harris). Patmon, Dulin and Strachan are all bigger, straightaway speed type guys. The fact that roster cuts will be hard is a good thing, but I can see Harris having a little bit of an edge for that last spot due to Patmon, Strachan and Dulin all being similar WRs (i.e., keeping one of them and Harris may give us a bit more versatility should WRs 5 and 6 ever need to see the field than keeping two of those guys). You're taking my comment way out of context. But yes, he appeared in 7 games. Strachan and Patmon appeared in none (Patmon, like Harris didn't have a preseason last year), so both of them are completely untested against NFL talent in game action. Nowhere did I say anything close to 'Harris has a guaranteed roster spot' or 'he's better than x, y, z' like you are trying to spin here. I said it is possible that Harris got less volume in the first preseason game than Patmon or Strachan because the coaches have never seen Patmon or Strachan in game action before. There's 3 more preseason games left. Maybe you should relax for a bit and let things play out.
  13. He had 1 catch for 6 yards on 1 attempt his way. Not the volume Strachan and Patmon had.. but it is preseason and the coaches know what Harris can do in real games moreso than Patmon or Strachan because Harris performed well when he was brought up last year, so there's always the possibility he had limited targets due to that.
  14. Also, aside from Wilkins being one of (possibly the) best 4th string RBs in the league, I think the FO will remember that Mack is coming off a season ending Achilles injury and likely value having a 4th RB a bit more than they normally would. Mack did look pretty good today, but I still imagine Wilkins ST value plus Mack's recent injury gives him a decent chance at making the roster. That said, Benny Lemay looked pretty good at RB today. Strachan and Patmon both had solid games. The WR battle is going to be a tough one. My guess is we go with TY, Campbell, Pittman, Pascal, Strachan and Patmon .. though Tarik Black and Tyler Vaughns looked good and I really liked DeMichael Harris last year. Wouldn't totally shock me if we kept 7 WRs, but I would be surprised, especially because we're likely going to at least start with 3 QBs and potentially an extra OL if Nelson is questionable to start the season. I also can see the argument that Patmon and Strachan are similar WRs and they'd keep one or the other and a guy like D. Harris who can play a totally different role. I was more impressed by Eason than I was by Ehlinger, though Ehlinger has pretty good legs and I can see him being used similarly to how we used Brisset last year (Wentz is obviously more mobile than Rivers and there is a good chance we won't need a QB to come in to run on short situations, but with Wentz' health being a concern, I wouldn't be shocked to see Ehlinger get a couple of reps in the regular season - anyone else remember the rumblings after he was drafted of Ehlinger being like our Taysom Hill?). I'll have to watch the tape a bit more... but one position battle which I don't think gets a lot of attention, but which I find interesting and far from over is Hot Rod vs. Pineiro at kicker.
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