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  1. CurBeatElite

    A few thoughts about Desir....

    First of all, Fuller had a first-team All-Pro year, which means he had an absolutely exceptional year and was considered one of the 2 best CBs in the NFL. Desir had a 'good' year, not a First-Team All-Pro year. Second, Fuller has started 62 of 64 games in his career (he missed one season due to injury) ... this was not his first 'good' year.... Fuller has had 3 good or very good years and last year he was the best in the NFL at his position. Desir was a healthy scratch for 3/4 of his rookie season in which he had 1 start (compared to Fuller who started 14 games as a rookie), his second year he had 1 start, then he was waived and was a practice squad or unemployed for 2 years. Prior to us picking Desir up, he was on the Seahawks practice squad and then waived by the Seahawks. I generally like Barnwell, but he is so far off here. Fuller has been playing at a very high level his whole career and last year, he was regarded as the best (or top 2) in the NFL at his position. Desir is a journeyman who had a good season for us last year (not a first-team all-pro season, not a second-team all-pro season, not a pro-bowl season.... a pretty good season). Desir has nowhere near as much leverage when negotiating a contract as Fuller had. Look at who we face in the AFC in terms of WRs. KC has Tyreek Hill, who will kill a team without a good secondary and a fast safety. HOU has DeAndre Hopkins who will kill a team who doesn't have a physical CB to match up against him. PIT has Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster (and unlikely AB), either one of those guys can kill a team who doesn't have an adequate secondary. I could go on and on... but I don't think @BlueShoe was 'Hardcore and to the point.' Yes, it's critical to have a solid QB, front seven, OL, etc... but you don't win in this league with your secondary being entirely compromised of 'bargain picks.' The Patriots held the Rams to 3 points in the Superbowl. Very few teams in the NFL could beat the Rams by only scoring 13 points. And as @aaron11 said, Edelman is better than any of our WRs outside of TY, Gronk is a more dangerous receiving threat than I think anyone on our team, and the Patriots played exceptionally well on defense. You are right, and Ballard says this over and over again that great teams are built in the trenches. However, that doesn't mean you just look for bargains at every position outside of QB and the trench positions. A major contributor on that team was All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore. And the rest of the secondary was very good as well. They don't hold the Rams to 3 points without the play of their secondary (perhaps the biggest play of that game was McCourty breaking up the pass in the back of the endzone when Goff had all day to throw. I tend to agree. He played well here last year. He is probably comfortable in this system. However, if he's demanding elite CB money, we'll be fine letting him walk.
  2. CurBeatElite

    Joe Flacco to be traded to the Broncos

    I think Elway is trying to save his * in Denver (not like he needs to). Flacco at this point in his career is a more dangerous QB than Peyton was when Peyton won a SB in Denver. Denver's D is showing signs that it's gonna be very good again next year. There are not a lot of good QBs (at least not NFL ready from day 1) and I think Flacco fits what this team needs right now. A guy with a big arm, who can win tough games, who rarely makes costly decisions. I think Flacco's offense had been getting worse around him the past 3-4 years. The last time they went to the playoffs (2014) Flacco had Steve Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith as his primary WRs (both guys could stretch the field and utilize Flacco's arm strength). He also had Forsett at RB and Owen Daniels at TE (both average or better). In 2015 (Flacco missed the last 6 games of the season), their best WR was Kamar Aiken (Steve Smith also ended his year on IR). Their starting RB was Terrence Magee (I hardly even remember him... but Forsett was also IRed that year). And their TE's were Konrad Reuland and Maxx Williams (Dennis Pitta was IRed). A lot of injuries on that team and very little offensive depth or talent. In 2016 Flacco had arguably his best year in the NFL and threw for 4,317 yards. He had Mike Wallace, an aging Steve Smith Sr., and Kamar Aiken as his WRs .. a bunch of no-name RBs .. and Dennis Pitta as his main TE. Again, not a ton of talent, but at least he had some speed guys that could open up the field for him. In 2017, Flacco's best target was Benjamin Watson at TE. His next two best targets were the average Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin who missed 1/4 of the season with injury. He did not have much help at RB (Danny Woodhead?). In 2018, Flacco was on pace to throw for >4,300 yards and had an 84.2 rating before his injury. While I think Crabtree is beyond his prime at this point, it seems like it was the first time in a while where he had a WR he really trusted. I'm not saying Flacco has been stellar. But I don't think he's really starting to look like an old declining player. If not for injury last year, he would have had one of the best 3 statistical years in his career. Additionally, Flacco has a SB MVP under his belt and has won multiple big games in his career. Keenum doesn't have that. I also think if Emmanuel Sanders can come back healthy, he and Cortland Sutton (who has the physical set to perfectly compliment Flacco) will be WRs that will really rejuvenate Flacco. And if Philip Lindsay comes back to form, Flacco will be playing with arguably the best RB he's ever played with. I don't think it's as easy of a no as you think. Flacco will surpass 40,000 passing yards this year (most likely moving into 18th all-time in yards passed for, surpassing Unitas, Montana and Kerry Collins). He is the only QB in NFL history to go to the playoffs his first 5 years in the league. He has a SB MVP. If he has three more 3,000 yard seasons, he'll be in the top 15 all-time NFL passing yards (if he has 4, he'll be in the 50,000 yard club with the likes of only about 10 other QBs in NFL history -- this is very doable for him if he stays healthy). If he can retire with individual numbers like that and tack on another SB ring, I think it'd be pretty hard to keep him out of the HOF, even if he doesn't have a ton of all-pro or pro-bowls on his resume. Denver's D has potential to be close to as good as Chicago. They had 3 pro-bowlers. Undoubtedly, Chubb is going to get better... and they have 9 draft picks. They're going to be a very scary D next year. Baltimore also drafted a first round pick QB. I think the plan was to let him develop a while, but Flacco went down. Jackson brought in a style of play that hasn't really been seen in the NFL since RG3 (IMO, it took a lot of teams by surprise and I think after having some film on Jackson, he'll continously get worse). IMO, the Ravens will struggle with Jackson as their QB next year and Harbaugh will have a hard time keeping his job over there. Not so sure. Mahommes is a freak, but I doubt he replicates what he did last year again. There is a good chance KC loses Ford on D. I don't see them being better much better next year than they were last year (though, I don't see them getting much worse). Rivers is another year older and I don't see the Chargers getting much better. I have no faith in OAK. IMO, the 2 teams with shots at the AFC West are Denver and KC. Flacco is the only QB in NFL history to lead a team to the playoffs his first 5 years in the league (starting as a rookie). He has a superbowl MVP. He is 22nd all-time in NFL in yards (and still has a few seasons left). He will be in the top 20 of all-time after this season. He has thrown for >3,500 yards in 7 of his 11 seasons and he has only missed time in 2 of those 11 seasons. He has had a very good NFL career.
  3. CurBeatElite

    Former Colts in AAF

    I think D'Joun's biggest problem in the NFL was his knee (he was IR'ed his first two seasons). And maybe his attitude: I don't think he ever got fully healthy, and don't think he really had a shot at living up to his potential. For what it's worth, he was waived by the Orlando Apollos last night.
  4. CurBeatElite

    Coaching Vs Talent

    I will not deny that Brady is a great QB. I also won't deny that Belichek had his growing pains before really settling into his role as HC in NE. However, he has gotten a lot out of players at many positions that couldn't produce like that in other systems. Matt Cassell, who never started a game in college, looked like an all-star QB for NE the year Brady went down. He got an all-star contract and only had one more pretty good year in the NFL. Personally, I don't think Brady would have become the GOAT (or in the discussion for top 3) in many other systems. I think Peyton would have won as much or more as Brady had he played in NE his whole career, whereas I think Brady would have had major struggles on many of Peyton's team (mainly due to the fact that we almost never had a top-half defense). In 2011, we were predicted to win anywhere from 10-14 games with Peyton... he gets hurt and we're the laughing stock of the league going 2-14..... Brady gets hurt week 1 during 2008 and they bring in a guy who was a back-up to Matt Leinart in college and the Pats still go 11-5. There is certainly something to be said about coaching in the NFL. Part of that is getting guys to buy into the system rather than to play for themselves. I don't ever recall a Belichik team being dysfunctional, no matter how many superstars they had (and in some cases, I don't think he was afraid to let superstars go, knowing he could get the next guy to step up). It's drastically different than a lot of teams with superstars in the NFL these days (see Pittsburgh as a shining example).
  5. CurBeatElite

    Mudd Article

    Mod's, feel free to merge if this is already part of the Keefer thread (one quote from this article is). Anyway, a pretty fun read about Mudd suggesting Luck is more athletic than Peyton and this line is more physically imposing than Peyton's O-Lines (I think we mostly already knew that). He says he sees a lot of potential with this group.
  6. CurBeatElite

    How good was Tarik Glenn

    Yes... in terms of football skills and being a good player, I think he's the best C I have seen on the Colts since I started following in 1994. However, we need him on the field full-time for him to reach his potential and become considered a great player for the team. We are lucky some of the back-ups were able to step in last year and not miss too much, but IMO our o-line was way better with a healthy Kelly than with Boehm or Andrews.
  7. CurBeatElite

    The Safety Position Moving Into Next Season

    First of all, I don't see how people make the argument that Geathers' major flaw is that he is injury prone and then suggest we instead rely on a guy who just missed the entire year on IR. Farley is a good ST player and a serviceable back-up S in the NFL. He's got a high motor and seems like a good teammate, but I would sure be worried going into the season with him as our projected starting S, especially since he is coming off a season-ending injury. Second of all, Ballard loves Geathers. He was named a team captain last year. Ballard puts a lot of his decisions into the character of his players. Geathers is obviously a Chris Ballard guy and is obviously well respected in the locker room. Geathers also has more ability to play as a hybrid LB than any other S on our current roster. I really doubt he goes anywhere. I'll be surprised if we don't draft or bring in a FA S for competition's sake, but I fully expect Hooker and Geathers to be at the top of the depth chart for the Colts this coming season. Yes. As a DB and a FS, INTs are sometimes misleading. If you're getting a lot of them, it usually means you are getting thrown at a lot. If you're not getting a lot of them, it often means you're not getting thrown at. In Hooker's case, I think his decrease in INT's from his rookie year to year 2 are due to teams being afraid to throw at him. He made multiple clutch plays when his number was called, but he does such a good job of shutting down his portion of the field that his number doesn't get called all that often. Also, it usually takes almost 2 years for a player to regain full strength coming off the knee injury Hooker had. I thought early in the season there were times when he looked a little slow/rusty but thought his speed looked much better later in the season. With another full offseason to recover (and another year of football under his belt), I think he's going to continue to improve his play on the field.
  8. CurBeatElite

    Jacoby Brissett

    I was watching a show on ESPN the other day where they had some pundits talking about offseason moves.. A couple people projected us trading Jacoby to Miami for WR Devonte Parker. I think it's very valuable to have a solid back-up QB. I also appreciate Jacoby's willingness to be a good teammate and presence in the locker room. However, I don't think we'd be in good position if Luck were to go down for more than a couple games with Jacoby as a starter (but I don't think there's many QBs in the NFL who could adequately fill in for Luck if he was to go down). He seems to have some trade value. If I were the GM, I think I'd go ahead and pull the trigger on letting him go for a potential high reward (e.g., Devonte Parker) in a position of need.
  9. CurBeatElite

    How good was Tarik Glenn

    Saturday was a good C, but he got a lot of credit because of Peyton. Peyton changed the game with how he changed the offense at the line of scrimmage. Saturday, IMO, got a lot of very positive publicity because he was considered a very cerebral C playing with arguably the most cerebral QB who has ever played in the NFL. Physically, I think Saturday was a pretty average C .. but he was able to keep up with Peyton's audibles at the line and he looked very active in doing it. I could be wrong, but I think Tarik was a more critical piece of that line in protecting Peyton's blind-side for so long. I tend to agree with most of this... though, I think Saturday was probably better than Scott and Lilja. Again, I think he was just an average physical center (in terms of being big and strong and athletic), but he was able to mask a lot of that by being able to keep on the same page with Peyton (which in turn masked a lot of deficiencies on our entire offense). I will say the one thing that was also very impressive about Saturday was his ability to stay healthy. In 12 years as a Colts starter, there were only 2 seasons where he didn't start all 16 games (2004 he started 14/16 and 2008 he started 12/16). I think Ryan Kelly is a far superior physical specimen and overall C than Saturday, but in just 3 seasons in the NFL, he's missed more games than Saturday and Tarik Glenn did in their combined 22 seasons as starters for the Colts (Kelly has missed a total of 13 -- 16 games as a rookie, 7 in year 2, and 12 in year 3 -- after Saturday became a full-time starter he and Glenn both only missed 6 games each in their 12 and 10 year spans as Colts starting OLs). To Tarik's credit, even though he had some weight/motivational issues late in his career, he started all 16 games in 9 of his 10 seasons in the NFL, with only one season where he missed time and played 10 games (2003).
  10. CurBeatElite

    Stampede Blue on Braden Smith

    IMO, Glowinski is the one starter on the OL who is the weakest link. I think Smith definitely showed potential to be a solid RT, but I also think he could still be a better RG than RT. Ballard said in a recent interview something along the lines of this being 'the 'prove it' offseason for LeRaven Clark.' In an ideal world, I think you'd see a major leap in progress from Clark or Haeg to take the RT position and move Smith inside to RG. I doubt it'll happen, but I also know Ballard said he wants 10 starting caliber OL going into the draft.. right now I think with Castonzo, Nelson, Kelly, Glowinski, Smith, Clark, Haeg, Andrews, and Boehm we are pretty close to having that... but I still expect we'll bring in a few FAs and draft at least one OL. If we're healthy, I think we're fine with Castonzo, Nelson, Kelly, Glow and Smith on the line... but I do think we'd be best off if we could most Smith back inside and use Glow as depth.
  11. CurBeatElite End of Year Draft Grades

    I don't think Brown fits in this locker room. He's a prima donna and he would rather have highlight reel catches and a nice individual stat line than a win. I get your point, and think TY could see improved numbers with someone taking pressure off him... I just don't see Brown being happy with that (i.e., I think Brown would throw a fit if TY was putting up better numbers than him and taking away his catches). OBJ is also a locker room problem and a prima donna, much like AB. I truly believe OBJ would rather have the SportsCenter highlight of the week than win a game. He has also missed 16 games in the past 2 seasons (played 4 games 2 years ago and 12 last year). I say 'no, thanks' to OBJ.
  12. CurBeatElite End of Year Draft Grades

    Yes, that is what I was trying to get at.. TY is a very good player and one of my favorites, but he isn't a big guy (and part of that is why I worry a bit about injuries as he gets older ... see around 0:58 of this video -- ). As I said in previous post, I expect him to come back fully from his sprained ankles, but as he gets older it will be harder and harder to get up from hits like the one in that video (which, IMO, are at least in part a product of his size). He's got a very good chemistry with Luck, he's a smart player and knows how to find free space, and he is a crafty route runner, so when he does lose a step he'll still be able to produce some, but I don't think he'll still be considered up near an elite WR (see week 17 and playoffs, he had a good first couple drives in week 1 in playoffs but once that ankle acted up and slowed him down, he became pretty much a non-factor). I agree with you on Luck being underrated his first 3 years. His numbers (the years he has been healthy) have also been very good. He needs to stay healthy another 8-10 years and I think his numbers alone will put him over the top ... good for him is hopefully Brady and Brees are done soon and Rodgers seems to be declining. I think in 2-3 years, Luck and Mahommes will be hands down considered the best 2 QBs in the league (at least for a little bit, depending on how some young guys develop)... this should help his chances at getting more individual awards (and without Brady, hopefully we can get over that NE hump and get Andrew a couple rings). As far as TY, I think he's very much a long-shot to get into the HOF. I like him a lot and he'll probably be around top 60 in receiving yards after next year. However, he (IMO) just doesn't have the reception numbers or the TDs. He'll have to play 5-6 more years and have each year basically be equal to or better of his best year so far which was 2016 to rack up numbers to allow him to 'whiff' the NFL HOF. Also, Edelman and TY are way different players. Edelman is more of a slot WR and a possession guy, TY has played most of his snaps lined up outside and his deep threat is his main weapon. Don't think it's a fair comparison. After 7 years into his career Marvin had 635 receptions/8,800 yards/73 TDs (Marv had 4 years with over 100 receptions in his first 7 years, and 8 total years with over 10 TDs with a total of 128 TDs in regular season). Marv wasn't even a first-ballot (though I thought he was deserving). After 7 years into his career Reggie Wayne had 494 receptions/6,984 yards/47 TDs (along with 2 years of 10 or more TDs and 1 year of >100 receptions). Reggie got off to a slow start, but the best stretch of his career were years 7-12, which is pretty rare for a skill player to start improving that late (he had 3 more years of >100 receptions and 1 more year >10 TDs during that span). Reggie also has some of the best post-season stats of any WR in NFL history (behind only Rice and Edelan for receptions, and 5th in receiving yards, and 9th in receiving TDs. After 7 years into his career, TY has 507 receptions/8,097 yards/40 TDs with 0 seasons having >10 TDs or >100 receptions (only 1 season over 90 receptions). He's slightly better than Wayne in regular season receptions, better in yards and worse in TDs. I have a hard time believing TY is going to put together the best 5 year stretch of his career starting now, like Reggie did and TY's post-season numbers don't touch Reggie's (and TY is playing in a more passer/WR friendly league). Reggie, I think, will get into the HOF in his 4th or 5th try and part of that is due to lack of other stars around that time (Isaac Bruce should get in next year, then Reggie really has at least 2 years on the ballot before he's got major competition from other WR's who include Andre Johnson and Steve Smith). TY, if he doesn't go on a tear for 5+ more years, simply won't have the numbers to be HOF worthy -- plus he's going to have guys like Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, etc. to compete with in terms of being voted in.
  13. CurBeatElite

    Marcus Johnson

    I agree to some extent, but I still think it's somewhat of an issue, especially for young, unproven guys. There's that old saying about first impressions being lasting impressions and if a guy fighting for the 5-6 WR spot with half a dozen other guys can come in day 1 making good impressions it can definitely go a long way (e.g., probably getting thrown to by a back up QB also fighting to make the roster and if the WR can win the trust of the QB right out of the gate it can go a long way). Also, a lot of what separates the guys who make the final roster vs. the practice squad or getting waived can come down to confidence (and in some instances luck, which, IMO, you have better odds at having better luck if you're prepared and know a system right out of the gate than if you've got to spend a few weeks trying to learn it). In terms of having a plug-and-play guy that can fill in mid-season, familiarity with the system is absolutely an issue. In terms of it being an issue in training camp, I don't think it's as much of an issue, but if you can come in and start making good impressions from day 1 as opposed to day 14, it certainly cannot hurt your chance of getting noticed by the coaching staff in a positive way.
  14. CurBeatElite End of Year Draft Grades

    I tend to agree with you on TY. I love the guy and think he's an absolute warrior and heckuva player and teammate. However, with his size and the fact that his main weapon is speed I think we should be getting concerned about him in the long term. He has been very durable over his career and this last year was one of the first times where he visibly looked beat up at various times throughout the season (he had a monster stretch weeks 11-16, but otherwise he definitely was battling). Granted, sprained ankles should be able to heal over the off-season and with TY's work ethic, I think he'll be back to form next year if he stays healthy. Still, if old age leads to him being hurt/injured more, he's going to have a hard time staying productive based on his skill set. I am still confused as to what happened with Turay later in the season. I thought he was developing nicely, but when Lewis came back from injury it seemed like Turay barely saw the field. I've heard things from he wasn't practicing hard enough, to that was the plan with him all along (i.e., develop him slowly and limit his wear and tear in year 1), to Lewis was just a better fit in our scheme. Anyway, I still think the kid has a lot of potential and hope another off-season working with NFL strength coaches and getting more familiar with the NFL game will help him. Lewis I thought played well when he got back. The main issue I had with him was he always seemed to be just 1 or 2 steps too slow. He drove blockers back often and pressured the QB, but he rarely actually got sacks. I am hoping this was just due to him coming off a bad toe injury and not being up to par with the NFL speed/pace/conditioning. He seemed to improve as time went on. I think he's definitely going to be a solid rotational guy for us, and am optimistic he'll improve with an off-season to get healthy and more acclimated to the NFL, but if he can't figure out how to get a step or 2 quicker and turn pressures into sacks I worry about him having a pretty low ceiling.
  15. CurBeatElite

    Why do Colts screen plays not work so well?

    I don't really think Mack was drafted as a 'change of pace back.' He was drafted to learn under future HOFer Frank Gore for a year and then to take over as the featured back. He finished the season with 908 yards in 12 games, which is pretty darn good (on pace for 1,210+ yards if he didn't miss 1/4 of the season -- that would have put him in 4th in the NFL behind Zeke, Saquon and Gurley). If you listen to Ballard talk, he says he thinks Mack is a 1,500 yard guy with a full season under his belt. Mack also had a very strong post-season (averaging 5.9 ypc and 97 yards/game). He isn't going anywhere. He has some stuff he can improve in his game (being a better receiver is one), but overall he's very solid as a runner and pass blocker. He's a feature back in this league and I imagine he'll stay in that role for at least a few more seasons.