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Everything posted by CurBeatElite

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  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.
  16. CurBeatElite

    Question About Mack

    As others have said, he wasn't brought in to be primarily a 3rd down/receiving back. He was brought in to learn under Gore for a year and then replace him as our featured back. I don't really worry about his durability. He missed a little time early in the season with a hamstring injury from game 1 in pre-season. This is pretty common and not career threatening (it's not like he blew his knee out or has bad ankles, etc.). My guess is he was still learning to prepare his body for a full NFL season. Once he got over than injury, he played fine and durability didn't seem to be an issue for the remainder of the season or into the post-season. I am not sure what is going on with Wilkins. I notice after he fumbled vs. New England he didn't see any touches the following week vs. NYJ. He then fumbled vs. Miami and he was rarely used for the next 4 weeks. As I'm not a coach, I don't know if his fumbles were the reason his playing time got reduced or what was going on with decisions made there. From this article (draft profile), it seems like he can have attitude problems at times and that his 2 major knocks coming out of college were poor pass protection and not running 'big' (i.e., as a big back he doesn't like contact). Maybe they want him to develop more as a blocker before putting him on the field with Andrew at QB:
  17. Spot on with EG Green. He and Jerome Pathon were both very promising as #2's to Marvin, but neither could stay healthy for long. I thought EG Green had pro-bowl talent when he played, he just never was able to stay on the field long enough. Sean Dawkins was the first guy that came to my mind. I loved watching him play in the early-mid 90's. ______________ The other 2 that came to my mind were Terrence Wilkins, probably the last time our WR screen plays were actually a legitimate threat. He was also a very dynamic returner. It was fun to see what he could do with the ball in his hands. And Anthony Gonzalez. Sure, he was a first-round bust. But mainly due to injuries. He had 57 receptions in his second year and I thought he had a lot of potential if he could stay healthy for a full year.
  18. CurBeatElite

    Marvin Harrison's Hall of Fame speech

    Honestly, I thought he was similar with Peyton when dealing with all his other teammates. He was brief about all of them. He brought up Peyton first and said about as much about him as he did about Edge, Reggie, etc. I think that's just the way Marv is, pretty quiet and reserved. If there was actually something to it, which there may have been, I wouldn't be shocked if it stemmed from Marvin's alleged involvements with a couple of shootings near his night club/car wash in Philly. Peyton was interviewed about it and I remember he didn't really shine positive light on Marvin (I don't think he said much, just something like Marvin lives a different life away from the football facilities). Could be Marv was disappointed Peyton spoke about it at all or that he didn't like what he said to the media.. but in all honesty, I think it was just Marvin being Marvin and not talking too much on a public platform.
  19. CurBeatElite

    Do our backs have this in them

    Gore actually beat out McGahee in 2002 but tore his ACL early in the season (maybe late in the pre-season) and would have been the starter that year. He tore his knee again in the 2003 season. It always amazes me that Gore has become one of the most durable RBs in NFL history after his injury troubles in Miami (missing just 14 games in 14 seasons... one season with 11 games, 4 seasons with 14 games, 1 season with 15 games, and 8 seasons with 16 games). I think he would have been for sure a 1st round pick (top 10) had teams not been worried about his knees. I do remember Edge always saying he might just retire after his rookie contract because he knew there were some younger guys who'd be coming up around then who would be ready to take his job and I always thought he may have been eluding to Gore. Anyway, yes that was Running Back U for a bit there. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ One thing I always remember about Edge is an interview with Zach Thomas who used to play MLB for the Dolphins. This was when he was a player and he said Edge was the least fun RB in the league to tackle because he either made you miss and look foolish or if he hit you he made it hurt. Here's some other notable quotes on Edge from Peyton, Parcells, Rex Ryan, John Gruden, Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas: And some more from other opponents:
  20. CurBeatElite

    Ballard is doing what Polian did

    That is really the only way to look at it... Polian said it himself in the link I provided above.
  21. CurBeatElite

    Ballard is doing what Polian did

    Agree with Superman here. The only pro-bowler we had that year was Freeney and he had 8.5 sacks and 19 total tackles (13 solo), which is not a great year for him, leading me to believe he got in on name recognition moreso than his actual performance. Other very good players we had on that team were Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Antoine Bethea and Robert Mathis as well as Vinny and McAfee. Good players on that team were Garcon, Dallas Clark, Castonzo and Diem as well as long snapper Justin Snow. Gary Brackett wound up on the IR who would have qualified as a good player. I guess we can say Addai and Donnie Brown could be on the verge of good/average. After that every single other player on the team was average or below average. Our best LB when Brackett went down was Pat Angerer (who I liked as a person, and who had a good year that year, which was a major anomaly for his 4 year NFL career). Peyton could mask a lot and bring out the best in those around him. He could make the line look good because everything he did was on rhythm and he got the ball out quick and he is one of few QBs I have ever seen that could use the pass primarily to open up the run (for most it's the total opposite). Without Peyton, we got majorly exposed with a poor line and no run game. Freeney and Mathis both were held to under 10 sacks while playing 16 games, possibly because they couldn't be 1-dimensional and focus solely on pass rush like they were able to do most of Peyton's career. Our run D was awful and was exposed because our offense wasn't putting points on the board like they had been used to, allowing for other teams to not rely solely on the pass. Anyway, though we still had some good/very good players (who were all getting up in age), I'd say that team was far from being an 'amazing roster.'
  22. CurBeatElite

    Ballard is doing what Polian did

    Polian put value into the system Dungy had in place. Peterson wanted to be paid like an All-Pro and Polian let him walk saying he wasn't a superstar, but a product of the system. None of those players he let walk ever went on to really hurt us (i.e., none of them ever had HOF careers on other teams and the next season we almost always saw the replacement on our team play as well or better than who was let walk). "First off, you've got to have a coach who provides a very specific blueprint as to what he wants at the position," said Polian, five-time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year Award. "And then [the scouts] follow that blueprint. Part of [the process] is the economical decision, too. There are certain positions that, because of economics, are fungible. That might be different for different teams, but for us linebacker is one of those fungible positions." Polian drafted Peyton and we had one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history starting in his second year. When Edge got hurt and Rhodes came in and played well, I think Polian realized our offense with Peyton and Marvin didn't have to be a great running offense to win (in the regular season). Our offense was largely a rhythm offense and the blockers brought in were predominantly good pass protectors. Ballard seems to be emphasizing much more on being able to win in the trenches if need be, rather than just relying on the pass. He says this a lot in interviews, basically 'if you want to win in the playoffs you've got to be able to run the ball and stop the run.' I think a major reason why we only got 1 SB win with Peyton was because Polian was more of the mindset of 'if we can pass the ball and rush the passer after getting a lead, we'll be OK.' The problem with that was that if we had to go play in bad weather in NE or Pittsburgh we struggled mightily in the playoffs and even at times we struggled at home, as playoff football is a bit different than regular season football. I think some of Ballard's philosophy comes from his development over his career and some probably in part due to inheriting a franchise QB in Luck and seeing how the way Grigs was building the team was causing Luck to get hurt (i.e., not giving him a decent OL and allowing him to play in a system where he had to create a lot of plays all by himself). Not saying Luck isn't a very good QB. I think if he can stay healthy and play another 10 or so years, he'll be a HOFer. That said, Peyton was great enough that the entire team could be built around him and he could win 10+ games (and he also had better weapons surrounding him from the get-go with Marvin and Edge early in his career then Marvin, Dallas, Reggie, etc. later in his career). We saw a major decline when Peyton went down (much like we saw with Luck). However, I think Polian always relied too much on Peyton being great and didn't focus the right amount on building teams that could win in the trenches the way Ballard seems to approach it. I disagree. Almost all teams that are perennial powerhouses are primarily built on pieces they brought in and developed with FAs usually just filling a gap. Unless it is a QB moving teams, it's pretty rare that a free agent puts a team 'over the hump' (see Peyton in Denver). Look at the Patriots for example... since their SB in 2002 here is a list of probowl/allpro players on their team who were drafted by them (or initially signed to the NFL w/ NE from CFL or undrafted): Brady, Bruschi, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Damien Woody, Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski, Rob Gronkowski, Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Devin McCourty, Villmer, Jerod Mayo, Brendan Merriwether, Vince Wilfork, D'onta Hightower, Jaime Collins, Chandler Jones, Matt Slater, Malcolm Butler, Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen, Matt Light, Logan Mankins (a total of 26) vs. guys who started their career elsewhere: Mike Vrabel, Develin (FB), Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Andre Carter, Rodney Harrison, Corey Dillon, Larry Izzo, Brian Waters (a total of 9). Of the FAs they brought in, only Randy Moss was very prolific prior to coming to NE. Vrabel had 2 seasons of less than 20 tackles to start his career. Andre Carter was on his way to being a total bust. Dillon was at the tail end of his career. Izzo was a STer. Welker was an average WR who turned into a perennial pro-bowler with Brady... __________________ I agree with you, we shouldn't rely 100% on the draft and if the right FA makes sense, we can't shy from it. However, Ballard clearly isn't doing that. He is just not going to break the bank on a guy who is not worth it, especially not just because the guy might be a household name (look how well that worked for Grigson...). Our current team has a nice mix of young players. Many of whom were brought in through the draft and developed in Indy and some who came from elsewhere (Autry, Ebron, Sheard, Woods, Glowinski, Slauson, Grant, Vinatieri, Desir, Hunt, etc.. were all guys who started their career elsewhere and who played a big role on our team last year).
  23. TY is nowhere near Marvin. I love the dude, but his production could be way better with help. WR is probably a top 3 need on this team.
  24. CurBeatElite

    Is defense the biggest need or offense?

    I think we may very well have 1 of those playmakers in Doyle. We do definitely need to add some competition into the WR mix, IMO. While I agree with you that the D needs more help than the O, as our OL continues to improve our O did show last year they can dominate time of possession. Sometimes, the best thing for the D is to keep them off the field and to be playing with a lead. IMO, a serious WR threat to go along with TY will really help our O sustain drives and put points on the board (the last season, I thought Ebron was the only one on the team who was above-average in the red zone as a TD threat). On D, I think we definitely need a pass rusher and some depth across the board. That said, if we can add another playmaker or 2 to the O to the point where we can sustain long drives frequently and put TDs on the board, it will dramatically help our pass rush (look at Peyton's years in Indy -- Freeney was one of the worst run blocking DEs I have ever seen, but luckily in the vast majority of games Peyton's offense was killing clock and putting points on the board, allowing Freeney/Mathis/etc. to focus almost solely on attacking the other team's QB). I think you're right that it often takes rookies a couple years to make major impacts at WR, but I think one could certainly come in and be an upgrade to what we have now. Our WRs problem, outside of a healthy TY, seems to be they cannot create separation in man-coverage and they drop a lot of balls (Inman seems to have good hands and a good catch radius, but all of our other WRs struggled with drops this past season). I like to remain optimistic with Inman, but as stated below, there's gotta be something to the fact he's really only produced average or better numbers 1 of 5 years in the NFL. I also tend to agree with you that the KC loss was just an extraordinaly bad game by our O (the drop by Ebron on drive 1 killed the drive and KC took a commanding early lead, so I assume we had to compromise the game plan some). However, I think with TY slowed down by injury the Chiefs showed the NFL that our receivers can be pretty easily contained in man-coverage. Even if a rookie doesn't come in and have 90 receptions in year 1, we've got to add someone who can put a little bit of fear into opponents and take some pressure off TY. I think Rogers is a good player, but I don't see him ever becoming a solid #2. I think we've basically seen his ceiling, but I really don't think he gets enough separation or has enough natural talent to be a very good #2 or 1A WR in the NFL. Inman seemed more promising last year, but he's 29 years old and in 5 NFL seasons, he's only really had 1 year that was average or better (2016 he had 58 receptions for 810 yards in 16 games with San Diego). I have to believe there is something to the reason why he was still a FA in the middle of last season and why he's been let go (or not brought back at a minimal price) by multiple teams before landing in Indy. Cain has not played in a regular season game and was a 6th round draft pick. I don't think it'd be wise to assume he's going to be a good #2 next year, if he even makes a full recovery and performs well enough to make the team. Here is Ballard's take on Cain from the front page article: On if he feels Deon Cain could be a guy who could potentially fill a role as a No. 2 wide receiver: “Yeah, I mean, we think he’s good enough. But he hasn’t played, you know? And he’s coming off a knee injury. We love Deon Cain. We think Deon’s got big upside. To say he’s going to be that guy next year, to me…” 2014: OBJ, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Mike Evans all had 53+ catches (which is the same number Chester Rogers gave us in 2018 as our #2). Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, and John Brown had 51, 48, 48 respectively. I think any of them would actually put more fear into an opposing D than Rogers does. 2015: Amari Cooper, Jamison Crowder both had 59+ receptions, with Steffon Diggs having 52 and Tyler Lockett having 51. Again, I think all these guys would put more fear into an opposing D than Rogers does even as rookies (probably more feared than Inman, too). 2016: Michael Thomas, Sterling Shepard, Tyreek Hill and Tyler Boyd all had 54+ receptions. Will Fuller had 47. Again, I think even as rookies all 5 of them would be more feared than any of our WRs after TY. 2017: Kupper Cupp and JuJu Smith-Schuster both had 58+ receptions, although this was a a weak draft class for WRs. 2018: Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore both 55+ receptions. Then you had Cristian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Antonio Callaway all between 38-43 catches but each with about 100 more yards than Rogers (Sutton with 216 more yards). I agree with you, it does take young WRs some time to develop. That said, there are many who still come in and produce at similar or better rates than our 2nd leading WR from this past season. Playing with a QB like Luck can only help a young WR. While I wouldn't expect any rookie WR to come in and set the world on fire in year 1, I think it's highly likely that providing Luck with another weapon who is more athletic than our current WRs after TY will still make a difference simply by making other teams afraid of another weapon while game-planning. They may put up similar numbers to Rogers/Inman but in all honesty, after TY I highly doubt any of our other WRs are keeping d-coordinators up worrying the night before a game. Plus, with Ballard and Reich emphasizing building through the draft and developing players through coaching, it makes a lot of sense for us to bring in a WR or 2 through the draft with the intention of providing (1) an immediate improvement and (2) a long-term solution. I love TY, but I also worry about him some... he's a little guy in terms of NFL players and although he's tough and plays through injuries (even though at times it is obvious he's lacking explosiveness), I have some concern he's not going to have many more seasons of playing at his best level for 16 games and into the post-season... I think we definitely should address WR early in the draft and possibly through FA if the right person/price is out there.
  25. CurBeatElite

    Any updates on OL coach?

    I don't really think it's too much of a head scratcher after looking into it. Guges was in place prior to Reich being here and Reich wants his own guy in place at that position. I also think Reich has a much different teaching/mentorship philosophy than Guges and that helped his decision to let him go. “And then, of course, after the season, you know, just decided to part ways with Guge. And that was really hard, because I so much respect Guge as a person and as a coach,” Reich said. “It was really odd dynamics the way that he and I got connected, and it’s no reflection on him or anything; it’s just when I had envisioned getting this position, you know, there’s certain things that you just are looking for, in ways that you just want to have ‘my guy,’ for lack of a better way to say.