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CurBeatElite

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  1. Blackmon was 2nd team All-Pac 12 as a CB both sophomore and junior years. Senior year he was 2nd team AP All-American and first team All-Pac 12 as a safety. Ballard likes versatile guys in the defensive backfield. You saw it with Tell's pick last year. To some extent, I think that's what he wanted from Quincy Wilson. Blackmon is a very solid player. He has some ball-hawk to him. In many ways, his pick makes sense. I think his major concern is injuries, but he should be a solid player in the NFL if he can remain healthy.
  2. True -- I guess my point is, don't want him to bulk up too much as that can impact both speed and agility... regardless, there's a reason why NFL teams have strength and conditioning programs that are almost always better than college programs -- I'm sure they won't ruin him.
  3. The thing with Wilkins, IMO, is that when he was drafted I think the Colts expected to be able to coach a guy his size to be a bruiser, goal line/4th and 1 type back that could move the pile. He has shown that can pick up yards in this league, but I would imagine the Colts' coaching staff was hoping he'd be a more 'power' back. In terms of fumbling, I agree 2 fumbles with the amount of touches he has had is not terrible. However, the fumbles were both on receiving plays and they were due to poor form holding the ball -- and came at critical moments. It obviously cost him playing time late in his rookie season. It seems like he fixed his fumbling issue last year, though. In terms of keeping 4 RBs, we have done it every year since 2017. I don't see why we couldn't do it again (maybe with Eason we'll have to keep 3 QBs this year and cut someone at another position?). Anyway, I view Hines as a key contributor to STs and as a receiving threat. I would think there's a good shot to see Mack, Taylor, Wilkins and Hines all being kept around due to Hines' versatility. Part of me thinks he should almost be more afraid of his job security than Wilkins, as it seems like I. Rodgers could supplant Hines as a return guy (if I had to bet on it, I think we'd keep Hines over Wilkins, but it'll be interesting). I'm not disagreeing with you on the overall assessment. The NFL has become a much more passer friendly league (in part due to restrictions placed on DBs and in part due to WRs and QBs evolving). That said... it's very obvious that Ballard and Reich both value the run game, they've said time and again that they want a top 5 rushing attack in the NFL. IMO, having a stud RB is a critical piece to that puzzle.
  4. Yes, I'll be interested how/if this impacts Hines' role on the team at all. He struggled early in his career muffing some punts, etc.. but late last year he was dynamite (2 PR return TDs in one game vs. Carolina for example). I would expect Isaiah R. will be given a shot to compete at both KR and PR, though I tend to envision him as having a better shot at KR and Hines at PR next year... i guess we'll wait to see it play out.
  5. I like that about Ballard/Reich. It seems like just about every player they've brought into this organization since being here is well-spoken and has high character. I imagine some of that is due to the organization having Brian Decker help vet new-comers.... but come to think of it, I can't think of a single (negative) off-field incident being reported by any of our players since Ballard's been GM. Not that we had a lot, but with Grigs there was LaVon Brazil, Da'Rick Rogers, John Boyett, Landry/Art Jones(more steroids than arrests for those two), Jonathan Newsome, etc. _____________________________________________________ In terms of Isaiah Rodgers - the guy is blazing fast. He had the most return yards in the country last year. He has also said repeatedly in interviews he's ready to come in here and be a gunner, returner, or whatever they need on D or STs. He is a freak athlete, that is for sure. I don't think his height is much of a concern -- 5'10" is fairly average for a CB (Kenny Moore is 5'9"). Rodgers also has very long arms, despite being shy of 6'0", which is something Ballard seems to covet. He is a playmaker (as evidenced in that video by his forced fumbles, INTs and returns). I think what's more concerning is his weight (170 lbs), though he didn't seem to have durability issues in college... no reason the Colts shouldn't be able to bulk him up slightly without having him lose his speed.
  6. From an article on Colts.com (https://www.colts.com/news/isaiah-rodgers-2020-nfl-draft-cornerback-returner-massachusetts-versatile Following in the footsteps of his cousin: Rodgers' older cousin is former NFL cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played 12 seasons in the league, primarily for the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. The two are very close, and Rodgers-Cromartie has helped shape Rodgers not only as a football player, but as a man. "I think he made me the person I am today. I was actually sitting right next to him before I got the call. He was just telling me, 'Keep your head up. Regardless, your dream's coming true today,'" Rodgers said. "I'm just like, 'I'm just ready to go right now. Someone's gotta pull the trigger. I know I can play at the next level.' And him just being in my ear and being in my corner from Day 1, he's just a blessing."
  7. This year, I think you're 100% right it is more impactful to Wilkins than Mack. If we decide to keep 4 RBs, I think Wilkins will be fine, but if we go w/ 3, I'd say he or Hines is gone (IMO, more likely to keep Hines than Wilkins).... however, Mack's rookie contract is coming up soon, for the long-term it may mean more to Mack than Wilkins who we could keep around for a lot cheaper. Taylor is faster, stronger, thicker, as quick or quicker, has more ability to follow blocks, and had much higher production than Mack did coming out of college. He's hands down a better prospect at this stage. Will he stay healthy and out produce Mack in the NFL, that's hard to know.. but it's very easy to say Taylor is better than Mack coming out of college. I imagine we'll see Hines be used in a lot of ways with this offense and hopefully improved QB play. The slot being one of them... but also in 2 back sets, single back formations, etc. His production was down last year (as a rookie he had 314 rush yards on 85 attempts to go with 63 receptions on 81 targets for 425 passing yards... last year he had 52 rush attempts for 199 yards, and 58 receiving targets for 44 catches and 320 yards). I don't think his play declined, though (his yards per carry and yards per reception were both up). I think the play of Brissett and our offense as a whole led to the decline in attempts for Hines. Where Hines really seemed to do well (late in season) was as a returner. I'm not sure if the drafting of Isaiah Rodgers will impact that at all, as Rodgers was pretty impressive in college as a return guy and has a lot of speed. My guess would be Rodgers may be used more on kickoffs with Hines on punts.. but who knows at this point. Jonathan Taylor is one of the most productive RBs in NCAA history. He is 6th all time in rushing yards in the NCAA history (behind Ron Dayne, Tony Dorsett, Donnel Pumphrey, Ricky Williams and Charles White). The only RB in NCAA history to rush for >6,000 yards in any 3 year span. He was top 10 in Heisman voting 3 times. Received the Doak Walker Award as college football's best back 2x (Ricky Williams and Darren McFadden the only other two to accomplish that) and was unanimous first-team All-American twice and 3x All-Big Ten. He has the NCAA Division 1 FBS record for most 200 yard games in a career (12). He runs a 4.39 at 225+ lbs. I have a hard time believing that there were many better players than him on the board in the second round. I don't know that they have 'soured' on Mack. Ballard said in an interview after the pick that this pick makes our team better, and it will make Marlon better. Irsay also said they had intel that another team (likely Jax) was going to take JT if they didn't move up. Could be, like many other teams, that Ballard wants to split carries. The fact that Mack has never played more than 14 games in a single season is also concerning. Additionally, it appears as though JT is a better receiving back (he had 26 catches w/ 5 TDs last year in college -- whereas Mack had 14 receptions with 0 TDs in Indy). Could also be a longer term move, with Mack's rookie contract coming up in a couple years. Wilkins has a good YPC but he's had a relatively small sample size (just 51 carries last year and only 7 receptions). I think when Wilkins was drafted, they were hoping he could use his 6'1" 216 lbs frame to become a power back. While he has had good YPC, he doesn't seem to have developed into the guy that can push a pile and for his size, it seems like he still runs relatively soft. Not necessarily. Hines can be used in many ways aside from RB. Also, we carried 4 RBs last year (Mack, Hines, Wilkins, J. Williams). The same 4 were on our final roster in 2018. We had 4 on 2017's roster (Gore, Ferguson, Matt Jones, Mack). We also had 4 in 2016.... long story short, it's not uncommon at all for teams to keep 4 RBs (especially in our case when Mack has yet to play more than 14 games in a single season due to injury). Additionally, Hines has value as a returner, a slot WR, etc... I'd be more surprised if we kept 3 RBs than if we kept 4 in the 2020 season. I'm not totally sure here. Mack has 'a lot of elite years left in him' -- I don't think we've seen Mack have a single elite year to date. He's never played more than 14 games in a season. He was 11th in the league in rushing last year (with a lower YPC than all but 2 guys ahead of him). The first 5 RBs behind him (every RB who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season) all have equal or better YPC. That's better than middle of the pack, but by no means 'elite'. Granted our O was pretty one-dimensional last year, and I'm sure if he played 16 games and had some sort of passing game to alleviate him, he may be more productive... just have a hard time envisioning him having a lot of elite years left in him when I have yet to seen one elite year from him. Taylor's also only 21 years old. He played 3 seasons in college. He didn't miss a single game due to injury. He's very thick and strong (I'd be more worried if a guy built like Warrick Dunn had as many carries/times being tackled coming out of college than a guy who's almost 230 pounds). Yes, 18 fumbles (or 6 fumbles a season) is unacceptable, regardless of how many carries are had. 6 fumbles in 14 games (college season) is 0.43 fumbles/game, so if he kept that up, that'd be more like 7 fumbles in a 16 game NFL season. Granted he likely won't get as many touches per game in the NFL... 18/926 = 1.9% of carries. The average (in 2007 anyway) per 100 touches by a RB in the NFL was about 1% of carries (I imagine it has decreased more since then), so he's still coughing it up almost double the average rate per 100 carries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumble#/media/File:Fumbles.png I haven't watched all his fumbles in college, but imagine Reich, Rathman, Sirianni, Ballard and scouts have all taken a look at it and imagine it's something they think they can fix.
  8. Michael Pittman, Jr. is the son of Michael Pittman who played RB at Fresno State and then spent 11 years in the NFL as a running back (Cardinals, Bucs, Broncos, and then one year the United Football League). Probably his most memorable game was Super Bowl XXXVII when he rushed for 124 yards as the Bucs beat Oakland. Isaiah Rodgers is the younger cousin of Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, who is currently a free agent after playing for Redskins last year. He's bee in the league since 2008. He was a pro-bowler in 2009, 2015 and 2nd team all pro with NYG in 2016. He has accumulated 30 interceptions over his years, having 6 in both 2009 and 2016. Dezmon Patmon's uncle DeWayne Patmon played LBer for Univ. of Michigan and then spent a year with the NYG in the NFL (2000-2001). Jordan Glasgow's older brothers were also both walk ons at Michigan. His brother Ryan plays DL for Cincinnati, his brother Graham is an offensive lineman on Denver. _______________________ So out of our 9 draft picks, 4 of them have relatives who have played in the NFL before. Not like it's a make-or-break deal, but it can't hurt being able to talk to your family members who have been in the league before you about what it takes to be a pro and make it in the NFL.
  9. He was mostly utilized on STs as a rookie in 2014. Had 3 catches in 2015 while still being used on STs, had 37 and 23 in 2016 and 2017 (working with Reich), had 54 catches in 2018 in Chicago (by far best year) and reduced to 14 catches in 8 games (due to hernia injury) last year... I highly doubt Ballard and Reich are looking at this guy like he's the prime solution to our TE issue. In the two years he worked with Reich he had 37 and 23 catches, respectively. Seems like 'beast' wouldn't be the best way to describe him. He's a good blocker (when healthy), but at this point, I don't expect him to come in and be terrific. I won't be shocked if he doesn't even make the team. I don't necessarily think so. He's only really had one good year in his career (2018 he had 54 catches) and is coming off an injury with no guarantee that he'll be more than depth or a camp body right now. I think the thing that Burton and Johnson signings have most in common are: (1) Reich and coaching staff is familiar with both players, (2) Both players will be fighting for some of the last roster spots, (3) I will not be shocked if one or both gets cut prior the season... they'll boost our competition in training camp,and get cut at worst, or they'll make the squad at best. Yea he said he'd really like to see the cut-down from 75-53 (I guess now 55) see 10-15 players go play elsewhere... he said that's the sign of a solid team, when guys that can't make your roster because it's so good, can make other rosters. Last year we had the following: Zach Burton (OL) cut and signed by KC (SB Champ), Krishawn Hogan WR - cut and signed by New Orleans, Shakial Taylor DB- cut and signed by Broncos, J'Marcus Webb OT - cut and signed by MIA, Ross Travis TE cut and signed by NYJ, Ahmad Thomas cut and signed by ATL, Caraun Reid DT cut an dsigned by ARIZ, Jordan Veasy cut and wound up on WSH's practice squad, Carroll Phillips DE cut and picked up by Skins but currently a free agent, Tony Garcia OT cut and signed to MIA practice squad, Penny Hart WR cut and signed with SEA practice squad..... 11 guys we cut wound up elsewhere in the NFL (several guys went and played in the XFL, but not counting them). Even though 3-4 of those guys were primarily practice guys, that's an optimistic, IMO, amount of guys going to sign contracts elsewhere and still be around the NFL even though they 'weren't good enough' to make the Colts. Reich said something about 5-7 plays per game for JB -- hopefully they add a wrinkle or two into the 'Philly Special' if JB and Burton are in the game, because I'd imagine other teams will know what to be on the look out for if that's the case. He has played at least 15 games in every NFL season since he's been in the league, except last year due to a sports hernia. In 2018, he played and started all 16 games... not sure where 'brittle as glass' is coming from?
  10. Unless we could package a player like Wilson, Hooker, or Brissett in the deal and swap one of our 2nd rounders for a first plus one of those guys who are all relatively young and probably similar value to a 4-6 round pick (maybe not Wilson, based on the fact he was a healthy scratch so often last year, I doubt teams would consider more than a 7th for him, if anything). I hope not. I see Tua being injury prone in the NFL and a major bust. Could be wrong, but I really would prefer not to gamble on him. And it also came out that Kinlaw has bad knees... I won't be shocked to see him drop based on injury concerns on him. Buckner is young and playing at a very high level and has had basically no health issues throughout his young career.
  11. I think the Pats would be a likely trade partner, as Jacoby has already played in that system and is familiar with McDaniels and Belichek. I just don't think they'd give up their first rounder, though. I am not sure. My guess is the OP is thinking we filled a need with Burton at TE and could maybe trade up to get the Pats' first rounder and select a QB and give up Jacoby and one of our 2nds? Doesn't really make much sense to me. Good things about Burton: (1) He's familiar with Reich, (2) He had 54 receptions in 2018... bad things about Burton: (1) He was hurt the majority of last year, and prior to 2018, he'd never done much in this league. I hope if a solid TE falls to us (not necessarily round 2 picks, but potentially round 3-4), that we don't give up the opportunity because we put all our eggs in the Burton Basket.
  12. We've got TY, who when healthy is solid. Jury's still out on Campbell. I think the team wants better than 'mediocre WR play', but between Pascal, Johnson, Dulin, Fountain we'll probably be cutting 2-3 guys who will wind up playing on another team.
  13. Not really worth arguing with you. Only thing I will say is, we're in win now mode and that's very obvious. Ballard's smart about it, setting us up to be able to win in the future with cap space, etc... but you don't go sign a future HOF QB to a 1 year deal if you're not interested in winning now. We can stop there.
  14. I could see Tell moving to S. Ballard said after he drafted him that Tell has all the measurables he wants from a CB in the system we run... but he also said he liked Tell because he was very versatile and could play multiple positions in the secondary. My guess is they'll still try him at CB, but who knows? Don't know who is calling the Colts... but I just did notice that the Bears don't have a first round pick and one of their top 3 biggest needs (according to NFL.com) is S. I wonder if Pagano wants Hooker back in the D he initially drafted him to be in? I don't see the scheme changing a whole bunch with 'Flus and Ballard still in Indy. That said, almost all Tampa 2 defenses that really thrived relied on a very solid 3tech and good pass rush. 'Flus hasn't had (IMO) the tools he has needed to really make this D into what he wants it to be. It's been fairly vanilla so far, and I think that's in large part due to poor DL play overall (the addition of Buckner, return of Turay, growth of Banogu and Stewart should all help there). Also, our secondary play as a whole was not great last year. Ya-Sin improved as the year went on but had some rough spots, Moore missed some time, Desir took a step back, Wilson took a step back, Willis played well but was still a rookie, etc.... I think they'll have the ability to make minor tweaks with the D and how they use Hooker if they can get a consistent pass-rush, if Buckner's what he's cracked up to be and if we see continued development from some of our young secondary. On a side note, I was looking at Dugger recently, too. He seems to have the physical tools, though hard to judge against his competition. Another guy I like is Jeremy Chinn, also from a small school (Southern Illinois University).
  15. A few things. First off, I'm not looking to give Ballard any excuses. Your first point makes little sense -- "Let's not look for excuses to give Ballard a pass ... by blaming it on Pagano. What are you prepared to blame all Grigson's drafting on Pagano, too? ... "Either the GM is responsible or he isn't. (My personal opinion is that the HC has A LOT to do with the drafting, so I have given RG a pass on a lot of things.)" ***So you're saying it's the GM is responsible or he's not, but you give RG a pass because Pagano had A LOT to do with his decisions? I don't disagree that the head coach has a lot to do with players being drafted. Pagano was huge on Hooker, no doubt about that. Many had Hooker going top 10 and he fell to us. Ballard ultimately pulled the trigger. Was he influenced by Pagano some in doing so? I would wager he was. Your second point.... Hooker was having a terrific rookie year. Leading the league or being right up there in INTs as a rookie through 7 games is fantastic. Prior to injury many pundits had him ranked very high in terms of DROY and many were talking about a probable pro-bowl. Yes, everyone knows he was very new to football and he had to turn his athletic traits into being a sound football player. He was doing pretty darn good until he got hurt. Very few players come back from that injury and are fully recovered in under a year. Pretty safe to say it probably took him a good chunk of year 2 to be close to back to his normal self and he missed some time due to injury that year, as well. Both Reich and Hooker stated they thought his 'burst' was better in this past training camp than in 2018. Your third point... Ballard said "Malik was solid. He had some moments of being really good. And I thought he tailed off a little bit there at the end.” Our whole team kinda tailed off at the end, after a 5-2 start going 2-7 on the back 9. I never said Hooker is a 'great' player. And, Hooker did miss time mid-season due to a meniscus injury, so I highly doubt he was 100% the entire way after he came back. Sure, he did tail off a bit later in the year, and I never once said it was 100% due to injury... I said " So yes, it'd be nice to see if he's fully recovered from various injuries this year.. but it kind of makes sense not to option him right now and wait to see if he can actually play a full 16 games next year. " -- meaning, I don't necessarily think the reason why he hasn't gotten a 5th year option is reason to jump to conclusions that he's on the trading block... it means, if he can actually stay healthy a full year and play at/near full health all year (keep in mind he should have a better defense surrounding him), and play well, Ballard may want to negotiate with him after next year... if he is injured again, his price tag goes way down and a lot of teams will be cautious wanting to sign him. Finally, we are most definitely in the 'win now' mode. You don't sign Rivers to a one year deal, you don't trade your first round pick for an all-pro 3-tech DT (the most important position on this D), you don't sign Xavier Rhodes to a 1 year deal, etc. if you aren't trying to 'win now.' If we do wind up trading Hooker, unless they have big plans of moving Tell to S, I think we have to go for a FS in the draft or find one in FA.
  16. Well Walker had over 100 tackles last year and has, for the most part, played very well for us. Stewart (as expected being a project pick) took a couple years to develop, but he looked like he finally started turning the corner last year. The addition of Buckner should help him out a lot. Mack has >1,000 on the ground last year, which was nice to see after all our running game struggles with Grigs/Pagano. Wilson and Hooker aren't gone yet and Hairston, Banner and Basham are still in the NFL. It really wasn't a terrible draft in terms of the talent brought in. Everyone's still around the NFL somewhere. Some just didn't fit with us (could be that Ballard and Pagano have fundamentally different philosophies in terms of defenses they want to run). I wholeheartedly agree with this post. It seemed like Pagano was very, very high on Hooker. Don't forget, Pagano was the DB coach and Def. Coordinator in Baltimore with Ed Reed. When Hooker was drafted, that's who Pagano was comparing him to. Yes, improved DL play should help him. Our secondary last year was not very good all around (in part due to injury, probably early in the season due to youth). For a FS to thrive, a solid pass rush plus solid play from your other DBs really helps. Also, the knee injury he suffered as a rookie typically takes about a full year or more to really fully recover from (both in strength/mobility and in mentally trusting oneself that it's OK). Chances are his second year that knee was getting stronger as the season went by. So yes, it'd be nice to see if he's fully recovered from various injuries this year.. but it kind of makes sense not to option him right now and wait to see if he can actually play a full 16 games next year. I know Ballard seems to really like Geathers, but we haven't resigned him yet and I think that's mainly due to his inability to stay on the field and the fact that he hasn't seemed the same since his neck injury. I think Ya-Sin and potentially Tell can possess the take-away trait. But you're right, Ya-Sin had his growing pains early on, Moore was injured a few games, Wilson didn't show up last year, for the most part his partner in crime at SS was a rookie, Desir's play fell off, etc. etc. The pass rush certainly helps all DBs.. but the FS also requires the other DBs to perform well to help him out. Any idea which teams? I think they are set on keeping Tell at CB. I could be wrong, but he's got all the traits Ballard wants for CB and I was fairly impressed with him later last season. Also, if we ship Hooker, I think we definitely need to address S in the draft or hope we can get lucky in FA -- I'd not be very optimistic if going into the season our S group was Odum, Milligan, Willis (and maybe Tell). I'd say his rookie year he was living up to the billing. He had 3 picks in 7 games before getting hurt. I may be wrong, but I think he was top 5 in the league in that category (may have even been leading it) at that point in the year. I watched A Football Life: Sean Taylor recently and Ryan Clark raved about how impressive/rare it was that Taylor had 5 picks in 8 games.. Hooker wasn't too far off there. I suspect, if he didn't get hurt and kept the pace he was on, he would've had a good shot at making a pro-bowl as a rookie. @Superman already addressed this - but Eberflus wasn't already hired. And Pags was kept around because Irsay wanted to see what he could do w/o Grigson. Understandably, Pags (3-4) and Ballard (4-3) have different defensive philosophies... but if Pags had more success (which he likely would have with a healthy Luck), I think Irsay would have pushed for him to stick around. Every draft of Ballard's he has taken a player from OH State. I wonder if he or a scout knows somebody on the coaching staff there. I remember in the 'With the Next Pick' series last year they had a clip of a scout saying 'talking to one of the coaches, they said if they had a son, they'd hope that he'd be the type of young man as this player." After Campbell was drafted, Ballard said to the media almost the same exact quote.... could be a coincidence, but it doesn't seem uncommon in the NFL for GM's to trust certain college coaches/programs more than others (e.g., Polian always spoke highly of Kirk Ferentz and Iowa's program and drafted Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders in consecutive years). Because one unnamed write said trades could take place soon, this is legit?
  17. Possibly the best OL ever? C'mon man. I don't disagree (I don't think anyone disagrees) that Glow is the weakest link on the OL. We have a first team all-pro at LG, our C is a pro-bowler and our LT is borderline pro-bowler. It's no surprise our left side is stronger than our right side (you could probably plug Big Q into any OL in the league and he'd be a better LG than the RG on that team). I still think Smith is better suited at RG than RT (though he is solid at RT). I think the best way to really improve the OL (and prepare for the future) may be to draft a couple of solid OTs (one to potentially replace Castonzo and be able to start off the bat at RT, another who may need a year or two to develop as a starter and can back up both T positions). Still not giving up on Clark, though I'm not counting on him.
  18. If Luck only had a decent OL that could keep him upright through the Grigs' years, he may still be our QB. Our team had a lot of deficiencies that year, our defense gave up 180 yards rushing and 278 yards passing that day against KC and we didn't win the turnover battle. They outplayed us and probably would have regardless of if we had another good WR on the field.
  19. We had the 7th best run game in the NFL and teams knew we were going to be running due to subpar QB play for a good chunk of the year along with injuries to key WR/TE including TY, Fountain, Funchess, Ebron, Campbell. Luck had better WRs most of his time here than we did last year. He was running for his life half the time as he was receiving the ball from the center because our OL couldn't block. He took a ton of punishment, which resulted in several serious injuries (some of this was on him for not sliding/running out of bounds/etc.) and ultimately cut a career on a HOF trajectory short. You can have all the playmakers in the world, but if your QB is getting rocked 2 seconds after the balls snapped, it'll lead to the QB turning the ball over (fumbling or interceptions, which I think was Rivers' problem last year) or getting hurt and relying on a backup who probably can't utilize those weapons to max capacity anyway.
  20. The funny thing is, the staff hasn't been 'blind' to the issue that we need to improve at WR. They signed Grant, who got hurt. They signed Funchess, who got hurt. They spent a 2nd round on Campbell, who got hurt. Ballard inherited a pretty lousy team overall with lots of holes. Also, a lot of guys, specifically on D were not 'his' guys in terms of playing the 4-3 he wanted to implement here. He told us since day 1 he was going to build the trenches. Our OL was terrible under Grigs. Ballard in just 3 years has turned it into one of the best OL's in the league. He did this by drafting OL early (Q Nelson, B. Smith). He's spent several draft picks on DL (Turay, Lewis, Banogu, Stewart, etc.). He's given us a very solid LB crew with Walker, Leonard and now Okerere (potentially EJ Speed). Most recently, he got Buckner for the DL and we still have Houston who he signed as a FA last year. Ballard's almost done building the trenches (some depth pieces needed and replacements for Castonzo, Glowinski and Houston will be needed in the near future). Now he can focus on the WR group. I think he will. He hasn't been 'blind' to it, though. Unlucky with FA signings and draft picks getting injured, sure.. but 'blind', no.
  21. Sorry, but a WR is almost never as valuable as a QB. I like TY a lot -- but right now, I don't think he's a top 10 WR in the league (talent wise) behind at least DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, O'Dell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Larry Fitzgerald, Jarvis Landry ... and arguable Mike Williams, AJ Green and several others. As he ages and a couple young guys (e.g., DK Metcalf) get more experience, he'll probably slide further down the list. Yes, TY is a good leader. A great teammate. When on the field and healthy he's reliable and consistent. That said, QBs like Peyton and Luck make decisions much quicker than Brissett (Luck was also much better at extending plays when necessary). They also were able to make throws which Brissett can't make and are better at putting touch on balls in most instances. Peyton and Luck made mediocre WRs look a lot better than they were and make everyone rally around them with the team always believing they could come back from any situation. Brissett doesn't have those features. I do like TY, but to say his presence is as great as Peyton or Luck is a huge overstatement. TY could take some more attention to him and in doing so, give so-so WRs a bit more opportunity, but to say his presence is as great as a great QB is something I can't get behind.
  22. We did beat Jax last year without TY. I believe that's the win we've had without him since he's been a Colt. That said, we should have beaten Pittsburgh. We lost by 2 to Pittsburgh without Hilton in the roster, and Vinny shanked a late kick that would've likely given us a 1 point victory. We lost to MIA by 4, but Vinny missed an XP, which would have made it a 3 point (and totally different game). We also lost a close (3 point game) to TB in which Chase missed a 47 yard field goal that would have put us up 7 points fairly late in the game (38-31 -- instead the miss kept the game at 35-31 and we eventually lost 38-35). That game, Winston passed for 456 yards with 4 TDs. That game, IMO, was on the defense and kicking game - regardless of if TY was in the lineup or not, the odds of winning are not good when the opposing QB is throwing for 4 TDs with 450+ yards. A lot of talk (and evidence) to suggest Brissett's play diminished after his leg injury. Brissett certainly isn't Luck. Our IDL was not very good last year, neither was our pass rush and our D gave up a very high completion percentage when being thrown on. I don't think our team is that far away from being a legit contender. The additions of Rivers and Buckner should help immensely. Our secondary was very young last year, starting Ya-Sin and Willis as rookies and as the season went on relying more and more on Tell as a rookie. Those three should all improve which should help our overall D. Sure, TY is a vet on this team and obviously a leader of the team. He is our best WR. Losing him hurts, but a lot more pieces than TY were faulty last year. TY is on the wrong side of 30, and I have a hard time believing his calf injuries won't continue to be somewhat of a problem. He also is a tiny WR who relies primarily on speed and quickness, so minor injuries which slow him down just a little are more noticeable on him than they would be on a larger WR who could still use physicality to win matches if his speed is not 100%. So yes, TY is a vital piece to this team, but he does need help. Of course, injuries to Campbell and Funchess didn't help last year. Our WR 1 for most of the year was Pascal, a young guy who was an undrafted FA playing really in his 2nd season (after spending most of 2017 on a practice squad and getting limited action in Indy in year 2018). Ebron's play also dropped off significantly after a probowl year in 2018. Long story short, yes, we need to give TY some more help (along with Rivers). We should also probably be looking for TY's replacement as he's a FA after next year and I don't expect him to have many more (if any seasons) without some sort of nagging injury. That said, his absence last year wasn't our only problem. We could/should have won 2 games with him out of the lineup which we lost and kicking (Pitt and Tampa) and poor D (Tampa) cost us those games. I believe our D is already significantly improved with some of the FA additions, which should be supplemented by growth and development of guys like Ya-Sin, Tell, Willis, Turay, Banogu, Okerere. I don't think every loss without TY in the roster was simply because TY wasn't in the roster - there were other holes on last year's team that were exposed in those losses.
  23. This TE class is not 'loaded' by any means.. but along with Kmet, Trautman, Moss, Albert O.... there are some guys that will be available in the mid-late rounds who I think can be solid in the NFL -- Hunter Bryant (Washington - 6'2" 250, 4.7 40, huge hands)... Colby Parkinson (Stanford -- 6'7" 252, 4.8 forty), Stephen Sullivan (LSU, 6-5, 250, 4.66), and several others listed here: https://walterfootball.com/draft2020TE.php Also trying to find more info on Joey Magnifico (Memphis) since I read about him on the Colts.com front page earlier. Sounds like he got a knee infection after a routine cleaning, but could be a steal in late rounds or UDFA.
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