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Indianapolis Colts


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Everything posted by CurBeatElite

  1. I consider Princeton a strong program.
  2. Just saw EJ Speed's twitter the pro-day numbers of Camron Lewis, WR from Tarleton State. We drafted EJ from Tarleton State in the 5th round last year, so it's a D2 school which is on our radar. https://www.nfldraftdiamonds.com/2020/04/camron-lewis/ At 6'1" 185 lbs, this guy ran a 4.28 forty, 12 reps at 225, 10'9" broad jump. Here's some game tape on him. Hard to find much about his draft stock, but this is a guy I'd not mind seeing us bring in late in the draft or as a FA. As a junior, he had the D2 catch of the year.. he seems like a playmaker, even though he's playing at a small school against D2 competition. Looks like he has natural run after catch instinct.
  3. I'm very interested to see if/how EJ Speed gets utilized next year. He is a very good athlete with an 80 inch wing span. His major knocks coming out of Tarleton State were: 1) small school, 2) lack of upper body strength, 3) lack of experience (he went to Tarleton State as a WR after being a QB in HS -- made the switch to DE as a sophomore). Darius Leonard said last year that he saw a lot of himself in EJ Speed. Ballard said at some point during the offseason that Speed has all the physical traits to succeed and contribute to this D as he gets more acclimated to the NFL.
  4. He was the highest graded rookie LBer, by far, according to PFF. https://www.colts.com/news/bobby-okereke-rock-ya-sin-chase-mclaughlin-pro-football-focus-all-rookie-2019
  5. I think we've already seen he can make an impact on this team. He's a versatile defender and he's fast, athletic and versatile. My guess this year will be that Walker will be the starter in the middle in our base package with Leonard and Bobby at OLB. I imagine in nickel packages we'll see Bobby and Leonard as our LBers. He seems a bit more athletic and better in pass situations than Walker, IMO.
  6. I could see that, and would be happy with it... though, so many possible scenarios could play out. I am assuming Ballard and Co don't like a QB in this draft, but what if one slipped through to the 34th spot that they thought wasn't worth the 13th pick but a steal at 34? There's several talented DBs who could fall. This WR class is so deep, we'd likely be in a position to get a good one with our 3rd or 4th round pick, as well. I also wouldn't be surprised to see a trade back and picking up an extra pick or two later in the draft. It'll all depend on what types of runs happen in the first round.... I've seen mocks with 4 WRs going in the first and others with up to 7 going in the first... it'll be fun to see who's still on the board when the 34th pick gets called.
  7. The first pick was really more like a fumble than INT. The play of #79 was atrocious in that highlight, and it didn't help that he was going up against a solid KC front 4. The second pick, he was baited almost perfectly by Mattheiu who is very good at doing that... but IMO that was the worst pick he threw. The 3rd pick he was just half a yard shy of having that be completed. I don't think his WR put up a very good fight to break that play up (i.e., I think someone like TY would've just made that become an incompletion rather than an INT). The 4th pick may not have been a great throw, but Ekeler could've done a better job of positioning himself, IMO. Four picks in a game is too much for any QB... but it is very obvious from that video that he was not getting time to throw. He'll get that here, assuming our OL stays healthy. It looks like he still has plenty of arm strength and zip on his passes. Hopefully we give him another WR or 2 and a legit receiving TE and I imagine he'll do just fine with an improved OL and running game.
  8. Forgot about EJ Speed here.. I guess he could be the biggest 'project' pick but he was drafted late and I don't think has the same expectations as Banogu. Sounds like Ballard's still high on Speed being quoted a couple months ago: "E.J. Speed, even though we didn't see a bunch of him just because he's young and raw, it'll be fun to watch him develop and see if he can become what we think he can become," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said after the end of the season. (from https://www.colts.com/news/mailbag-rock-ya-sin-defense-quarterback-nfl-draft) But yea, Banogu had his ups and downs last year. TBH, I don't really remember him having any games or moments where I thought he was awful, but he did show some flashes in limited opportunity. He's obviously a very good athlete, and hopefully with more polishing he'll make a big leap from year 1 to year 2 (similar to Turay).
  9. I think Walker is just fine as a MIKE and Ballard seems to really like him. Among Leonard, Walker, Okereke and Speed, I think we have 4 guys capable of starting and playing at a high level (I think, other than Walker who is best suited as a MIKE, the other 3 guys can play any of the LB positions if needed). Then we've got solid depth in Adams, Franklin and Skai Moore (I was hoping Moore would turn out to be more than he has so far, but I'll give him a 3rd year until I give up on him - maybe he's just a step too slow or slightly too unathletic?). I think Buckner will really help the DL as a whole, along w/ the growth of Banogu and Turay. While I wouldn't be shocked if we resigned Sheard or drafted an edge setting DE, I also won't be shocked if we don't add any big names to the DL this offseason. Personally, I think our starting secondary will be fine, especially if Tell improves at CB. However, depth at S is somewhat of a concern, IMO.... maybe Wilson makes the full-time switch to S this year? As others have said - this D runs on the 3T. The addition of Buckner should really help the D as a whole, coupled with another year of development from some of our young guys (Turay, Banogu, Okereke, Speed, Tell, Ya-Sin, Willis, etc.). Our inconsistent pass rush last year did not help our secondary at all and I think injuries and a hitch in Wilson's progress and decline in Desir's play forced us to throw Ya-Sin and Tell into the fire probably sooner than was desired by Ballard and Co. Anyway, if our DL can get to the QB faster and cause errant throws, our entire secondary should also benefit. I think we'll see 'Flus improve the scheme and add some more wrinkles to it, given that we've improved personnel and have given him a legitimately elite 3T. -_____________________________________________________ I think the biggest thing we need is for this team to stay healthy across the board. I think our most pressing needs right now are WR1a/2 and a receiving TE. Otherwise, I'd be happy just to see depth pieces added with no major changes to the depth chart as stands now.
  10. 1994, age 8. I, like @pacolts56 grew up in NJ. My dad and brothers were big Giants' fans. My dad took me to my first NYG game and I must've been learning geography in school then. I was furious that the 'New York' G-men played in NJ and vowed that I could never root for them again unless they became the New Jersey Giants. That was Faulk's rookie year. Blue was my favorite color and I liked the horseshoe logo. I went with the Colts then. That was a rough year, we went 4-12 but watching Harbaugh the following year was great, he's probably my all-time favorite Colt. Then I got to sit back and enjoy the past 20 years of mostly positive Colts memories (the Manning years, a down year, 3 very fun years with Luck, etc.).
  11. Round 2a - #34 A - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor B - Grant Delpit, S, LSU C - Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan Round 2b - #44 A - Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame B - Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame C - Michael Pittman, WR, USC Round 3 - #75 A - Andy Trautman, TE, Dayton B - Lucas Niang, OT, TCU C - KJ Hamler, WR, PSU Round 4 - #122 A - Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue B - Donavan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan C - Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming Round 5 - #160 A - Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh B - Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU C - Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF Round 6a - #193 A - Danny Pittner, OL, Ball State B - Yasir Durant, OT, Mizzou C - Nick Coe, Edge, Auburn Round6b - #197 A - AJ Green, CB, Oklahoma State B - Josh Metellus, S, Michigan C - Kenny Robinson Jr, S, WVU
  12. He's pretty active on his social media and seems like he's doing some OK things --
  13. I would take it more as a shot at Jacoby. Not sure the locker room was a 'mess' as among TY, Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, Houston, Doyle, etc. we have a group of solid leaders with positive attitudes. Reich seems like a very well respected coach. Ballard seems like he has a lot of respect from the team. Ebron is a selfish player. He bashed the Lions when he left Detroit after having a terrible time with dropped passes, etc. while he was there. He'll bash Pittsburgh, too, when they decide to move on from him. https://www.freep.com/story/sports/nfl/lions/2019/02/04/detroit-lions-eric-ebron-indianapolis-colts/2768331002/ Some clips from that article (maybe if he didn't struggle so much with drops, he would've been used in the red zone - an area where the coach and QB both have to trust you to call your number and deliver the ball): Told it was a chance catch up on his good season and what led to that, he said, “All I had to do was get away from Detroit, that’s it.” He said he doesn’t know why he wasn’t used more prominently in the red zone as a Lion. “I used to beg for it,” he said. “I begged everybody. Everybody. A lot of people knew it, but it is what it is.” “They’re both really smart. They’re both like really, really great football minds. Andrew’s just like — and I’m not going to take anything away from Stafford — but Andrew’s a general, man,” Ebron said. “I’m not going to downplay the organization, but there’s a lot of things they can do for their players better, and that’s coming from someone that’s been there four years,” Ebron said. “And build. Just build. Build upon your players, listen to your players and hear what they want because we’re the ones playing the game and we need a little bit more help over there, or they need a little bit more help over there.” Asked to clarify, Ebron said, “Just listen to their players. They’ll understand exactly what I mean, at least the players will understand what I mean. Just listen to the players, man. The players play, and if there’s some things that can help their game, do it.”
  14. That loss certainly didn't do anything to help team morale. Though, we bounced back w/ a big win over JAX the next week. I think losing a 3 pt game to HOU really demoralized this team (that's the game after which Ebron threw in the towel), then we got beat up pretty good by TEN and lost a 3 pt game to TB. If we had won just 2 out of 3 of those games, we would have still had control of the AFC South.... oh well.
  15. The Bills are a team I think people are sleeping on. Steffon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown give Josh Allen a very solid WR corps. They had a good running game last year and Devin Singletary seems to really be coming on as a young RB (averaged 5.1 ypc last year). They had the 6th ranked defense in the NFL (3rd in AFC behind NE and Baltimore). And.... Brady's no longer in the AFC East. If we stay healthy and so long as Rivers doesn't have a huge drop off, we should be in very good shape to compete this year. I still tend to think we need to upgrade WR and TE, but we should be able to play with just about anyone.
  16. Absolutely. Look at Freeney for example. He was a terrific pass rusher, but awful against the run. When we played close games (or games where we fell behind) he was often exposed by having teams run right at him. Fortunately, during the Peyton era (after year 1) we were, more often than not playing with a lead and killing a lot of time off the clock on offense. This allowed Freeney (and Mathis) to be able to play 1-dimensional and focus specifically on pinning their ears back and rushing the opposing QB. Our defense during that time was drastically better when we were playing with leads than when we were in very close games or games where our offense was sputtering and we were playing from behind. Also, turnovers can be very detrimental to the D. We gave away 11 fumbles last year (8th worst in the league) and through 10 ints (ranked 20th worst in the league, so not too bad there). We also missed 9 field goals (a couple were at the end of the half or end of a game so didn't hurt the D too bad, but several put our D in very bad position -- for example, Chases' miss against TB gave them the ball on their 37 yard line and resulted in a 63 yard TD drive -- so not only does the entire team momentum/morale get impacted, but the other O has great field position to start the drive). Speaking of field position, we ranked 21st in the league for average defensive starting field position with teams typically starting at about the 30 yard line (29.2 yards to be exact). The Patriots, number 1 in the league there, averaged their D starting at the 25 yard line, meaning teams typically had to drive an extra >4 yards per drive to find the end-zone or to get into field goal range (which is sort of huge, as the distance between a 47 yarder and a 51 yarder or a 55 yarder and a 59 yarder can make all the difference in the world for a kicker). Rigoberto Sanchez was the 28th ranked punter in the league with an average kick of 44.4 yards and 21st with a net average of 41.2 yards. When our O is struggling to move the ball and when we have the 28th best punter in the league (to be fair 3 punters above him had between 6 and 9 punts on the year, so maybe we should call him 25th), it's no wonder why we're in the bottom 2/3 of starting defensive field position. Finally, offensive time of possession plays a role. We ranked 15th last year with an average TOP of 30 min 11 seconds per game... meaning our D is on the field roughly 50% of the game. The Ravens lead the league in that category averaging 34 min 24 sec of possessing the ball per game. They had the #2 ranked D in the league. Not saying they don't have more talent on D (because overall they do), but still, that's a full 4.25 minutes of less time on the field for their D, meaning their D is usually a tad fresher than other Ds. Granted there's the argument that the Chiefs O was banged up when we played them, we are the only team last year to hold them to under 23 points (they scored 13) -- we won the time of possession battle that game 37 min 15 sec to 22 min 45 sec. So yes, @ClaytonColt says, we should hold the D accountable for the D. However, it's very hard to say that this isn't an overall team game. There are things the O and STs can do to help the D out. It's pretty clear that offensive time of possession can reduce the workload of the D. It's also pretty clear that scoring points on the offensive means the other team can be forced to change their game plan (i.e., very few teams are going to stick to a run-first attack if they get down by 2-3 scores, which makes it easier for our pass rush to focus on sacking the QB). It's also clear that giving the opponent worse starting field position makes their offense's job harder (some of this is tied to O, ST and D -- obviously, if our D is giving up long drives, it puts our O in worse position, but the O and ST can do things to help like not turning the ball over or missing field goals giving the other team great field position or by seeing our punter be in the top half of the league in terms of average punt distance rather than being the 28th in the league). Sure our D needs to improve. I see no reason why it shouldn't with the addition of Buckner, with some of our younger guys having another year to develop, etc..... but, having an O which can kill more clock, score more points, and an O+ST combo that can give the opponent worse field position all will help the D. Rhodes, more likely than not, will not be asked to play the same role he was playing in Minnesota (i.e., often times used to shadow the other team's top WR). I think, with a decent pass rush, he'll be just fine in the zone which he'll be asked to play here. Margus Hunt had the best year of his career in 2018. I think Ballard put a lot of faith on him to continue to improve, but his play definitely fell off last year. The IDL is very important in this defense, so with the addition of Buckner, we should already be in much better shape.
  17. Of all the D rookies last year, Banogu was the biggest 'project' pick. Ballard and scouts said right off the bat that he's a tremendous athlete (he had the longest long-jump in combine history for a DL) but weren't sure if he'd find his niche at SAM or rush end. Sounds like the made up their minds he would be a rush end by the time regular season started. In a lot of ways, he's similar to Turay. A good athlete who was a bit raw as a football player and needed coaching to develop. Of all the D rookies taken last year, I think Banogu has the highest ceiling, but was also more raw than guys like Ya-Sin, Okereke and Willis. I think Willis was very solid for us last year, but based on his athleticism, I look at him to be the closest guy to have already reached (or came close to reaching) his ceiling. Given that Tell switched positions from college (S) to NFL (CB), and some of the flashes he showed last year, I expect he's going to also make a big jump in year 2. https://www.colts.com/news/through-the-scout-s-eye-ben-banogu
  18. I think we need another TE, too... but we should be much improved compared to last year (though, the rest of the AFC South teams are also working to make improvements). That said, we were in the playoff hunt until the very end last year. Aside from all the injuries (to Brissett, the WR group, Ebron, etc.) our kickers cost us several games last year. We lost 30-24 to LAC, with Vinny missing 2 FGs and 1 XP. We lost by 6, Vinny left 7 points on the board. Hard to argue that the game wasn't lost due to bad kicking. We lost 31-24 to OAK, but Vinny missed a kick there that could've swung momentum. Not saying the K lost the game, but it didn't help. We lost 26-24 to PITT, with Vinny missing a late kick that would've put us up by 1 point. The kicker lost this game. We lost 16-12 to MIA, with Vinny missing an XP which would have put the game at 3 points. Again, not saying this was all on the K, but it didn't help. We lost to TEN 31-17, with Vinny missing 3 FGs. Hard to say he's to blame, but a game at 31-26 is managed much differently (i.e., a one score game) compared to a 14 point game. We lost 38-35 to TB, with Chase missing an easy FG. Lost by 3, left 3 on the board. Even if we don't win, we likely tie that game with 3 more points (we were up 35-31 at the time, then TB scored a TD, who knows if they'd have gone for 2 or what?). So, by points alone, we can comfortably say that kicking cost us from winning or tying 3 games. Harder to argue that we would've won the other games where the points left on the board by the K wouldn't have covered the distance in the final score, but those missed kicks definitely don't help momentum and change the way games are managed. Of course, we don't want to rely on games being close enough that a missed field goal costs us from winning... but let's say we won 2 of those games and tied 1 -- we would have been 9-6-1 and made the playoffs over TEN (who went on a nice little run as the wildcard). While not the most desirable outcome at the end of last season (missing the playoffs) our team was not that bad last year. We've already made some obvious improvements and will continue to improve with draft picks (and I bet a few more FA signings). If we can stay healthy and not shoot ourselves in the foot so much this coming season, I don't see any reason to believe we shouldn't be the favorites of the AFC South.
  19. As long as Belichek is running the show, I think the Pats will be a solid team. I doubt we'll see a Belichek-led team lose more than 10 games. That said, I think Buffalo may become the new AFC East powerhouse. I tend to agree. I mean the Pats went 11-5 the year Brady was hurt and Matt Cassel (who never started in college) had to lead them.
  20. It'll be interesting to see how this draft shapes up. With the amount of depth at WR, I really won't be shocked to see the 34 or 44 pick be traded back to acquire 2 picks and then take 2 WRs (there should be several guys who could probably come in an contribute from day 1 around at 34-44, but there is a slew of others who look like nice developmental pieces that should be around in rounds 3-5).
  21. Also, keep in mind, Ballard has an entirely different philosophy than Pagano and Grigson. They were running a 3-4 D which needed players with much different skill sets than the D implemented now (not like we had the most talented players for a 3-4 D anyway, but the vast majority of players on the roster when Ballard came along did not fit his way of doing things). Perhaps more impressive, IMO, is Ballard's ability to build the OL. Pagano and Grigs often stated that games are won in the trenches, yet they had an OL that had to have played a role in Luck's short career by forcing him to take a lot of sacks and often be running for his life the instant the ball got into his hands. We had a pretty poor running game throughout the Pagano/Grigs era, as well. Last year, even with a fairly one-dimensional offense w/ mediocre QB play, we were still a top 7 team in rushing in the league. While Grigs talked about the need for a dominant OL, he never really did anything substantial about improving it (to his credit a few guys like Thornton and Holmes didn't pan out). Ballard came in and didn't just talk about the need for a solid OL, he has built one of the best OL's in the league in a fairly short time. Leonard is also one of them. Castonzo is also one of them. Kelly may not be top 5 in the league at his position, but he's not too far off. All are still in the NFL. I believe Gerri Green, who ended last year on our practice squad, is the only one who was not on an active roster to end last season.
  22. Yea, IMO, it was difficult to really judge Brisset last year. He was certainly inconsistent.... but, he lost WR2 in game 1 (Funchess), WR3 was hurt more often than not (Campbell) and TY not only missed time, but he was noticeably not himself later in the season. Brissett also had his own knee issue sometime starting in the middle of the year, which certainly didn't help. That said, I could never really tell if teams just figured him out (he is a pretty vanilla type QB), if the WR injuries killed him, if his own injury really impacted him. I think a combo of the 3, but never could really figure out how to put the correct percentage to those factors.
  23. Other than the curse words, I think the top video is cool.
  24. This podcast, I thought, was pretty funny. (Caution, a couple of 'f-bombs' in there). This is a really cool video with some clips from his parents and interviews from NFL Films (side note, the behind the back pass and 3 point shot took place at my old HS, Wall Township, NJ -- about 8 years after I graduated -- but was very happy that the Colts took a Jersey Shore native 'Q the Situation'):
  25. It does, but Nix was also a key contributor to Pitts' special teams unit before he got hurt. If he makes the team, I would wager he'll see more snaps on STs than on offense. I imagine we'll see several players (ones just signed and ones on rookie contracts about to expire) be signed to extension during the season if they're playing well. I liked when Big Q lined up as FB last year. Like him better at LG, but that play was pretty awesome. I agree, he has a lot of similarities to Hewitt on O. I think we'll see him more on STs, though.
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