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divineprodigy

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  1. Game two is now in the books for the horseshoes and the glowing accolades for Andrew Luck are still coming in. Bob Kravitz even wrote an article called: "Keep your power running game. "Give me Andrew Luck throwing the ball." While Luck looked good on national TV vs the Giants, the much ballyhooed running game didn't. A lot of Colts fans share Kravitz' opinion given the fact that Luck definitely satisfies the those who still suffer from the "Manning" hangover and since Luck reminds so many of us of Peyton with his play on the field. Well for those of you who are thinking the Colts will indeed forfeit their approach of implementing a power running game, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. That approach isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable near future. How do I know this? Simple. There's one thing that new OC Pep Hamilton and coach Chuck Pagano have in common: "Pride." If you listen to coach Pags when he's addressing the media on team news, it's not hard to see the difference between how he talks about the offense vs how he goes about discussing the defense. Coach Pagano "talks" about the offense. He beams over the defense. In a recent interview with Indystar beat writer Zac Keefer coach Pags said: “We’re going to be a darn good defense,” Pagano said Monday. “The guys can feel it, and can start to see it.” As the former DC of the Ravens this should be of no surprise. Pagano wants the stamp of this team to be the defense. Pep Hamilton shares that same kind of passion but for the offensive side of the ball. In spite of how good Luck is at QB, Pep wants to bludgeon opponents into submission with a punishing ground attack that opens up the field for the pass. Pep is not the type of guy who will go "willingly into the night" to appease his opponents on game day. He wants to force his will on the opposition. It's what he was known for at Stanford and wants to continue with Indy. He wants the Colts to make their competition "skip to his beat" and not the other way around. That said, he isn't going to scrap the approach to the running game one iota. If anything, Grigson will bring in more help on the O-line in order to make that happen before the Colts change their approach to Hamilton's system. I for one don't think that will happen though because the bodies we need to fix the run game are already here by way of the draft. Come mid-season, I believe the Colts will start to resemble the battering ram of an offense that Hamilton envisioned when he took his job with the horseshoes. The days of "small" and "quick" players are over for this franchise. The new regime has spoken, and they want a "monster."
  2. There have been several debates over the legacy of the Polian regime. Many have sited the past success with other teams along with the current success the Colts have had under the Polians as a barometer to determine how well (Or not well) they did their job. For me personally, I feel that Polian did his best work as a GM when he was with the Carolina Panthers. I say that because when I look at the teams he helped build, from Buffalo to Indy the most balanced team of all three was the Panthers. They were solid on both sides of the ball. Buffalo was an offensive juggernaut. Much like the Bills, the Colts were also a high-powered offensive team. The Bills went to 4 SBs during his tenure there but lost all of them. The Colts went to 2 and won one. The common thread between both of these franchises is that they both never achieved the success they could have because neither had a defense that could win games for them. Getting to the SB is no accomplishment if you don't leave winning it's most prized possession: "A ring." Going to a SB and losing it is like going to Disney Land and watching everyone else enjoy the rides. That's pretty much what the Bills did for their 4 SB appearances. They were fun to watch on offense, but when it came down to the games played on the biggest stage they always came up short. Ditto for the Colts. The Bills and the Colts both had 1st ballot HOFers at the QB position. What hurt Polian's success was his dependence solely upon those QBs. People have been debating on whether or not Bill Polian was a good GM for the Colts and I want to put to rest the answer to that question. The answer is no. This is a topic that can not and should not be answered with wins and losses. It's not a topic that should be answered by what they "have done." That topic should be answered by what they "should have done." Peyton Manning is heavily considered by many as one of the all-time greats to ever play at his position. That being said, he suffered from the same shortcomings that Barry Sanders suffered from: "A front office that was more content with ticket sales than post season production." That contentment from the front office kept them from taking the initiative to put the necessary pieces in place to help the players who were the faces of their franchises become multiple SB championship winners. In Manning's case, I take deeper issue with this because of what happened last year. I remember all the years watching the Colts be kings of the regular season, only to flame out by being man handled in the playoffs by teams like the Pats, Steelers, and Chargers. Back then I thought the Colts needed to get bigger, tougher, and nastier on both sides of the ball in order to take some of onus of winning games off of Manning's shoulders. I even had the opportunity to speak with Polian on the air once when he was a guest on Bob Lamey's show after the Colts had gotten beaten by the Pats for a second straight year in the playoffs. Needless to say he never took the team in that direction and continued to depend on Manning being "Superman" on Sundays. It goes without saying that formula only took us so far. Yes we did win a SB and yes we appeared in another one. What I look at in spite of that is how many SBs we could have had if the former regime had taken the approach that the current regime is doing now. More importantly, I look at the debacle that happened last year when the team had to play without Manning for the whole season. In 2010 the Steelers had to play the 1st 4 games of the season without Ben Roethlesberger because he was suspended. They went undefeated without their starting QB. The fact that the Colts went 2-14 is a testament to how much Manning's abilities covered up how awful the Colts really were as a team. I'll say it again as I've said in my previous posts. Now is the time to be as excited in being a Colts fan as we have ever been. With Andrew Luck, while most fans and critics keep comparing him to Manning, for me the QB he reminds me of the most is Steve Young. He has the same pocket awareness, athletic escapability, and accuracy that Young displayed during his career running some of the most high-powered, offensive attacks with the 49ers. I don't like to compare him to Manning because not only is he more athletic, but he also throws a better ball. His passes don't wobble and come out with good velocity and straight spiral. He has incredible touch for such a young QB it's hard to remember he is after all, a rookie. Andrew Luck was made to be a QB the way Barry Sanders was made to be a RB. I believe he will be on that kind of level when it's all said and done and that day will be a lot sooner than what many think. The best part about all of this? Luck will be on a "team" that will help shoulder the responsibility of winning so he won't have to do it alone.
  3. If there's anything that can be said about the new regime running the Colts front office, it's that these guys will take a chance on players they see make plays over players who have all the hype usually associated with big names. Instead of going after high profile players who would demand big contracts, last year GM Ryan Grigson signed unheralded yet productive players like Jerrell Freeman, Corey Redding, and relied on a list of rookies who flat out produced on both sides of the ball. With the 2013 offseason under way, Grigs and company have continued that trend by beefing up the defensive side of the ball as well as adding low risk/high reward talent on the offensive side like Wr Darius Heyward Bey. Year after year we see teams go after big named players, often depleting their wallets in doing so yet more often than not fail to get their money's worth on their investments. Decisions like this can set a team back for years. The Redskins have been the NFL's poster child in that regard for over a decade. In short, what Grigson and his staff have done thus far is nothing short of remarkable, which is why he is the reigning GM of the year. This approach has allowed the front office to fill many of the teams holes without setting themselves up for cap woes in the future. With 245 college football programs in the US, each averaging roughly 90 players per team, I've never been one to believe in the process that seems to permeate the line of thinking of most scouts, GMs, and coaches in the NFL when it comes to their talent evaluation process of only focusing on the players who get the most burn time on the TV tube. Walter Payton, one of the best RBs to ever play the game came from a small, little known school named Jackson State. Jerry Rice came from Mississippi Valley State, another small, unheralded school. Both of these players had HOF careers. The NFL is full of players who had "big time names" in college, were drafted in the 1st round yet never lived up to the top billing they were projected to. It's also full of players who were snubbed, and overlooked yet have been better than what many of their critics thought they'd be. Alex Smith was drafted 1st overall by the Niners but Aaron Rodgers was drafted at the end of the first round (24th). The comparison of who's the better QB is not even close. While most critics have teams like the Broncos, Niners, and Seahawks as the favorites to hoist this year's Lombardi trophy, the Colts could very well be this year's dark horse. I am gonna go out on a limb and say that I think the 2013 Colts will be just as good as the Broncos are projected to be. Maybe even better. The truth is the Colts (a team picked by many to be worse last year than they were the previous one) not only did more than double their win total, will be one of the best teams in the league while fielding a roster loaded with players that nobody is talking about. And remember, Andrew Luck was a rookie last year. The kid is only gonna get better..
  4. I picked the Colts to go to the SB this year. This is the most complete team we've had in very long time. The only team that comes to mind that rivals this one was the 95 squad that upset San Diego and the Chiefs.
  5. I remember when this city was a basketball town. Before the Colts moved here it was all about Reggie Miller and the Pacers. It was all about the Indiana Hoosiers of college basketball. Fast forward now to the Jim Harbaugh era and the birth of the nickname "cardiac kids" for a franchise that had been mediocre at best for the majority of the time it was in Indy. Although that 1995 team lacked the flash and dash of teams filled with "superstar players," it was a team built with strong defense, a punishing running game, and a veteran QB who could make all the clutch throws when needed. In other words, the 95' squad had balance. That team was a Quinton Coryatt INT away against the Steelers from going to the SB. Had they gone, I believe that Colts team would have beaten the Cowboys and won it all as they proved by beating them the very next season in Dallas' own stadium. Now travel through time ahead again to 1998 as we go from the Harbaugh era to Manning. Peyton Manning took this franchise to heights it had never reached before, and in essence turned the city of Indianapolis into a Football town. The Colts had arrived. After 3 unsuccessful years of trying to get past the Patriots, Manning led the Colts to their 1st SB appearance in 2006 since the franchises' move to Indy and on ahead to defeat the Bears. While many look at the accomplishments of what Peyton did during his career as a Colt, I look at what he could have accomplished had the front office he had then taken the approach that the current brass is taking now with Luck. For all of Manning's brilliance, the reason he doesn't have more rings than he currently does now is due to the fact that he's been a one man show throughout the majority of his career in Indy. The Polian regime was content with that approach as long as the Colts kept winning and making the playoffs. Manning led one of the NFL's most prolific passing attacks in the game, and helped the Colts finish in the top 10 in nearly every passing offensive category during his entire career with the blue and white. That approach worked great for the regular season, but when the playoffs came it was a different story. The Colts owned the AFC South for nearly 10 years straight under Manning, but could do nothing with that edge come playoff time for the better part of those years. They were knocked out of the playoffs 2 times by the Patriots, twice by San Diego, once by the Steelers, twice by the Jets, and once to both the Titans and Dolphins, and most of the teams on that list were heavy underdogs to the Colts with the lone exception being the Patriots. They lost all of those games as well as a SB to the Saints for the same reason: No balance on offense, and a "bend but don't break defense" that couldn't get off the field when the game was on the line. In a league where QBs are constantly either praised too much for team success or equally thrown under the bus for a teams' failures, the most obvious reasons behind the rise and fall of franchises are also the ones that are quickly over looked. Most analysts and sports fans alike judge a QB on how many rings he has, but if you use common sense it's not hard to see how flawed that approach is when evaluating talent. As odd as this may sound, Trent Dilfer has the same amount of rings that Manning does. Does that mean Dilfer is a shoe in for the HOF? Not even close. Keeping that same formula in mind, Ben Roethlesburger, and Tom Brady each have more rings than Manning. Would you say they are better QBs than Manning because of it? For people like myself who would say no, the question I'm often asked is "Well if you say Manning is better why does Brady and Big Ben have more playoff success than Manning does?" Easy answer. They both play for teams that are better balanced than the ones Manning has played for. Quite frankly, Brady and Roethlesburger don't have to be "Superman" every week for their teams to be successful. They both played with teams that had a solid running game and stout defenses. In fact, the reason why you haven't seen the Pats have as much success now as they had in the early 2000s is because they have strayed away from that formula (Along with Spygate). The Pats resemble the 2005 Colts now in being an offensive aerial juggernaut with a bend but don't break defense. So what does this all mean in relation to Andrew Luck and the 2013 Colts? As I mentioned earlier, Andrew Luck has the chance to accomplish more the Manning did here by doing less. How so? Well if you have been paying attention to the direction in which Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have been going as far as building this new current version of the Colts, you'll see that Luck won't have to play on a level that's considered "other worldly" the way Manning did week in and week out in order for the team to be competitive. The pieces that are being placed around him now will be good enough to alleviate the need for Luck to carry them. In fact, they can carry him when he has an off day. That's the importance of having a balanced team. When it's all said and done, Andrew Luck just may surpass Manning's greatness, and it will be because of the team he has around him as equally as the play required of himself as the reasons why.
  6. With most of the other 31 teams in the NFL keeping the course of the "copycat" with them all trying to mimic the aerial attacks of today's most prolific passing offenses, coach Pagano (and a small list of others) still believes in using the basic fundamentals of success used in the past: "Running the ball and stopping the run." Many would call it "old school," but if we look at the history of SB winners, that term would hardly fit the bill. With teams like the Patriots, Broncos, and Saints all being the current "flavor of the month" as far as fielding high octane offenses, it's the teams that practiced the "old school" principles of the game who went the furthest in the post season. Baltimore was not a sexy pic to win the SB by any of the "experts" yet they are the current defending SB champs. Even now the biased east coast media's "love affair" with Brady and the Pats continues as they are the early favorites to represent the AFC in next year's SB along with the Broncos. For the past 5 years, the black and blue division of the AFC North has been one of the more dominant divisions in football with the Steelers, Ravens, and now Bengals added to the mix of playoff contenders. What do these three teams all have in common? They are all "old school." When you look at the 2013 Colts coach Pags and Ryan Grigson are putting together, you will see them resemble teams like the Steelers and Ravens more and more as the years go on. Good, strong defense, smash mouth offense. Yet it's on the offensive side of the ball where this team can really stand apart. The Colts remind me of the Niners during the Montana era. That team was solid on both sides of the ball even though the Niners were known more for their high-powered offense over anything else. That being said, coach Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson believe in the fundamental approach that the game of football was built on. That battle has always and will continue to always be won or lost at the games' most crucial point of attack: "The line of scrimmage." Any true NFL fan who's a student of the game knows that you don't have to look far to find examples of what has been the most successful approach to winning in the postseason vs that of the regular. We are all familiar with the term: Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. I can't think of a better example of this than the 2000 Ravens. A defense like that can allow you to win the biggest game of the year with a QB who had less talent than most backups in the league. Trent Dilfer was a "game manager." That's just another way of saying "A QB who doesn't lose games for you." Those type of QBs only thrive on teams who run the ball more than they pass it, or only pass it when they have to. Andrew Luck is light years ahead of what Dilfer would have ever been and he's better than most of today's starters now. Giving a QB of his caliber a solid running game and a good defense is down right scary when you think about it. That's why it's easy to get extremely excited about the Colts this year. Regardless of what the critics say and who Vegas dubs the "sexy pics" for this year's SB contenders, the Colts will be in the mix and are poised for a deep run into the post season for 2013.
  7. There has been a lot of speculation on what the 2013 Luck led Colts offense will look like this year. With Bruce Arians in Arizona now fresh off his coach of the year campaign, blue nation has been wondering what his replacement will bring to the boys in blue on offense. New OC Pep Hamilton ran one of the most dynamic schemes as Stanford's head coach last year, as did the man he replaced there in Jim Harbaugh the year before he left Stanford. Under Bruce Arians, the Colts featured the long ball as the staple of the offense. so what will Hamilton bring to the mix? When asked if he would be running a west coast offense similar to that of Stanford in his first interview as a member of the Colts staff, Pep said that the Colts will be running what he called a "no coast" offense. That statement has a lot of people guessing at what that would compare too. If there is any team in the league that I think gives a good example to reference on what a scheme like this would look like, we need look no further than the 49ers. For all intent and purposes, the Niners run a multi-headed monster that "morphs" into the scheme it needs to be in in order to exploit the weaknesses of it's opponents from week to week, and even quarter by quarter at times. One game you could see Kaepernick throw for 300+ yards through the air. Another week you could see the Niners deploy Frank Gore and a power running attack that bludgeons it's opponents to death for 170 yards on the ground. Or a game in which Kaepernick uses his legs out of the read option and beats you with both his running and his arm. Although Andrew Luck is not the speed demon that Colin Kaepernick is, he still possesses enough wheels to give opposing defenses something else to worry about. Hamilton said in a recent interview that the Colts offense had no limits and even mentioned the possibility of using some read option sets. That comment somehow has caused quite a stir from some Colts fans that I would classify as just down right "paranoid." The quote in question reads: "There's nothing we can't do. We can incorporate some pistol concepts, which is kind of a trend, an 'en vogue' thing in the league right now. Everybody's talking about the QB option, the QB read game, the QB pistol, the pistol components that we can run. But, we'll be smart. We'll be judicious in how much we expose Andrew to taking additional hits." Nowhere in this statement did Pep say that the read option would become a staple of the Colts offense, yet it seems to be taken that way by more than a few fans here in Indy. When I read this, my initial reaction was that Hamilton wants to employ sets on offense that will keep opposing defenses on their toes. The best way you do that is to be able to "morph" as an offense into sets that constantly create mismatches on the defenses you face. If you can consistently create mismatches, you can keep opponents from figuring out what to do against you. Advantage offense. Describing a "no coast offense" would literally mean an offense with "no limits" in what you will see from it. The Colts on that side of the ball should be fun to watch, and a force to be reckoned with this year.
  8. Hi Brent and thank you for your kind words. I too, am sorry for your loss dear brother. I also hope that Thornton has a stellar career here in Indy.
  9. Thank you for the kind words Nadine. I really appreciate that and I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
  10. If you haven't read the story on Colts rookie O-lineman Hugh Thornton, you should make your way on over to Indystar.com and read the front page article on him and his journey to the NFL: http://www.indystar.com/article/20130509/SPORTS03/305090081/Colts-rookie-overcomes-murder-mother-sister-reach-NFL When the Colts initially made this pick, I really didn't get into researching his stats or anything right off the bat. I was looking at the corner back position and researching the free agent DB picks the team made instead. Then I read the article on Thornton's life which hit on the early tragic losses he endured when he was a kid. On Jan. 2, 2004, Thornton’s mother, Michele, and 8-year-old sister, Marley, were murdered during the night in their Jamaican home. Hugh, 12 at the time, was asleep in another room. His Aunt Rebecca found the bodies the following morning and woke him up screaming. Stop and think about that for a second. This kid is lucky to be alive when the murders of two of his close relatives took place just a room away. The reason this story struck a cord with me is because it hits close to home. I lost my father when I was just a kid as well. Like Thornton, I too was 12 years old. My father was gunned down and robbed while leaving a grocery store by two teenage boys who so happened to be sons of a preacher. To add insult to injury, the boys were not tried as adults and were freed a year later. Their father was a pastor of a mega church in LA, which probably played a part in the early release of his sons. If anyone can relate to the kind of pain Hugh experienced 9 years ago, I definitely can. For me, Hugh represents the story of so many African American faces who have been through the struggle we call "life," and in spite of the circumstances we face, have risen above them in order to beat the odds. As fans, when we see players who come from what we call "the wrong side of the tracks," many of us will judge them without even knowing what their stories are. We call them "thugs," and "losers" because the only information we use to judge them by is what we gather from the news clippings we see in the papers or the perceptions we receive from Sports shows we watch. Most of us form opinions of these athletes who in truth are people we've never met. People just like you and me. We have no idea what these "Sunday heroes" go through when they are not on the football field. We have no idea what their daily lives are like when they take off the equipment. What's sad is the perception people have that says "since these players are making more money than the average Joe, that somehow entitles us to judge them with higher standards than the ones we judge ourselves with." Although I am not an athlete, I don't agree with this point of view. I believe people are still people and there is no price tag that can or should change that. In the case of Hugh Thornton, this is just the kind of person who should not only be embraced by the city of Indianapolis, but taken under the wing of fans all around. Welcome to the Colts Hugh. You have a least one new fan who is hoping that you become one of the very best at what you do.
  11. The "coach" didn't "play to lose." There is nothing wrong with the play calling guys. Did you even see the game? We lost to Jacksonville because one of our starting CBs got hurt and the guy they put in to replace him got burnt for a TD. That's not the coaches fault. Also they are limited in what they can do without Freeney, Angerer and Davis. When we get all of those guys back the defense will improve a lot. So will our offense when we get all of our starters back on the front line. Stop blaiming the coaches for having their hands tied playing without a full deck.
  12. LOL Yeah I remembered what you said about the guidelines for reposting and wanted to share this one with the community after posting it on the Colts live site first. I am interested in hearing some feedback from the fans on the subject. Thanks for the thumbs up Maureen!
  13. Posted by coltsindianapolis on June 22, 2012 – 8:00 am Colts.com regularly features blogs written by one of our fans. This post was submitted by divineprodigy The Colts running game hasn’t given any opposing defenses any nightmares since the haydays of Edgerrin James. Ever since his departure, the team has relied on 90% of the arm and brain power of Peyton Manning, and 10% of “running back by committee.” Enter 4th year RB Donald Brown. According to the critics, Brown has been deemed a “bust” due to the lack of his production since joining the team. These opinions are being made by people who are only looking on the surface of his career. When I look at Brown, I can’t help but be reminded of another RB who’s career didn’t start off well with the team who drafted him either, but went on to be a bell cow for two other NFL franchises he played for: Thomas Jones. Jones was drafted by the Cardinals in 2000. He was even dubbed the top rated RB coming out of college that year. He didn’t play like it for any stretch of his career while in St Louis. After a one year stint with the Bucs that saw his YPC go from 3.7 in St Louis to 4.6 with the Bucs, he landed in Chicago. With the Bears is where his career took off as a RB. For 3 years Jones’ production increased considerably from what it was with the Cardinals (511yds in 2002 for the Cardinals vs 948 yds in 2004 for Chicago). 2 of those three years he rushed for over 1200 yards. In 2007 he went to the Jets. His production with the Jets climbed each year he was there as well with his best year coming in 2009 where he rushed for 1400 yrds. The point I make with this comparison is one that simply suggests given the right situation with the right team, a player who has been a “bust” for one team can also be a gem for another. Now even though Brown is still with the Colts, in essence its as if he is playing on a different team due to all of the changes that have taken place with the organization: New coaching staff, new players, new scheme. Technically, Donald Brown is on a “new team.” That is why I feel he will have his most productive year in the coming season for the Colts this year. The offensive line will be bigger than the one he has played behind for the majority of his short career. The men coming in to replace what was here before are better than what we had before. Donald Brown as well as all of the other RBs are going to have running lanes that they didn’t have previously. Scheme is more important than overall “talent.” No one exemplified this subtle truth better than former Broncos and current Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan. In Denver, it didn’t matter who Shanahan had in a RB, they all ran for over 1000 yards in a season. He even got that kind of production from a former Post Office worker in Mike Anderson! That being said, when it comes to assessing what kind of RB Donald Brown will be considering what he had to work with coming into the league vs the potential of what he could be with what he has now, calling him a “bust” based upon those circumstances would be inaccurate. The best approach to take on this would be one that says: “Just wait and see.” Brown has flashed great potential when given the opportunity. The problem is he just hasn’t been given enough of them as well as not having the best of O lines to work with either. Add the season ending neck injury to Manning and you have another year lost due to ineffective play from the QB position. All of that should change this year. With the new additions on offense starting with Andrew Luck, coupled with the improved emphasis not only on the running game, but also the pieces in place to make it all work, I expect a breakout season for Brown that will have his naysayers lining up to get his jersey.
  14. Yet teams do it every year. I think I comprehend just fine. You sound like the critics who pick a team thats everybody else's "flavor of the month" every year simply because they are the "flavor of the month." Ask the Packers fans how they feel about the Giants now...
  15. Although the dreaded "R" word has been banned from Colts Head quarters, that hasn't stopped commentators and NFL personalities from tagging the team as a "rebuilding project." That being said, it hasn't taken the front office long to show Colts faithful that there definitely is a new regime in town.Grigs and company haven't wasted any time in diving into the free agent pool to bring in some pieces that should pay immediate dividends come gameday. Nice pieces I might add. They've even shown the willingness to trade for players they want with other teams in pursuing CB Mike Jenkins from the Cowboys. This was something that was unheard of with regard to former GM Bill Polian (which is why he is no longer running the team). Although I have not been totally on board with the draft moves (after Luck) by the front office, I am impressed with the activity they have taken the initiative to be a part of outside of it this offseason. Which brings us to the defense. I will admit when it comes to football, I'm partial to defense and a style of play thats more defined as "smash mouthed" vs "finesse." Call me old school but I'm a fan of it. I believe in the concept of being able to beat your opposition with brute force over trickery. Why? Because brute force can get you success over your opponents even when they know exactly what you're going to do before you do it, while trickery only works as long as you never run out of "tricks." The only advantage trickery has in any situation is the element of surprise. You can only "surprise" someone with something they have never seen before. Sooner or later, you will run out of "tricks." If we take a brief look at history, it won't take long to see what kind of teams have enjoyed the most success in not only the NFL, but with any team sport. When talking about this subject, I often reference the Pittsburgh Steelers because they are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. They have never been a flashy team, opting instead to be more of a "bully" that reflects the blue collar mentality of the Steel city fans it plays for. The Steelers have more SB rings than any other NFL franchise and there method of success has been one that has worked through every generation they've played in. With the addition of Coach Chuck Pagano and his staff, and with the talent base the Colts already have at their disposal, this team has the opportunity to do great things this year. Forget the "rebuilding" talk that seems to be the constant chatter used when referencing the state of the franchise by the mainstream sports media. This team has the tools to very good "now." For starters, the Colts front seven is pretty darn good starting with a core that inlcudes Freeney, Mathis, Conner, Angerer, and Redding. I know it's still very early and we haven't seen how well the veterans as well as the rookies adjust to Pags' system, but as bad as our defense was last year, the only direction it can possibly go is "up." The secondary is by far the biggest question mark on the team. Still, it has the chance to shine with the attacking approach infused by the new defensive scheme. I am confident in saying this because I believe in coach Pagano and the new staff. As far as the offense goes, Andrew Luck is the real deal. Period. This young man will come in and pay immediate dividends for the franchise. The revamped offensive line should be an immense upgrade over last year's patch work job. If the defense plays the way I feel it will, the Colts will be the biggest surprise to the rest of the NFL world since the 99 Rams when Kurt and Faulk came to town. Luck has a plethora of weapons at his disposal already and a crafty old vet WR in Wayne. Not only was this a classy move on his part to stay, but it sends a message on how much he believes in his new signal caller. At Wayne's age, you don't resign with a team that's "rebuilding." You sign with a team that is going somewhere. The Colts will be in the thick of the division title with Houston this year and you can count me among the few who won't be surprised.
  16. As we aproach the 2012 NFL season, the trend towards being as explosive on offense as possible has been the focus of many teams as of late. For the younger generation, the beginning of this trend began with the Rams of the late 90s which featured HOF RB Marshall Faulk, QB Kurt Warner, WRs Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim and Torry Holt. They were dubbed the nickname "The Greatest Show on Turf" and formed the nucleus of the only team in NFL history to score 500+ points in 3 consecutive seasons. Mike Martz was the "mastermind" behind the offense, but was not the original author of it. Martz was running the exact same offense as HOF coach Don Coryell. Coryell was the true mastermind behind this brilliant, aerial attacking philosphy that he ran with a tremendous amount of success at both the college and pro level. Remember the Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow led Chargers? Don Coryell was the coach that made them who they are. Although the Chargers were one of the highest scoring teams during his tenure there, they never made it to the SB. In 1979, Bill Walsh brought in the famous "West Coast" offense to the 49ers. He would go on to win 4 SBs with a Niner team that was just as tough on the defensive side of the ball as the offense was. When the team went from Joe Montana to Steve Young, the offensive production went even higher, yet didn't win a SB until the front office went on a spending spree to address the defensive side of the ball. From an offensive standpoint, these teams would be followed by the 2004 Colts and 2007 Patriots in which both Manning and Brady broke Dan Marino's single season record for TD passes. While all of these teams featured offenses that produced insane numbers, they lacked a defense that could match it. Of the 4 teams I just mentioned, only the Rams won a SB while fielding a sub par defense. Some might argue that the Colts won a SB in 2006 with a defense that was ranked dead last in the league, but if there was ever an example of how one man can make a difference to a team, a healthy Bob Sanders was it. The Colts played most of the season without Sanders in the lineup due to injuries. Whenever he was in the lineup though the Colts were a completely different beast defensively. What they were able to accomplish in the playoffs with him healthy was nothing short of amazing. Some have argued that the Colts brass did the right thing in addressing the offense in order to "help Luck become successful faster." Yet this is a backwards philosophy because in essence you are putting the onis of winning solely on the shoulders of your rookie QB. You don't help any QB by doing that as much as you would by building a solid defense for him 1st. The reason being is that when highpowered offenses face teams that are more balanced on both sides of the ball than they are, even teams that are stronger defensively, the team with balance usually wins. This is why a team like the Ravens could enjoy such quick success with Flacco starting as a rookie. The front office gave him a strong running game on offense but kept a dominant defense to back him up with. The Steelers enjoyed similar success with Ben Rothlesburger. As have the Jets with Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is not a good QB IMO yet that didn't stop him from playing in an AFC championship game two years in a row including his rookie year. The Jets also have a good defense and are the reason they have been to the post season twice in the last three years. I believe that the reason these three teams (Jets, Steelers, Ravens) have had the level of success that they've had is because the front office understood the importance of having a strong defense as the best way to bring about success early with young QBs. Having a good defense takes the pressure off of a young signal caller because it minimizes his mistakes whereas an offensive laden team doesn't have that luxury. Especially when opposing teams can use their offense to control the ball in order to keep yours on the sidelines. Even though the Steelers have had a more pass oriented approach under former OC Bruce Arians, he wasn't resigned due to the fact that Rooney II wants (To the delight of Steelers fans) the team to return to it's smash-mouthed roots":http://assets.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/pasquarelli_len/1268468.html I know we have a new regime who needs time to assert itself in building the current Colts team. But in order to "build a monster," it wouldn't hurt to have an old school approach with a blast from the past. History is most often the best teacher.
  17. @andreaallennyc-- With all due respect Andre, did you watch the playoffs last year? All of the teams that were stacked on offense lost in the post season. The team that won it all had the one thing that all of the highpowered offensive teams were missing: A defense. You don't build a championship caliber team starting with the offense. You do it by starting with the defense. That's being "Smart and respectful of your rookie QB" by not putting the onus of winning games soley on his shoulders. Thats the reason the Ravens were able to make the post season in Flacco's rookie season. It's the reason Dilfer, one of the worst QBs ever won a SB. They both had a top notch defense behind them. What I'm saying isn't anything new. We have seen the fruits of this phylosophy many times over. While a lot of other teams are doing the same thing with loading up on the offensive side of the ball, in the end, it will be the teams with the better defenses who will prevail. The Buffalo Bills will be a prime example of this reality. They did exactly what the Colts should have done by addressing the most critical portion of their defense: The D-line. They didn't try to match the Patriots by going out and signing WRs/TEs to attempt to win a shootout with the AFC champs. They went out and got players who they feel will help them shut down the offense of their division rivals. Thats smart front office decision making. The Colts don't stand a chance in winning shootouts with anybody right now and honestly that shouldn't be the approach anyway. As I said before, we've been down that road already. The Colts could have gone all defense this year and fixed the offense next year. If Luck is the "All world QB" he has been drummed up to be, he should be able to manage with what he has already. Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery are better than anything he had a Stanford anyway.
  18. Thanks. I hear you guys on deferring to Grigs and company, but the thing I'm sticking with is the fact that we have been down this road before. I really don't want to see another 6 years go by until Andrew Luck wins his 1st playoff game and another 4 before he actually makes it to the SB. I'm not a fan of the copycat league that's taking place now where it seems everyone is trying to out score each other by loading up on the offensive side of the ball and trying to get by with defenses that bend but don't break.The teams that continue to put defense 1st are the ones that are going to continue to be there in the end for the biggest games of the post season. the Colts had the chance to do something that has never been done with having a franchise QB before since the days of Joe Montana. The closest thing we have seen to this reality is the Steelers with Big Ben. Luck I feel will be a better QB than Ben.
  19. Regardless of how much better Manning was with two lights out WRs, it still took him 6 years to win a playoff game. His younger brother accomplished winning two SB rings in half the time it took him (Peyton) to win one...And he did it without "two lights out WRs..." the Giants didn't have anything special at the WR position in either of their SB victories. What they did have is a defense that could constantly pressure the QB as well as stop the run. By repeating what the Colts did to start off the Manning era, the only thing they are gonna get out of it are the same results. "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships."
  20. With the 2012 NFL draft now behind us, there's no question the top priority for the Colts was surrounding their new signal caller with talent to help him develop at the next level. This goes along with the current trend taking place in the NFL with teams loading up on offense while neglecting the defense. The only teams that have kinda been the exceptions to the rule are the NY Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers of late. Of the last four SB winning teams (Giants, Packers, Steelers, and Colts), all fielded teams that were stronger on offense than on defense with the exception of the Steelers. Out of that group, the Giants and the Steelers have won two SBs each within a 6 year span. Out of that group, the Giants and the Steelers were more balanced on both sides of the ball as a team than either the Packers, the Colts and either of their opponents. In last year's playoffs, the Saints and Packers were favored to win over their opponents because they were regarded as the better offensive teams. The Saints lost to a 49ers team that was a joke of an offense to watch yet fielded the league's best defense. The Packers were the top offensive team in league last year yet were beaten soundly in their own back yard by a Giants team that was arguably the most complete team heading into the playoffs. Some might argue that the Giants were an offensive juggarnaut who had a weak defense as well just like the Packers. That would be a misconception due to the fact the Giants had a lot of injuries to the defense earlier in the year and got healthy at the right time. By postseason, the Giants had a formidable defense which featured one of the league's better D-lines in the game. The reason why the Giants beat the favored Patriots is not because Eli Manning threw for 5000 yards that season. They won because they had a defense which boasted a front four that could constantly put pressure on the QB, and also force turnovers. Its rare to see a team in this day and age which is just as strong on defense as it is on offense. We really haven't seen this since the early 80s and 90s with teams like the Cowboys, Steelers , and 49ers. Even during the Patriots dynasty, the only SBs they won were the ones with decent defenses, not the teams that featured Randy Moss, Wes Welker, or "The Gronk." This is where the Colts come in. Imagine this for a second. Think of how good the 2000 Ravens would be if they had Manning as their QB. That would be down right "nasty." If Andrew Luck is as good as everyone thinks he is, the Colts should start giving him a good defense "now." Defense is what should have been the focus for this year's draft. Good QBs don't need top notch talent around them. Good QBs elevate the play of the players they already have at their disposal.
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