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  1. I agree, there was a lot more than just Brady regressing last season. However, the film is still telling. He didn't have to overthrow open receivers, didn't have to throw the ball at the running back's feet in simple screens, etc. Brady has been regressing for a while now. These throws started to appear in early 2018, first sporadically, then more frequently. In 2019, it was way worse than before, and gotten worse as the season went by. Who knows how it continues in 2020? Maybe the gradual regression will continue, but he'll still be able to compete at a top10-15 ish level, maybe it will accelerate. So the Bucs took a risk, no doubt. But the Colts took a risk too. That is what it is if you don't have a franchise QB. You have to take risks.
  2. You're right, its a crazy idea. Tweet Bill O'Brien, he might like it.
  3. Desir is obviously a brigge gap solution, and Wilson is trending out. But Tell? Imo, he's everything but a guy to loose at this stage. He looked very-very promising in that limited role he had last year. He is still raw, and needs to learn a lot (he's a converted safety after all who never played CB before), but I see a ton of potential in him. Maybe not in 2020, but eventually. It's wouldn't surprise me if he exceeds Yasins ceiling, who by the way I also like.
  4. Good for Dodds. However, I'm not sure I'd take that job. The Browns whole GM & HC searching process is kinda weird. They interview their HC candidates, and doesn't name any of them but begin to interview GM candidates, to find a "good match". But who will answer who? A situation like that can quickly turn into a mess if limits of power are not crystal clean. So, he should be careful. His stock will probably only rise in the next few years, so this is probably not his only chance.
  5. Are you serously asking this question? Man, the success rate in the first round is around 45 to 65% (depending on which position, which period). In later rounds success rate drops dramatically. In rounds 5 to 7 it's no better than 10-12%. And success has nothing to do with finding "elite" players. A 4 year starter is already considered "success", even in the first round. The league average (e.g. realistic) expectation towards a draft is to find 3-4 players who will contribute. Possibly 1-2 starters - one of them worthy of a second contract -, and 2-3 rotational / backup players for a few years. That's the average success rate of an NFL draft. Anything better than that is above average, and considered a good draft. Ballard found 8 starters in 2 drafts, which can only increase if any/some of his 2019 draftees become starters. That's already waaay better than average. The fact, that he found 2 true elite players amongst them is only the icing on the cake. (Regarding Leonard, c'mon... you are talking about a 2 times all pro in his first 2 years. All pro is not a fan voting, it DOES mean something. Actually, a lot.)
  6. The Ravens couldn't handle that a running back is throwing the ball. Seemed they are not used to it. Seriously, I didn't see it coming, but that's what happen if a team turns the ball over 3 times (2 inside your own 30 yards line), while can't convert any 4th and shorts. It doesn't matter that the Ravens converted 8 of 8 during the season, and barely gave away the ball. They did last night and they lost the game. The Titans are in the AFCCG, and there's nothing to explain about 2 road wins in the playoff. Anyway, I don't think it's been championship football so far, so let's not start believing (thinking about Brissett & the Colts) that 100 yards passing can be enough to win the superbow. Even if it'll be enough.
  7. As I said, the draft is not only round 1 or round 2. Do you know what draft capital means? It means, that each pick has a unique value comparable to the other picks (google for "trade value chart"). You take all picks of every teams, and sum their picks by each picks individual value. Do it for all teams, and you'll have a comparable number, representing the total "pool pf resources" each team have. In 2019, the Patriots had the 9th most draft capital, the Colts had the 10th most capital. So actually, the Patriots had a little more than the Colts. In 2017, the Colts had the 2nd most draft capital, but the Patriots wasn't far behind, they had the 6th most draft capital. If we remove the 1/6 pick, the Colts fall behind the Patriots in draft capital. In 2017, the Colts had the 15th most, and the Patriots had the 31th most (or 2nd smallest) capital (mostly because they traded their 1st pick away for Cooks). So, altogether, the Colts had more capital in these 3 years altogether than the Patriots, but, as I said, if we remove the Nelson pick, then the total capital becomes similar. Actually, very close. It doesn't matter if one had X second round and the other had Y or vice versa, of you have similar draft capital, you have similar chances (less picks with better chances vs more with less chances). If one team trades down, they usually keep the draft capital, they only swap picks with the same (total) values. (That's the purpose of the mentioned "draft trade value chart". To make deals of same draft capitals). So I was correct, that if we remove Nelson from the equiation, then the two teams had similar draft capital. And if we compare what they did with that similar draft capital, then Ballard still wins by a mile.
  8. No, not all GMs inherit a mess. Brett Veach inherited a championship caliber team when John Dorsey got fired. Whoever will take the Texans GM job soon, won't inherit a mess. He will have to solve some puzzles, but that Texans team is a playoff team even with an average HC. These two are not exceptions, there are other GM's, who inherited quite decent situations. Ballard didn't. The Colts were a mess. Btw, he inherited a very talented, INJURED QB, who's future was questionable. It was offered by Irsay. He was the one who declared the team as a mess. And he was the one, who defined a 4 years timeframe to get back to contendership level. He expressed this multiple times. It doesn't mean he didn't expect _some_ results on the way, but the goal was (and still is) to build a contender by 2021. Should I say your are wrong again Doug? Nelson had a fantastic rookie year, but his second year was by far better. He was the most dominant, almost unanimous pick in the entire all pro voting. It's practically a consensus by now, that regarding guards, there is Nelson, and there are the rest. I'm not saying that, most experst say that. And Smith had a better season too, than his rookie season was. According to pff, and most analysts too. It was only Leonard, who had a bit of a stepback, but he still become a 2nd team all pro, and most people say, that he had so fantastic second part of the season, that if he wasn't injured in the first half, he'd be an easy first team all pro again. So no, no regression. (And no regression from Mack, Walker, Hines neither. Regarding Turay, before the injury, he had the best pass rushing grade amongs all rushers in the NFL. Better than T.J. Watt, Shaquil Barrett, or the Bosas. It's disappoinging / unfortunate that he got injured - again -, but he DID improve a lot from year 1 to year 2.)
  9. Again: You are not drafting only first and second rounders. You are drafting in all seven rounds. Belichick (so did Ballard) traded down with some of his picks to acquire more picks, including 2nd rounders. It doesn't matter if it's your original pick or your acquired pick(s), if you hit them, then you hit them, if you miss, then you miss. If we remove that single 1/6 pick, the remaining total draft capitals of the 2 teams were comparable. Actually, quite close. The difference is, that Ballard found an all pro in the 2nd round, Belichick didn't. Ballard found quality starters in the 4th, 5th rounds, Belichick didn't. I am basing it on my eyes, my judgement. You are right, unfortunately there is no universal measure for that. (There are statistics which we can look at, but mostly, it's subjective.) So in my opinion, the 2018 roster was not in the top15 NFL rosters, despite the Colts on paper, was a top8 team that year (reaching the divisional round). And in my opinion, the 2019 roster was a top third roster, despite the Colts finished below average. The QB made all the difference. Having a quality QB is that important. (Regarding our reserve corners, sadly, we could see them quite a lot on the field due to injuries. More often than not, they did a pretty good job. For example, the Colts won the Chiefs game with practically their second team corners and safeties. Anyway, I think Hairston was a nice player for us. He was just the odd man out once Kenny Moore became an elite slot corner and we had Desir, Rock, Wilson, etc. )
  10. Comparing draft capital to draft capital, the difference is much less than it looks by the first 2 rounds. They traded down and up, giving up or gaining 2nd rounds for 1st or 3rd, etc. The only big difference was 2018, when the Colts had a 1/6. Other than that, the Patriots did pick later, but had more compensatory picks, and some picks for traded players. The total draft capital was/is quite close, except that extra 1/6. So remove Nelson from the comparison, and compare the rest. Ballard still wins by a mile. PFF believe Rock had a top50 rookie season. I believe he had his ups and downs, but altogether he had a good rookie season. Are we pretending because you think he didn't have a good season? You are right. So lets put the Colts roster into context. Nate Hairston, who was traded to the Jets because he wouldn't make the Colts roster, was a starting CB for the Jets. Tarell Basham, who Ballard waived after 1 year was also a starter for the Jets. Zach Banner, who didn't even make the first cut here, was the backup LT for the Steelers, then promoted to start after injuries. According to Pittsburgh media, he is now the frontrunner for the LT job next year (or RT, depending on which of the 2 veterans they will say goodbye to soon.) That's a level, which didn't make the Colts's level. You can call it "Bengals" level, or whatever. The Colts level is better. I'm positive, that this Colts roster is in the top 1/3rd of the league. With Luck, this team would've competed for a bye week in 2019. With an average QB, they would be probably a playoff team. So, being a starter for the Colts is much closer to the Ravens level than the Bengals level. They just didn't have the league MVP at QB.
  11. Well, in that case, PFF selected 4 of these JAGs into their top50 rookies of 2019. (Okereke, Willis, Rock and Tell). TOP 50 is the middle of the second round, so they're practically saying that Ballard has chosen 4 TOP 50 worthy players in 2019. He had 2 picks in the top 50. I don't necessary agree with their list, but it doesn't really matter. The mere number is impressive. https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-top-50-highest-graded-rookies-through-week-17 Lets compare Ballard's 3 drafts to Belichick's last 3 drafts: Ballard: 2017: Hooker, Mack, Walker, Stewart, Wilson 2018: Nelson, Leonard, Smith, Turay, Hines, Wilkens, Adams, Franklin (+ Fountain on IR) 2019: Rock, Banogu, Campbell, Okereke, Willis, Tell, Speed (+ a few on PS/IR) Belichick: 2017: Derek Rivers (97 NFL snaps in 3 years), Antonio Garcia (0 snaps, waived), Deatrich Wise (rotational de), Conor McDermott (waived) 2018: Isaiah Wynn (7 games, left tackle), Sony Michel (starting RB), Duke Dawson (backup CB), Ja'Whaun Bentley (backup LB), Christian Sam (waived), Braxton Berrios (waived), Danny Etling (waived), Keion Crossen (waived), Ryan Izzo (#3 TE) 2019: N'Keal Harry (7 games, starter), Joejuan Williams (85 snaps), Chase Winovich (rotational DE), Jarrett Stidham (backup QB), Damien Harris (5 snaps), Yodny Cajuste (PS), Hjalte Froholdt (PS), Jake Bailey (pro bowl punter), Byron Cowart (43 snaps), Ken Webster (waived) In 3 years, Ballard drafted 7 starters (2 of them all pros), 8 rotational/backups (I put Stewart, Hines, Wilkins and all contributing 2019 rookies here, though Rock was practically a starter) and 3 "who saw the field" (Wilson, Speed and Franklin). Out of 29 drafted players, 24 are still on the roster (82%). (Note: The remaining 5 are all on an other NFL team's roster - and playing). In 3 years, Belichick drafted 3 starters (0 all pros), 3 rotational/backup players, 6 "who saw the field", and a good punter. Out of 23 players, 16 are still on the team (65%). So, Ballard drafted more starters, than Belichick drafted starters + rotational/backups alltogether. And amongst them 2 all-pros. Ballard drafted 15 players who heavily contribute vs 6 from Belichick. Aand, if we would compare FA-s and trades, we would find a similar difference in success/failures. (Like giving up a 2nd rounder for Sanu, recently). It was not just Brady why the Patriots sucked this season (compared to how good of a team that was a couple of years ago). I think if Ballard would've done what Belichick has done in the last 3 years, we'd want him out of Indy already. Of course, Belichick will fix his mistakes in the long term. At least I assume he will (who knows). But anyway, it's obvious how good of job Ballard has done so far in Indy. Not perfect of course, but good. Very-very good.
  12. Actually Smith wouldn't cost that much. The Redskins would have to eat all DM remaining of his signing bonuses. So the Colts would only need to take his base salary, which is $16M for 2020, then $19M for 2021 and $21M for 2022. Only the $16M for 2020 is guaranteed. At the same time, the Redsking would be able to clear $16M off of their salary cap, Remember when the Texans traded Osweiler to the Brown AND gave up a 2nd rounder along with him, so they can get rid of his cap hit? Maybe the Redskins would be willing to do something similar. Maybe not give up a pick, but I'm positive they would let Smith go for dirt cheap. So, assuming he's indeed healthy, this is actually not a terrible idea. If he can play - I assume he can, if he's healthy -, he's a better bridge QB than Jacoby. And his $16M salary for 2020 is more than fair for a starting QB nowadays. His remaining years are not guaranteed, so the Colts can cut him without dead money any time after one season. (It's all hypothetical tough, because I think Ballard & Reich would not replace Jacoby for other than a possible long term solution. They like him too much.)
  13. The Niners are the least penalized team in the leaguge right now (the Dolphins are the second). Anyway, I didn't say playing disciplined football is related to talent. What I said is that it's the coaching staffs responsibility to force them to do that. The Colts are the 4th least penalized team, so there's nothing wrong with them regarding this area. Actually, they improved a lot, 'cause they were one of the most penalized last year. My point was, that those drops, mistakes, inability to separate, inability to catch contested balls, etc. sometimes indicators of lesser talent more than bad coaching.
  14. There is nothing wrong with Reich. Philip Rivers had the best years of his carreer under him, Carlson Wentz had an MVP season, and he made Nick Foles SB MVP. This year he made Jaboby look almost like a franchise QB so far. I still believe he is good, we're fortunate to have him. I don't always like his play calling of course. But who does? There is NO coach in the NFL whos play calling is 100% perfect for me. I need to remind myself time to time, that Reich is not trying to play pretty football. He's trying to win games. If playing ugly, then playing ugly. So far he is doing exactly like that. I've yet to see a game where I could primarily blame game planning, play calling or game management for a loss. There is none. Every loss we had (except maybe the Raiders loss) was because the players committed too many mistakes. Dropped balls, turnovers, missed field goals, extra points, etc. Cut half of those mistakes - which would still be "quite many" - and we could've be 8:1 instead 5:4. This team is not 8:1 good of course, but you get my point. Plus, nobody is perfect. Even the best coaches have off days. Just check yesterday games. Check what McVay has done - or could not done - in Pittsburgh or Sean Payton could do against the terrible Falcons defense ... with Drew Brees. Reich had to deal with Hoyer and Pascal, Rogers, Dulin and M. Johnson as top4 targets. He probably had to ignore 60-70% of the play book because these players either don't know it or cannot execute it. I don't blame Reich for this. Note: Of course I know (and agree in case someone's underlining that), that the coaching stuff is responsible to teach players to play mistake-free, disciplined football. Teach them how to catch, how to separate, how to not fumble, etc. However, in this case I think it's more about lack of talent than bad coaching. Other than the oline and T.Y., there is no real game changer talent in the offense. There are some nice players, some of them just "reliable" like Doyle, some of them creates matchup problems like Ebron, some of them just overall "good" like Mack, and of them are just hard working guys with "OK" talent, but none of them a jump out talent. These guys are not good enough compared to the Julio Jones-es, Hopkinses, Evanses, Hills, Coopers, (McCaffreys, Zeke Elliotts, Kelces, etc.) This offense could've done well with Luck under center, but needs talent infusion next offseason to be more productive. Either at QB or at (maybe multiple) skill positions. (Maybe both.) I'd agree with you if Luck didn't retire 1 week before the season. As a GM you spend your resources where you think it's the most rewarding. Before 2019 august, it was the defense, because this offense would be fine with Luck. Maybe not the best, maybe not top5, but just fine. You spend on an already very good offense, when you have an already very good defense. Let's see next season. Now, it's obvious that the offense need talent infusion. If Ballard still ignores it, that'll be a new situation, and I'll be the fist to blame him for that.
  15. I'm just happy the league put behind the kneeling thing. It brough the worst out of many people regardless of which side they took of the story. Just sad.
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