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Link's Brutal Play [Merge]


Colts20593
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I just don't see what Colts are thinking here. Link can play a lot of positions so he has some value but he is not a starting tackle in the NFL.

Look at all the "good teams in the NFL" and look at their OL and where most were drafted and then look at Indy.

And there you have it.

I think this team is missing Mudd and Moore a lot more than the organization would like to admit.

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Man ...at the beginning of this season I had high-hopes for Linkenbach - so long as he wasn't playing guard, I thought he looked great in limited action at LT (against Denver) and didn't notice any noise on his side during the Jets game. I thought he was a potential solution at RT.

Wow was I WRONG or what!

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I wouldnt be surprised in the middle of the week Ijalana moves in as the starter... i didnt hear the whole thing but someone asked caldwell about someon possibly coming in and he said "we'll see" only person i could think about is Ben.. hopefully i heard correctly.

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I wouldnt be surprised in the middle of the week Ijalana moves in as the starter... i didnt hear the whole thing but someone asked caldwell about someon possibly coming in and he said "we'll see" only person i could think about is Ben.. hopefully i heard correctly.

I wouldn't get too excited we'll see is a standard answer from Caldwell because it covers him just in case they do make a move even if he doesn't really think one needs to be made.

Now with that said it's not hard to see that Link is in over his head when it comes to pass protection. His best plays are when he sorta misses the block but pushes the guy wide enough he can't hit Collins. He is fairly good at run blocking. He had one big miss where Carter got stuffed for a five yard loss. Other than that a lot of our big runs came to his side. We wanted to get better at run blocking and it looks like the Colts have sacrificed some pass protection to make that happen.

As for Ijalana when he's ready he'll play. Link is the stop gap till he is ready. You do have to be careful not to rush that or you can ruin a young guy for his career if you throw him out there before he's ready.

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Nah, the Colts will wait till Linkenbach gets embarrased on national TV on Sunday Night Football like they did last year vs the Chargers when he was thrown into Peyton by Antonio Garay when he played right guard :). I am sure Kerry Collins' family fears for his safety.

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I have no idea why Ijalana hasn't been put in yet. Link has clearly been the weakest part of the O-line. If Ijalana isn't fully ready to step in at RT, put Diem back there and let Big Ben play RG. Just get Linkenbach off the dang field.

Also, O-line should continue to be a priority in the upcoming draft. Saturday and Diem are on their way out soon, and Castonzo can only play one position at a time. Castonzo and Reitz seem to be solid, and hopefully Ijalana can come in and produce as well. It would not upset me if they went OL in the 2nd, maybe even 1st round (thought I prefer defense in the 1st), and continued to shift the focus of this team to a ground game. Once Peyton is gone for good, we will no longer be able to rely on a superb passing game if the O-line can't protect whoever is throwing the ball. And as we all know, a young QB's best friend is a solid running game.

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I have no idea why Ijalana hasn't been put in yet. Link has clearly been the weakest part of the O-line. If Ijalana isn't fully ready to step in at RT, put Diem back there and let Big Ben play RG. Just get Linkenbach off the dang field.

Also, O-line should continue to be a priority in the upcoming draft. Saturday and Diem are on their way out soon, and Castonzo can only play one position at a time. Castonzo and Reitz seem to be solid, and hopefully Ijalana can come in and produce as well. It would not upset me if they went OL in the 2nd, maybe even 1st round (thought I prefer defense in the 1st), and continued to shift the focus of this team to a ground game. Once Peyton is gone for good, we will no longer be able to rely on a superb passing game if the O-line can't protect whoever is throwing the ball. And as we all know, a young QB's best friend is a solid running game.

See Gocolts8818's response. It's not a simple as a plugging in Ben and letting him grow there. You can stand to permanently ruin a young player's career (and thus, the team's investment) by throwing him to the wolves like that.

Remember, he's never played the right side before. Even when he was playing LT in college, he was still a bit raw in terms of development.

Personally, I'd rather develop him the correct way and have him ready when Manning's back....

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See Gocolts8818's response. It's not a simple as a plugging in Ben and letting him grow there. You can stand to permanently ruin a young player's career (and thus, the team's investment) by throwing him to the wolves like that.

Remember, he's never played the right side before. Even when he was playing LT in college, he was still a bit raw in terms of development.

Personally, I'd rather develop him the correct way and have him ready when Manning's back....

At this point, I'd let Ijalana be baptized by fire, to be honest :). If he is in any shape or form ready, he should be played so that he gets used to the speed of the NFL. Year 1, they played Linkenbach at left tackle in game 3, I think, vs the Broncos because CJ could not go. They did not worry about shooting Linkenbach's confidence as a rookie, they played him at one of the most important positions on the O-line, and he was an UDFA vs a 2nd round pick with more upside like Ijalana. So, if Ijalana is somewhat ready to go, I'd say put him in and let him get his feet wet. Maybe do it versus a 4-3 D like the Bucs instead of a complex D like Blitzburgh, that might be a good time to start, IMO.

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See Gocolts8818's response. It's not a simple as a plugging in Ben and letting him grow there. You can stand to permanently ruin a young player's career (and thus, the team's investment) by throwing him to the wolves like that.

Remember, he's never played the right side before. Even when he was playing LT in college, he was still a bit raw in terms of development.

Personally, I'd rather develop him the correct way and have him ready when Manning's back....

Exactly Castonzo was thought to be the most NFL ready tackle in the draft. That's why we were able to plug him right away. Ijalana was viewed as a project player but if he develops the way people think he will he will be a first round type talent at tackle. So if the Colts come out of this draft with two first round talents at the tackle spots it will go a long towards helping us re build the line. I think Reitz is a keeper. I know he had his struggles at the start of the Texans game but I think some of that was nervs and he has settled in very nicely since then. I like what I've seen out of Pollack the past couple of years. So I think he can be our center when Saturday is probably done at years end. We are a right guard away IMO from having our line for the future. I think that was supposed to be McClendon and he just didn't develop the way the Colts had hoped. Maybe we resign Diem for one more year while draft a kid next year and develop him.

Now that takes care of the future it doesn't help us much right now. I think if Diem is healthy it would be worth exploring moving Diem back to right tackle and bringing Pollack back at right guard. If not, we are probably stuck with Link till Ijalana is ready. The one thing that will probably slow the Colts down is they don't want to be playing musical chairs with the line like they were last year because they never jelled till the last four games when we finally stopped playing with the line and just stuck with a group of guys. So I am sure the Colts would like Link to hold down the right tackle spot till Ijalana is ready so we only have to change one poistion (the tackle) than mess with moving Diem back to guard and putting Ijalana into the starting line up if we went with Pollack at right guard and Diem at right tackle.

Also something no one is really wanting to say right now is that Saturday's play has not been that great. I don't think he should be benched at all but he is clearly not the same Jeff he was in years past. That accounts for some of the struggle on the line.

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At this point, I'd let Ijalana be baptized by fire, to be honest :). If he is in any shape or form ready, he should be played so that he gets used to the speed of the NFL. Year 1, they played Linkenbach at left tackle in game 3, I think, vs the Broncos because CJ could not go. They did not worry about shooting Linkenbach's confidence as a rookie, they played him at one of the most important positions on the O-line, and he was an UDFA vs a 2nd round pick with more upside like Ijalana. So, if Ijalana is somewhat ready to go, I'd say put him in and let him get his feet wet. Maybe do it versus a 4-3 D like the Bucs instead of a complex D like Blitzburgh, that might be a good time to start, IMO.

They didn't have a choice when they threw Link in last year. They have a choice right now. If Link got hurt and Diem is still hurt you will see Ijalana because we don't have a choice. Clearly the Colts don't think he is ready or they would throw him out there. Again just because Link is not the answer doesn't mean Ijalana is ready. If you watch the pre-season you'll quickly see he did only okay vs. other teams second and third stringers. He needs some more work before he is ready to go.

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See Gocolts8818's response. It's not a simple as a plugging in Ben and letting him grow there. You can stand to permanently ruin a young player's career (and thus, the team's investment) by throwing him to the wolves like that.

Remember, he's never played the right side before. Even when he was playing LT in college, he was still a bit raw in terms of development.

Personally, I'd rather develop him the correct way and have him ready when Manning's back....

I'll concede that a normal training camp would have certainly helped to have him ready. But, this guy came out with pretty good grades and certainly has the physical tools. I really don't put much stock into the belief that real game minutes will ruin a young players career. If a guy is talented and driven, his failures will only serve to feed his will to improve and compete. If a guy is emotionally crushed because he got a starting job as rookie and missed a block, I don't want him anyways.

He can't be worse than Linkenbach.

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Also something no one is really wanting to say right now is that Saturday's play has not been that great. I don't think he should be benched at all but he is clearly not the same Jeff he was in years past. That accounts for some of the struggle on the line.

Oh yeah, Saturday was too busy negotiating for the NFLPA and did a great job on that front (wink :)). Now, if he can do a great job on the center front for us, that would help too.

Our left side of the line is developing some continuity and I like that. Maybe we find a center like Maurkice Pouncey in the draft in the first 2 rounds next year :).

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Oh yeah, Saturday was too busy negotiating for the NFLPA and did a great job on that front (wink :)). Now, if he can do a great job on the center front for us, that would help too.

Our left side of the line is developing some continuity and I like that. Maybe we find a center like Maurkice Pouncey in the draft in the first 2 rounds next year :).

I think Pollack is our center of the future. I don't know why but I like what I have seen out of him. That just tells me I don't now much about o-lineman because the Colts don't agree with me on it. I do think moving him to his natural poistion of center would help. Now with that said I am not going to argue if we do find a Maurkice Pouncey in the draft...

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I wouldn't get too excited we'll see is a standard answer from Caldwell because it covers him just in case they do make a move even if he doesn't really think one needs to be made.

Now with that said it's not hard to see that Link is in over his head when it comes to pass protection. His best plays are when he sorta misses the block but pushes the guy wide enough he can't hit Collins. He is fairly good at run blocking. He had one big miss where Carter got stuffed for a five yard loss. Other than that a lot of our big runs came to his side. We wanted to get better at run blocking and it looks like the Colts have sacrificed some pass protection to make that happen.

As for Ijalana when he's ready he'll play. Link is the stop gap till he is ready. You do have to be careful not to rush that or you can ruin a young guy for his career if you throw him out there before he's ready.

I wont believe it until i see it myself, i dont even pay attention to caldwell unless he says something that is set in stone. Im not in a hurry for them to start ijalana, i just want then to light a fire under link's behind he needs to be more aggressive.

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I think Pollack is our center of the future. I don't know why but I like what I have seen out of him. That just tells me I don't now much about o-lineman because the Colts don't agree with me on it. I do think moving him to his natural poistion of center would help. Now with that said I am not going to argue if we do find a Maurkice Pouncey in the draft...

On Colts.com there is an "Ask Polian" button. The question I sent was how much longer are the Colts going to stick with Linkenbach at RT? I then commented that I know the Colts are high on Pollack but that there is no way he is a worse RG than Linkenbach is a RT. We will see if he answers the question.

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