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Luck_Is_Skilled
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Coming off of a stellar year two of the new era, I see our team getting even stronger with the experience our young guns gained as well as the solid additions made during Free Agency. We have a lot of talent returning from injury that is sure to give an added boost. In terms of cap space, we still have wiggle room to add a couple more pieces if Grigs and Pags so choose. The absence of a 1st round pick does sting but I'm more than optimistic about T-Richs potential. Here's my take on the 2014 starters..........

QB- Andrew Luck

HB- Ahmad Bradshaw/Trent Richardson

FB- Stanley Havili

WR-T.Y. Hilton

WR- Hakeem Nicks

WR- Reggie Wayne

TE- Dwayne Allen

TE- Coby Fleener

LT- Anthony Costanzo

LG- Donald Thomas

C- Khaled Holmes/Phil Costa

RG- Hugh Thornton/Lance Louis

RT- Gosdar Cherilus

DE- RJF

NT- Josh Chapman

DE- Arthur Jones/Corey Redding

OLB- Robert Mathis

ILB- Jerrell Freeman

ILB- D'Qwell Jackson

OLB- Erik Waldon/Bjoern Werner

CB- Greg Toler

CB- Vontae Davis

Nickel- Darius Butler

FS- Delano Howell/Sergio Brown

SS- Laron Landry

The draft and free agents signed later in the off season can change this drastically so I will try my best to keep it as up to date as I can. Looking at this, I see that we need some serious upgrades at C, FS, G and CB.

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The interior of our O Line looks like the biggest unknown to me and will ultimately decide how good this team is going to be. It could be really good or not so good.

 

The D looks pretty solid as far as starters go but I am higher on Howell than most.

 

I'd say we are ready for the draft and in great position to draft the best player available.

 

I am not sure how we need serious upgrades at G and C until we see what we have that being said I would not be surprised to see a G come off the board very early for us. Costa is a better than he gets credit for Grigs is really high on Louis. The O Line could be in really good shape. Who knows? If it is with the skill position players this team will be very dangerous.

 

Howell is going to get a chance to be our S I think. We need depth in our back 4 and this is a great draft for that. It would be really nice to have a couple of extra picks. I'd love to move down. Keep up the good work Grigs

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Pretty confident we can beat any team in the NFL with that roster. Last season we handed the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos their first loss of the season. Then injuries hit us too hard.

 

Had we stayed healthy last year I'm fairly confident we would have beaten the Rams and Cardinals. Maybe even the Bengals. I consider the losses against the Dolphins and the Chargers the only legit losses of last season. And in those two games we had already lost our best TE, G and RB.

 

Arrogant, perhaps. But I feel like everything went against us before those games against the Rams, Bengals, Cardinals. Some injuries are to be expected, but that was just.. ugh don't want to think about it. Need depth at CB, S, OL and LB, but if we can stay healthy (and by healthy I mean only 1 or 2 key injuries, hopefully none!), then I fancy us to represent the AFC in the Super Bow. Nee

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Pretty confident we can beat any team in the NFL with that roster. Last season we handed the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos their first loss of the season. Then injuries hit us too hard.

 

Had we stayed healthy last year I'm fairly confident we would have beaten the Rams and Cardinals. Maybe even the Bengals. I consider the losses against the Dolphins and the Chargers the only legit losses of last season. And in those two games we had already lost our best TE, G and RB.

 

Arrogant, perhaps. But I feel like everything went against us before those games against the Rams, Bengals, Cardinals. Some injuries are to be expected, but that was just.. ugh don't want to think about it. Need depth at CB, S, OL and LB, but if we can stay healthy (and by healthy I mean only 1 or 2 key injuries, hopefully none!), then I fancy us to represent the AFC in the Super Bow. Nee

 

We're easily 14-2 or better without 15+ IR players. 

 

Rams, Bengals, & Cardinals all caught us in our "Reggie Wayne is Gone" depression stage :Cry:

 

None of those teams were better than us. Chargers game we just flat out laid an egg & Dolphins got lucky. I believe that was the game where the refs called a horrible penalty like illegal shift or something which resulted in a TD being called back or something like that

 

Without injuries you could argue we had the talent & schedule to be 14-2 

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We're easily 14-2 or better without 15+ IR players. 

 

Rams, Bengals, & Cardinals all caught us in our "Reggie Wayne is Gone" depression stage :Cry:

 

None of those teams were better than us. Chargers game we just flat out laid an egg & Dolphins got lucky. I believe that was the game where the refs called a horrible penalty like illegal shift or something which resulted in a TD being called back or something like that

 

Without injuries you could argue we had the talent & schedule to be 14-2

This is true. However, there are going to be injuries. Every team has them, and we seem to lead the pack. We're going to lose starters again this year, some for games, some for the year.

So I always look at the backups, the next man up, to decide how strong we are. We're extremely shallow at S, that's obvious, and even the starters aren't exactly great. But the rest of the roster is pretty good depth wise. Even the interior Oline, since the starters aren't that much better than the backups, so there shouldn't be much of a dropoff if someone goes down.

The position, or really player, that concerns me most is rush LB. Someone has to step up this year, we can't count on Mathis to continue being our only guy bringing pressure.

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This is true. However, there are going to be injuries. Every team has them, and we seem to lead the pack. We're going to lose starters again this year, some for games, some for the year.

So I always look at the backups, the next man up, to decide how strong we are. We're extremely shallow at S, that's obvious, and even the starters aren't exactly great. But the rest of the roster is pretty good depth wise. Even the interior Oline, since the starters aren't that much better than the backups, so there shouldn't be much of a dropoff if someone goes down.

The position, or really player, that concerns me most is rush LB. Someone has to step up this year, we can't count on Mathis to continue being our only guy bringing pressure.

I get every team has injuries but you have to admit this year was flat out ridiculous. You'd think someone rigged the NFL for that to happen

Dwayne Allen

Donald Thomas

Ahmad Bradshaw

Reggie Wayne

Greg Toler

That's 5 key players right there. Our secondary was excellent until that Denver game. We were great against what at the time was a high flying offense until our secondary started dropping like flies

Yes every team has injuries, but I don't think any team lost the number of key players we loss

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I get every team has injuries but you have to admit this year was flat out ridiculous. You'd think someone rigged the NFL for that to happen

Dwayne Allen

Donald Thomas

Ahmad Bradshaw

Reggie Wayne

Greg Toler

That's 5 key players right there. Our secondary was excellent until that Denver game. We were great against what at the time was a high flying offense until our secondary started dropping like flies

Yes every team has injuries, but I don't think any team lost the number of key players we loss

Right. No one is saying it's fair, but it happens. And historically it happens more with the Colts. Its amazing that we lost all of those starters and still went to and won a playoff game.

I expect our division competition to be better, but we should still be the favorite to win it. I still think the key to our season is how we run the ball. A decent running game opens up the receivers, eats clock, and eases pressure on the D. Now, if Mr. Mack would stop in Indy on his way back from Jacksonville, then I'd say we're on our way to the SB. (Hey, I can dream)

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OP-

I'm pretty sure Werner is intended to be on the other side, backing up/sharing time with Mathis.

Otherwise, your list looks really good.

FS is still probably one of the biggest Qs in my mind, despite your optimism about Howell. Reliable depth behind RJF, Toler and Donald Thomas would give me a lot more confidence. Mostly, though, I'd really like to see someone drafted to challenge DQ for his starting role as soon as possible.

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OP-

I'm pretty sure Werner is intended to be on the other side, backing up/sharing time with Mathis.

Otherwise, your list looks really good.

FS is still probably one of the biggest Qs in my mind, despite your optimism about Howell. Reliable depth behind RJF, Toler and Donald Thomas would give me a lot more confidence. Mostly, though, I'd really like to see someone drafted to challenge DQ for his starting role as soon as possible.

CJ Mosley to the :colts:

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OP-

I'm pretty sure Werner is intended to be on the other side, backing up/sharing time with Mathis.

Otherwise, your list looks really good.

FS is still probably one of the biggest Qs in my mind, despite your optimism about Howell. Reliable depth behind RJF, Toler and Donald Thomas would give me a lot more confidence. Mostly, though, I'd really like to see someone drafted to challenge DQ for his starting role as soon as possible.

I put Werner behind Walden because I think he could actually push for the starting spot with a good camp showing.

And for the record, I have absolutely 0% faith in Delano Howell as a starter.

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Yes that Oline is great and if you IGNORE the fact that Andrew Luck was hit 25 more times than any other QB 78 total and add that

to his rookie years 83 hits and 22 more hits than any other QB. See that Oline is just great except if your name is Andrew Luck.

Yes that interior Oline with Donald Thomas,Phil Costa, Lance Louis career backups and bums all. To bad we don't have any TALENT on the interior Oline, bums yes,talent no.

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I put Werner behind Walden because I think he could actually push for the starting spot with a good camp showing.

And for the record, I have absolutely 0% faith in Delano Howell as a starter.

I get what you are trying to do, but Werner's skill set is more in line with Mathis, and it seems like too many posters have skipped actually watching Walden's play. He was far more effective in his role, and far less vulnerable to losing his starting job than many think.
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Yes that Oline is great and if you IGNORE the fact that Andrew Luck was hit 25 more times than any other QB 78 total and add that

to his rookie years 83 hits and 22 more hits than any other QB. See that Oline is just great except if your name is Andrew Luck.

Yes that interior Oline with Donald Thomas,Phil Costa, Lance Louis career backups and bums all. To bad we don't have any TALENT on the interior Oline, bums yes,talent no.

Well aren't you just a breath of fresh air.

The OLine did struggle the last two years. But Satele, Link and McGlynn are now gone. Thomas looked very solid last year until he was injured. Thornton also looked solid (for a rook) at RG, but struggled more when switched to LG to replace Thomas. I really liked what I saw from Nixon as a utility backup last year, and have high hopes that Louis will return to form 2 years removed from his injury.

I am, however, more than a little concerned about C. I guess that at some point, the team drafted someone last year to play the position, and you have to see what you have. Regardless, I'm definitely not ready to call anyone a bum at the position... yet.

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I know we'll be drafting a safety, but I sure hope we draft a CB and that Sheldon Price comes on strong. Toler is going to get hurt putting his jersey on and will need replaced. Again. At least we know Gordy isn't a drop off in play compared to Toler and can actually stay healthy. 

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and RG.. To the OP there is no way Cory redding is not starting

  

Agreed still a question mark with Thorton but i think he will pan out, def Agree that Cory is starting for sure i see Jones replacing RJF in the lineup if anything.

To be honest, I didn't know where to put Jones. I started to pencil him in at Nose Tackle over Chapman. I thought about putting him ahead of RJF but his contract gave me pause. I hope that isn't the case though. Our D-Line looks to be more solid than ever with a lot of rotating pieces.

Jones (Multiple Positions)

RJF (Multiple Positions)

Redding (Multiple Positions)

Hughes (Multiple Positions)

Moala (Multiple Positions)

Chapman (Nose Tackle)

I guess that's why its called a Hybrid Multiple Front.

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We're easily 14-2 or better without 15+ IR players. 

 

Rams, Bengals, & Cardinals all caught us in our "Reggie Wayne is Gone" depression stage :Cry:

 

None of those teams were better than us. Chargers game we just flat out laid an egg & Dolphins got lucky. I believe that was the game where the refs called a horrible penalty like illegal shift or something which resulted in a TD being called back or something like that

 

Without injuries you could argue we had the talent & schedule to be 14-2

Don't mistake Andrew Luck carrying the team for us beig some type of underrated super power in the AFC. With the season Luck had, we should have done way better. You're right though. None of the teams we lost to were better than us. Except maybe the Cardinals. We had alot of injuries, but this wasn't the best team. I would say alot of our flaws got severely exposed.

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With Allen back I think it really makes our offense hard to predict. He will be that H back that can run block, pass block, and run routes....becomes very hard to predict what we will do and hopefully give Trent some room to run. It makes our offense very multi-dimensional and allows us to spread teams out if needs be with two WRs and 2 TEs having Allen motion out...having both him and Fleener able to be on the field at the same time and our dangerous wr weapons like TY and Nicks will immediately make matchup problems for the defense...because with the same package we can bring them in tight and run the ball affectively in the same personnel or spread out and pass. I think our offense can take that next step this year as long as the interior of our OL improves and gives us a little more consistancy.

 

Defenses can't just load the box and if they go small we run and if they go bigger we spread them out and take advantage....we really make them play out of a base defense a lot and I think we can take advantage...so many formations and so many threats...hard to predict what we do.

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To be honest, I didn't know where to put Jones. I started to pencil him in at Nose Tackle over Chapman. I thought about putting him ahead of RJF but his contract gave me pause. I hope that isn't the case though. Our D-Line looks to be more solid than ever with a lot of rotating pieces.

Jones (Multiple Positions)

RJF (Multiple Positions)

Redding (Multiple Positions)

Hughes (Multiple Positions)

Moala (Multiple Positions)

Chapman (Nose Tackle)

I guess that's why its called a Hybrid Multiple Front.

 

Redding played just under 65% of defensive snaps last year. RJF was at 60%, but probably would have been in Redding's range, maybe a little higher, if not for a couple of injuries slowing him down. Moala got about 48% of snaps, with 6 starts. Mathews played about 40% of snaps, with 1 start. I think, ideally, Redding, RJF and Jones will get around 60% of snaps (maybe a few less for Redding), and Hughes and Moala will split the rest.

 

At nose, Chapman got about 40% of snaps, and Franklin got another 30% (I'm surprised to see that we had one of them on the field for 70% of the defensive snaps, and feel like that total might be less next year). I think Chapman would max out at 45-50%, and then we need another nose for the other 20-25%. And Hughes can play some nose for some extra snaps.

 

This is all assuming health, which we'd be foolish to assume. But ideally, we'd rotate our guys like this, and keep the trench players fresh. I think our DL will be much improved this year. Getting rid of Franklin and Mathews is a start, and with Hughes' development and adding Jones, we should be more talented, and deeper. And we haven't even seen what the draft brings. 

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Redding played just under 65% of defensive snaps last year. RJF was at 60%, but probably would have been in Redding's range, maybe a little higher, if not for a couple of injuries slowing him down. Moala got about 48% of snaps, with 6 starts. Mathews played about 40% of snaps, with 1 start. I think, ideally, Redding, RJF and Jones will get around 60% of snaps (maybe a few less for Redding), and Hughes and Moala will split the rest.

 

At nose, Chapman got about 40% of snaps, and Franklin got another 30% (I'm surprised to see that we had one of them on the field for 70% of the defensive snaps, and feel like that total might be less next year). I think Chapman would max out at 45-50%, and then we need another nose for the other 20-25%. And Hughes can play some nose for some extra snaps.

 

This is all assuming health, which we'd be foolish to assume. But ideally, we'd rotate our guys like this, and keep the trench players fresh. I think our DL will be much improved this year. Getting rid of Franklin and Mathews is a start, and with Hughes' development and adding Jones, we should be more talented, and deeper. And we haven't even seen what the draft brings. 

I agree we will try to keep our DL fresh and hopefully healthy by rotating them. I think we have a good DL with Jones addition. I'm hoping Jackson is the answer because ILB was a weak spot for us in run defense. I think we can be very competitive with what we have. I would be VERY surprised to see us add someone on the dl in the draft given our lack of depth at safety and our OL. I would imagine we will see a FS, CB, OLB, G be the focus of our draft....of course if a great DT falls to us we would scoop them up but I don't see that being our target. I think we will be happy to go into the season with what we have unless we see injuries early on. We aren't too many pieces away...we are going to quickly get to the point where we will start REALLY evaluating our coaches heavily. They have A LOT of talent and in the next couple years we should be taking that next step of challenging for a conference crown or perhaps we may have to look at those running things. Not saying we don't have good people right now but its going to get to that point where they will really have the responsibility more heavily focused on improving our team and making that leap.

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I agree we will try to keep our DL fresh and hopefully healthy by rotating them. I think we have a good DL with Jones addition. I'm hoping Jackson is the answer because ILB was a weak spot for us in run defense. I think we can be very competitive with what we have. I would be VERY surprised to see us add someone on the dl in the draft given our lack of depth at safety and our OL. I would imagine we will see a FS, CB, OLB, G be the focus of our draft....of course if a great DT falls to us we would scoop them up but I don't see that being our target. I think we will be happy to go into the season with what we have unless we see injuries early on. We aren't too many pieces away...we are going to quickly get to the point where we will start REALLY evaluating our coaches heavily. They have A LOT of talent and in the next couple years we should be taking that next step of challenging for a conference crown or perhaps we may have to look at those running things. Not saying we don't have good people right now but its going to get to that point where they will really have the responsibility more heavily focused on improving our team and making that leap.

 

 

Yeah I agree overall. I think Pagano and the staff have done a good job, overall, though I disagree with a few things they've done here and there. There's definitely room for improvement, but it's hard to nitpick when you've done as much as the Colts have done in just two years, with a young, makeshift roster for the most part. And a ton of injuries... I think we're ahead of schedule so far, but it's coming to that time where the staff really needs to show that they can keep making this team better. It's easy to be satisfied with improving from 2-14 ahead of schedule, but Year 3 is where the expectations originally would have begun to ramp up. So let's get goin.

 

One point of disagreement is at ILB. I think the prime issue was in pass coverage. We gave up a lot of completions across the middle, got murdered on crossing routes, TEs had a lot of chain movers, etc. In the run game, we got beat to the edge from time to time, but that's an issue of containment, which is primarily with the DL and the OLBs. That should be better moving forward, and we should be better against the run in the middle, up front. But I was mostly hoping to see us get a better coverage backer, which we did. I also think McNary will be better next year, definitely better than Angerer and Sheppard were most of the year. We'll see how it goes.

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I'm more than ok with Josh Chapman at NT, with Pendleton as backup.

Pendleton def has the desire (looking back on his path to playing in the NFL), though he's 30 he barely has any NFL wear and tear.

 

Hughes can also play NT.

 

We don't need any further NTs; if anything, they'll be a distraction to our current players.

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I'm more than ok with Josh Chapman at NT, with Pendleton as backup.

Pendleton def has the desire (looking back on his path to playing in the NFL), though he's 30 he barely has any NFL wear and tear.

 

Hughes can also play NT.

 

We don't need any further NTs; if anything, they'll be a distraction to our current players.

If Pendleton, Chapman, and Hughes can all take some steps forward, thats a solid NT rotation

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Yeah I agree overall. I think Pagano and the staff have done a good job, overall, though I disagree with a few things they've done here and there. There's definitely room for improvement, but it's hard to nitpick when you've done as much as the Colts have done in just two years, with a young, makeshift roster for the most part. And a ton of injuries... I think we're ahead of schedule so far, but it's coming to that time where the staff really needs to show that they can keep making this team better. It's easy to be satisfied with improving from 2-14 ahead of schedule, but Year 3 is where the expectations originally would have begun to ramp up. So let's get goin.

 

One point of disagreement is at ILB. I think the prime issue was in pass coverage. We gave up a lot of completions across the middle, got murdered on crossing routes, TEs had a lot of chain movers, etc. In the run game, we got beat to the edge from time to time, but that's an issue of containment, which is primarily with the DL and the OLBs. That should be better moving forward, and we should be better against the run in the middle, up front. But I was mostly hoping to see us get a better coverage backer, which we did. I also think McNary will be better next year, definitely better than Angerer and Sheppard were most of the year. We'll see how it goes.

I agree our ILBs struggled at times with the pass too. I thought Freeman was pretty solid but I agree when others were on the field they got exploited. I guess I feel you got to work on one thing at a time and the run defense had some pretty glaring holes...outside and inside. Either way I think Jones goes a long way into feeling those holes on the DL and hopefully Jackson can clean things up in the middle with Freeman. I think our front 7 is as good as it has ever been. Outside a consistant pass rush from someone other than Mathis I'm feeling good. The back end with Davis and when healhty Toler are pretty good as we saw against Denver. We really should have a lot to look forward too. Does it mean we will be holding teams to 17pts a game...probably not...but we can win a game like that if we have too...and we should also have the offense to play in the 30s if that happens too. If our OL gets healthy and angry we may put together a very special season.

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If Pendleton, Chapman, and Hughes can all take some steps forward, thats a solid NT rotation

I'm especially excited about Hughes. I think we brought him in to be our version of Haloti Ngata. He's a mammoth with great movement. It's all about where his head is at in terms of his desire to be great. Similar to Dontari Poe in Kansas City. Hughes by far has the most upside of any D-Lineman we have followed by Jones who's just entering his prime years.

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Don't mistake Andrew Luck carrying the team for us beig some type of underrated super power in the AFC. With the season Luck had, we should have done way better. You're right though. None of the teams we lost to were better than us. Except maybe the Cardinals. We had alot of injuries, but this wasn't the best team. I would say alot of our flaws got severely exposed.

Don't take my comment as a negative on Luck but how many games did he have to play superman after throwing interceptions? I know a lot of those came from a lack of protection and a total lack of a run game. Most of the Colts flaws were a direct result from injuries. Everyone is concerned with who the starters are but it is the depth that is just as important. I think the Colts have done an excellent job in it's process since Grigson became GM and pretty much gutted this team and was strapped with a huge dead cap space to start with. The key to the whole offense is the line. If Luck can get the time to go through all of his progressions he will become almost impossible to stop. His come to work with the lunch pail attitude and toughness will shine.

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Don't take my comment as a negative on Luck but how many games did he have to play superman after throwing interceptions? I know a lot of those came from a lack of protection and a total lack of a run game. Most of the Colts flaws were a direct result from injuries. Everyone is concerned with who the starters are but it is the depth that is just as important. I think the Colts have done an excellent job in it's process since Grigson became GM and pretty much gutted this team and was strapped with a huge dead cap space to start with. The key to the whole offense is the line. If Luck can get the time to go through all of his progressions he will become almost impossible to stop. His come to work with the lunch pail attitude and toughness will shine.

 

To answer the question, not many. The Chiefs comeback, sure, but off the top of my head, there's the Texans comeback, the Titans comeback, the Seahawks game... We were down in those games, and it wasn't because Luck turned the ball over. His strong play led us back. Even the Bengals game, which we didn't win, we were down big because of bad defense and some really stupid play calling. Luck was the only source of offense in that case.

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To answer the question, not many. The Chiefs comeback, sure, but off the top of my head, there's the Texans comeback, the Titans comeback, the Seahawks game... We were down in those games, and it wasn't because Luck turned the ball over. His strong play led us back. Even the Bengals game, which we didn't win, we were down big because of bad defense and some really stupid play calling. Luck was the only source of offense in that case.

My comment was in relation to both his starting years, not just last season. I guess I wasn't clear in that matter.

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My comment was in relation to both his starting years, not just last season. I guess I wasn't clear in that matter.

 

It's a fair point. I sometimes think it's overblown, but whatever.

 

I agree with your post above in general. As the line improves, Luck should be able to go to another level. Adding a strong run game and improved protection will be huge. There's certainly no shortage of weapons at the skill positions, and we haven't even had the draft yet.

 

What I think is ironic is that the depth wasn't the problem on the line. I think we all agreed that the reserves should have played more, specifically at C and RG. Getting rid of Satele and McGlynn is a big deal on it's own. If Holmes and the other guys who will be asked to do more can perform at least marginally better, I think we might have something to get excited about. 

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It's a fair point. I sometimes think it's overblown, but whatever.

 

I agree with your post above in general. As the line improves, Luck should be able to go to another level. Adding a strong run game and improved protection will be huge. There's certainly no shortage of weapons at the skill positions, and we haven't even had the draft yet.

 

What I think is ironic is that the depth wasn't the problem on the line. I think we all agreed that the reserves should have played more, specifically at C and RG. Getting rid of Satele and McGlynn is a big deal on it's own. If Holmes and the other guys who will be asked to do more can perform at least marginally better, I think we might have something to get excited about. 

I totally agree with there is no shortage of quality weapons. Just having another year under their belts for the younger players will tell in the plays made. There were a couple of players who never really had a chance to show their ability due to injury. Making the effort to having a more balanced team should pay off . I know it's easy to get lost in a high powered offense but the defense and special teams play will tell the tale in the post season. One thing we all witnessed was the importance of the defense when it comes to advancing into the playoffs with the Seahawks shutting down the most prolific offense down last super bowl. It really was shocking to see for those who wanted the Broncos to win. I know I was stunned.

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I only see one problem.  You are forgetting ballard.  He will be in before bradshaw.  Assuming he is healthy.  I would like to go back to Ballard/Bradshaw.  And trich be the change of pace/receiving rb.

That may be what happens as the season goes along but TR will get the benefit of doubt when the season starts. The Colts are not going to sit TR over others after giving up a first round pick for him. Only time will tell if it works out. I think it all depends on the run blocking on how well TR will run. Bradshaw when healthy will make his own lanes where TR and VB needs at least a little room and not be hit in the backfield too much. All three are very good as receivers out of the backfield in my opinion. It could boil down to a total time share to try to keep all three fresh and healthy.

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