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RockThatBlue

Ballard absolutely killed it this past offseason

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I agree Ballard has done a great job or "righting the ship" so to speak.  

 

Let's not forget the coaching staff in this process as well.  The GMs job is to find players that have the traits the coaching staff wants and it appears this coaching staff is very good at determining what traits they want at each position to be effective in their schemes.

 

The two sides seem to really work well together.  No Ballard and company are not going to hit 100% on draft picks or FA signings but he is hitting more than he's missing and he doesn't seem to have much of an ego and he cuts his losses on the misses pretty quickly.

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He certainly did very good this offseason, with his first three picks being solid starters (its what you need through the first half of the second round) and the later second round picks look to be solid rotational players.  A GM can't be perfect, so they need good years to even out the bad ones in order to keep the younger players flowing steadily onto the roster.  Ballards first two drafts have been kind of lumpy in that regard.

 

Autry and Ebron were good signings at the time, and have worked out as planned or better.  Neither was given guaranteed money, IIRC, so they should be thought of as talented stop gaps and not really long term additions.  Maybe the intent is to have Lewis replace Autry, or to draft a more well rounded 3 tech this year.  Both Autry and Ebron allow the Colts to not be in a desperate situation during the draft, but could both be replaced if a stud falls to them. 

 

With us likely having a mid first rounder and two seconds, I don't think there is much value in trading our first round pick.  I thought last year was the time to do that, but this year I think we go for an impact Dlineman then go Corner and/or S in the second. 

 

I always advocate targeting particular players then moving up or down the board to get that player at the proper value, but that takes willing trading partners.

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12 hours ago, Fluke_33 said:

I was kidding.  He killed it with all the second rounders this year but I still want a first rounder. 

We need another WR in first round

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8 hours ago, BlackPanther said:

 

Don't forget we came around with another 2nd round pick on top of everything.

 

Yeah. and don't forget about compensatory picks either. 

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1 hour ago, lollygagger8 said:

Not only has he completely turned the culture around, and transformed the team in one season, he handled the Mctrash incident perfectly. 

 

GM of the year no question, and that's not being a homer either. 

I agree

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9 hours ago, Shafty138 said:

Agree on everything but competition level.... Dude played in the BIG 10, and in the same div. as Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State.....  his college competition was fine.

 

This is true. I just double checked, for some reason I had in my head that he struggled against those good teams and all his production came against the weaker teams on their schedule, but it was the opposite. 

 

I might have confused him with another player.

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1 hour ago, Coffeedrinker said:

I agree Ballard has done a great job or "righting the ship" so to speak.  

 

Let's not forget the coaching staff in this process as well.  The GMs job is to find players that have the traits the coaching staff wants and it appears this coaching staff is very good at determining what traits they want at each position to be effective in their schemes.

 

The two sides seem to really work well together.  No Ballard and company are not going to hit 100% on draft picks or FA signings but he is hitting more than he's missing and he doesn't seem to have much of an ego and he cuts his losses on the misses pretty quickly.

 

This.

 

Players like Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea, Robert Mathis worked (past 1st round drafting) because those fit the vision and scheme of the type of players Dungy wanted. I see similar things happening here, just with the added bonus of stopping the run, which we could never consistently do under Dungy. 

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9 hours ago, chad72 said:

 

This is my biggest concern. But then, you cannot be fearful of success too soon :).

 

Only a division title and/or a bye would suffice next year, it seems like, if this is how we start.

 

I have no problem with high expectations. Now that the train is back on the tracks, it's time to get moving again.

 

But what I meant was that it's going to be hard to have another offseason that's as impactful, especially back to back. Add in that we'll be picking in the 20s (hopefully) rather than the top three, and he'll have an additional challenge.

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1 hour ago, Coffeedrinker said:

 

Let's not forget the coaching staff in this process as well.  The GMs job is to find players that have the traits the coaching staff wants and it appears this coaching staff is very good at determining what traits they want at each position to be effective in their schemes.

 

This. 

 

Things tend to be presented as a him or him issue when the entire personnel management system is a collaborative effort, IMO.

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12 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I have no problem with high expectations. Now that the train is back on the tracks, it's time to get moving again.

 

But what I meant was that it's going to be hard to have another offseason that's as impactful, especially back to back. Add in that we'll be picking in the 20s (hopefully) rather than the top three, and he'll have an additional challenge.

 

Would you be upset if he moved down in Round 2 and gained an additional 3rd thus giving us 2 second and 2 third rounders?

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9 minutes ago, chad72 said:

 

Would you be upset if he moved down in Round 2 and gained an additional 3rd thus giving us 2 second and 2 third rounders?

 

Which pick? I think he should keep the Jets pick, which right now is top five. And it's hard to see moving down from 52-55ish, staying in the second round and getting an extra third.

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1 minute ago, Superman said:

 

Which pick? I think he should keep the Jets pick, which right now is top five. And it's hard to see moving down from 52-55ish, staying in the second round and getting an extra third.

 

12 minutes ago, chad72 said:

 

Would you be upset if he moved down in Round 2 and gained an additional 3rd thus giving us 2 second and 2 third rounders?

What about moving down from the Colts 1st round pick and getting an additional 2nd and 3rd?

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1 minute ago, Coffeedrinker said:

 

What about moving down from the Colts 1st round pick and getting an additional 2nd and 3rd?

 

Depends on how the board falls, I'm not familiar enough with this draft class yet. But I'm generally on board with moving back from the late first round, if the value works. And I'm always excited about the prospect of moving back up to the top of the second, which would remain a possibility, based on our draft capital.

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IMO, anything later than mid-second round picks tend to be developmental players or rotational players.  I said tend.

 

We have enough young players for that, IMO.  I think we need another impact player on D, like a Leonard only on the DL, and possibly at DB or WR.   So I think this is the draft to keep all three of our picks through mid second round.

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30 minutes ago, Coffeedrinker said:

 

What about moving down from the Colts 1st round pick and getting an additional 2nd and 3rd?

 

I obviously had a team in mind while stating that. 

 

https://www.phillyvoice.com/philadelphia-eagles-2019-draft-picks/

 

Eagles have their own 2nd round pick and an additional 2nd rounder from Ravens that they got while moving down for Lamar Jackson. 

 

If the Eagles, who need man corner help, want to offer both of those for our early 2nd rounder, would we take it? I know the Eagles do not have a 3rd round pick and are less likely to do so because of that but if they feel like a man corner, that is not highly coveted for our system, falls in the draft to our pick, I can see a trade being pulled off. Eagles have not been shy about going and getting the guy they want in the draft with trades. 

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2 minutes ago, chad72 said:

 

I obviously had a team in mind while stating that. 

 

https://www.phillyvoice.com/philadelphia-eagles-2019-draft-picks/

 

Eagles have their own 2nd round pick and an additional 2nd rounder from Ravens that they got while moving down for Lamar Jackson. 

 

If the Eagles, who need man corner help, want to offer both of those for our early 2nd rounder, would we take it? I know the Eagles do not have a 3rd round pick and are less likely to do so because of that but if they feel like a man corner, that is not highly coveted for our system, falls in the draft to our pick, I can see a trade being pulled off. Eagles have not been shy about going and getting the guy they want in the draft with trades. 

 

Now that's a different story. If we got two seconds from the Eagles for the Jets pick -- say 37th -- I'd do that.

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It's hard to imagine Ballard having as strong as a FA/draft class in the 2019 offseason.  But even if he is half as efficient, that's probably closer to average.  Certainly there is no reason to change the philosophy going forward.

 

It's becoming quite clear that the Ballard/Reich duo has about as strong of a start as you could expect.  Not to draw up bad memories, but we had a similar start to the Grigson/Pagano era.  Where I think the departure with Ballard/Reich lies is in the fact that Reich is demonstrating to most of us that he's capable of masking team deficiencies/weaknesses and creating an effective game plan and responding to its ebbs and flows - whether its adjusting to the opponents adjustments or to our own shortcomings.  It's really been impressive to see us find ways to come back, make a needed stop or extend drives so we can maintain the lead - not something we've been accustomed to, not even in the Payton Manning era where it just seemed like the only goal was to score more than our defense was susceptible to allowing.  

 

Time will tell how strong of a GM Ballard will be, but as many have stated, having as strong of start as he has had with a coach that is "his guy," is nailing the introduction.  Sustainability is the next step.   But make no mistake about it, if he has an equally effective offseason in 2019 and the 2018 FA/draft class show no serious regression, I don't think there is any reason to dismiss the Colts as a contender.

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39 minutes ago, OffensivelyPC said:

Not to draw up bad memories, but we had a similar start to the Grigson/Pagano era.  Where I think the departure with Ballard/Reich lies is in the fact that Reich is demonstrating to most of us that he's capable of masking team deficiencies/weaknesses and creating an effective game plan and responding to its ebbs and flows - whether its adjusting to the opponents adjustments or to our own shortcomings

 

100%. Have to be careful not to get too far ahead of ourselves in judging Ballard and Reich, and the Grigson/Pagano regime is a cautionary tale.

 

But with hindsight, we can see that there was a rift between Grigson and Pagano that probably started shortly after the 2012 season, with the Pep Hamilton hiring, and it was mostly a byproduct of a tough circumstance. And then Grigson had one of the worst offseasons in Colts history, which wasn't obvious until a couple years later.

 

And you hit the nail on the head regarding Reich's gameplans, play calling, adjustments, etc. He and his staff appear to have hit a groove when it comes to maximizing the team's strengths and minimizing its weaknesses, and that's something I never felt the previous staff did. Even when we were excited about going 11-5 and winning playoff games, there were always concerns about coaching on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense (for me). 

 

I especially like that, even though Reich has cooled off as a playcaller in recent weeks, he's still finding ways to get into an offensive rhythm. Games like yesterday's are especially impressive, because it started out slow, and Luck wasn't particularly sharp or productive, but the offense was still efficient overall, still did well on third down, and completely dominated the second half, with Luck only completed five passes in the second half.

 

Ballard and Reich appeared to be completely in cahoots with one another, their respective staffs are doing a great job in their roles, and the team is completely on board. There's plenty of reason to be excited about the leadership.

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7 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

 

I especially like that, even though Reich has cooled off as a playcaller in recent weeks, he's still finding ways to get into an offensive rhythm. Games like yesterday's are especially impressive, because it started out slow, and Luck wasn't particularly sharp or productive, but the offense was still efficient overall, still did well on third down, and completely dominated the second half, with Luck only completed five passes in the second half.

 

 

 

In short there at least feels like there is a plan B on both sides of the ball. Only game I felt that wasn't the case was against the Jags and where were just terrible all round on O. 

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I gotta give CB & Frank credit for sticking with Hines.  In the preseason, it looked like he was gonna play himself off the roster with his special teams fumbles.  But they clearly saw something in the kid and stuck with him and boy has he been a difference maker... 

 

Despite not having a dependable number 2 receiver, Frank is using Hines & Ebron to exploit mismatches all over the field.  If we can add a big high pointing receiver in next year's draft of Cain can develop into that guy, this offense will be unstoppable.

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What gets me excited is this upcoming draft is loaded with D linemen. Take into account that Ballard is a firm believer in building from the lines out I get all giddy inside. I literally feel like a kid waiting on Christmas. This year hasn't even ended and I can't wait till the offseason heh

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4 hours ago, Coffeedrinker said:

 

Let's not forget the coaching staff in this process as well.  The GMs job is to find players that have the traits the coaching staff wants and it appears this coaching staff is very good at determining what traits they want at each position to be effective in their schemes.

 

This.....plus......developing those players into those roles.

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

IMO, anything later than mid-second round picks tend to be developmental players or rotational players.  I said tend.

 

We have enough young players for that, IMO.  I think we need another impact player on D, like a Leonard only on the DL, and possibly at DB or WR.   So I think this is the draft to keep all three of our picks through mid second round.

I would like to see that on the DL. A better dline makes all your secondary better

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15 hours ago, krunk said:

Ballard has his own system for identifying blue chip traits. Turay is a good example. Where we will pick I'm sure there could be another Turay there. A guy most of us didn't think about and when Ballard pulls the trigger we will all be mad because we thought somebody else the "experts" had ranked higher should have been the pick.

 

Im not ashamed to admit that I was very disappointed when we drafted Leonard and a top flight CB was still on the board...but I learned 2 things. 

1. I know nothing about football

2. Ballard & Co clearly knows what theyre doing

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15 hours ago, krunk said:

Ballard has his own system for identifying blue chip traits. Turay is a good example. Where we will pick I'm sure there could be another Turay there. A guy most of us didn't think about and when Ballard pulls the trigger we will all be mad because we thought somebody else the "experts" had ranked higher should have been the pick.

I won't be mad. I am an eternal optimist and even saw the bright side of picking Bjoern Werner and Dorsett in the 1st round... but even more now that Ballard is proving he has an actual scouting team and a vision of what this team needs going forward. He will find playmakers with character that fits what they are building this team with. 

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15 hours ago, Superman said:

Every meaningful draft pick looks like a hit right now. Wilkins seems to be in the dog house, Cain is hurt, and Franklin probably isn't athletic enough. Everyone else looks like a player. It's too early to really know what we have in all these young guys, but the early returns are impressive.

 

He signed five FAs to contracts greater than vet minimum: Autry, Ebron, Grant, Howard, and Slauson. I wasn't impressed by Slauson before he got hurt, but he was at least respectable, and brought some valuable intangibles (just ask his teammates and coaches). Howard wasn't good and is gone, and Grant has been the physical embodiment of "meh." So raw numbers, at worst he went 2/5 in free agency.

 

BUT -- Ebron and Autry have been so good. Like, sooo good. These two guys might be the most cost effective and impactful free agents from the entire 2018 class, league wide. 

 

And Dungy nailed it tonight. He said the Colts had two glaring weaknesses last season: a slow defense, and a bad OL, but now the defense is fast and physical, and the OL is one of the best in the league. In one offseason.

 

Ballard had an excellent offseason. He has set the bar unreasonably high, and if he has a repeat performance next season -- combined with continued development from this year's class -- the Colts will be well on their way.

To the bolded - Part of the unreasonably high expectations moving forward, is the circumstantial element of clearing roster space for rookies to play and develop.  It matters that the rookies have played winning football (and at an All-Pro level for Leonard and Nelson) but it very much matters that there were so many snaps available to them by construction of the roster.  It's very much like 2012.  We're winning games in a developmental year and the rookies are playing - and we all feel better about the draft class when the rookies are actually playing.

 

The very act of playing and winning makes it that much harder for the next draft class to impress at the same level - their snaps are already spoken for...and you usually only get the opportunity to reshuffle the deck and play this many rookies once.

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2 minutes ago, ztboiler said:

To the bolded - Part of the unreasonably high expectations moving forward, is the circumstantial element of clearing roster space for rookies to play and develop.  It matters that the rookies have played winning football (and at an All-Pro level for Leonard and Nelson) but it very much matters that there were so many snaps available to them by construction of the roster.  It's very much like 2012.  We're winning games in a developmental year and the rookies are playing - and we all feel better about the draft class when the rookies are actually playing.

 

The very act of playing and winning makes it that much harder for the next draft class to impress at the same level - their snaps are already spoken for...and you usually only get the opportunity to reshuffle the deck and play this many rookies once.

Agreed. But that's where championship teams are built. Stacking drafts. We are quickly getting to the point where our draft picks going forward don't fill needs, they build championship depth and talent. That's the vision. We are beyond blessed with the caliber of football this rookie class is playing. They have to continue developing, and we can't lose sight of that if Leonard and Nelson and co. don't elevate their game or even slightly regress in year two (a lot of players do, especially when you are playing like seasoned vererans and probowl levels). This will continue to take time, but we are seeing firsthand this season that this coaching staff with a healthy Luck under center is handling business faster than any one expected. 

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If I had to gripe and even though he is a baller I must say I'm getting tired of Ebron dropping passes though.   That is starting to get on my nerves a bit!

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With what Ballard has been doing with second rounders, I would love to trade down and get more picks.  I think we could absolutely get the complementary receiver we need with an added pick.  

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17 hours ago, RockThatBlue said:

His draft looks amazing and though he didn't do a lot in FA he made huge hits in Autry and Ebron. Its nice to have a great GM again.

 

I get what you're saying but I think he did a lot in FA as well ie. Ebron, autry, slauson.  Also our own FAs in Adam and Desir.  Not to mention Reich.  Just not a lot of big name flashy type signings.  This guy gets an A+ in my book! 

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

I especially like that, even though Reich has cooled off as a playcaller in recent weeks, he's still finding ways to get into an offensive rhythm. Games like yesterday's are especially impressive, because it started out slow, and Luck wasn't particularly sharp or productive, but the offense was still efficient overall, still did well on third down, and completely dominated the second half, with Luck only completed five passes in the second half.

 

Ballard and Reich appeared to be completely in cahoots with one another, their respective staffs are doing a great job in their roles, and the team is completely on board. There's plenty of reason to be excited about the leadership.

And on the defensive side, if it keeps playing as well as it has, eventually Eberflus will attract suitors looking for an HC.  When Reich left the Eagles, their offense took a hit - it just hasn't seemed like they are the same team.  On both sides of the ball really.  But as far as the offense goes, one has to wonder how much of their diminished output was attributable to the departure of Reich. So as far as it pertains to Eberflus, I am curious how much it would affect our efficiency.  

 

Granted that's a couple years down the road at least - hopefully anyway.  I'm not going to get carried away about ifs, whats and buts, notwithstanding, it's certainly crossed my mind.  At the end of the day, I suppose the system implemented in his tenure here, should it ever come to an end, could or should be emulated just as effectively I would hope.  

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43 minutes ago, ztboiler said:

To the bolded - Part of the unreasonably high expectations moving forward, is the circumstantial element of clearing roster space for rookies to play and develop.  It matters that the rookies have played winning football (and at an All-Pro level for Leonard and Nelson) but it very much matters that there were so many snaps available to them by construction of the roster.  It's very much like 2012.  We're winning games in a developmental year and the rookies are playing - and we all feel better about the draft class when the rookies are actually playing.

 

The very act of playing and winning makes it that much harder for the next draft class to impress at the same level - their snaps are already spoken for...and you usually only get the opportunity to reshuffle the deck and play this many rookies once.

 

I get what you're saying, and the team will hopefully get to the point where we're letting good players go, which means the roster is stacked with good players.

 

But for this year, while a lot of rookies and young players have played major snaps, we actually only have four rookies that have played more than 40% of their unit's snaps this season. Leonard alone on defense (Turay is close, and Lewis and Adams are getting starter snaps lately), and Nelson, Smith and Hines on offense. 

 

Below that 40% mark, we still have a lot of replacement level players getting notable snaps. Those are presumably the players that will be getting pushed out of the door by successive draft classes.

 

And in theory, I'd want to bring rookies on deliberately, not out of necessity.

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17 minutes ago, OffensivelyPC said:

And on the defensive side, if it keeps playing as well as it has, eventually Eberflus will attract suitors looking for an HC.  When Reich left the Eagles, their offense took a hit - it just hasn't seemed like they are the same team.  On both sides of the ball really.  But as far as the offense goes, one has to wonder how much of their diminished output was attributable to the departure of Reich. So as far as it pertains to Eberflus, I am curious how much it would affect our efficiency.  

 

Granted that's a couple years down the road at least - hopefully anyway.  I'm not going to get carried away about ifs, whats and buts, notwithstanding, it's certainly crossed my mind.  At the end of the day, I suppose the system implemented in his tenure here, should it ever come to an end, could or should be emulated just as effectively I would hope.  

 

I'm sure Ballard has another guy in his binder, in the event Eberflus gets a shot at a head coaching gig. But like you said, I don't expect that to happen in the next couple of seasons. 

 

He reminds me a lot of Mike Zimmer. Not as much of a meanie, but a straight shooter, old school defensive guy. First, the trend is for the new school, offensive guy right now. It's hard to see that changing, with the QB renaissance that's gripping the league. Second, it took Zimmer several years as a top coordinator and probably a dozen interviews to finally land a job. That was probably due to his demeanor and personality more than anything else, and I don't know that Eberflus is as standoffish as Zimmer is known to be.

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I think we should send a Christmas Card to Belichick  & Robert Kraft, thanking them, for convincing their current offensive coordinator to stay in New England!  I don't know about You, but I for one, am soooo... glad it worked out this way for us.

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

 

I get what you're saying, and the team will hopefully get to the point where we're letting good players go, which means the roster is stacked with good players.

 

But for this year, while a lot of rookies and young players have played major snaps, we actually only have four rookies that have played more than 40% of their unit's snaps this season. Leonard alone on defense (Turay is close, and Lewis and Adams are getting starter snaps lately), and Nelson, Smith and Hines on offense. 

 

Below that 40% mark, we still have a lot of replacement level players getting notable snaps. Those are presumably the players that will be getting pushed out of the door by successive draft classes.

 

And in theory, I'd want to bring rookies on deliberately, not out of necessity.

Right on...but when you have the luxury of bringing rookies along deliberately...first impression will almost always be that we aren’t drafting as well as we did in 2018 regardless of merit.

 

Our Top 6 draft picks have played prominent roles, and a 7th rounder has as well.  It’s unlikely that any future draft class by Ballard will have those kind of instant returns en mass on a more mature roster.

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3 minutes ago, ztboiler said:

Right on...but when you have the luxury of bringing rookies along deliberately...first impression will almost always be that we aren’t drafting as well as we did in 2018 regardless of merit.

 

That's absolutely true, for at least a vocal segment of the fan base. There will be some who complain if a draft pick isn't getting starters reps in OTAs. 

 

I, on the other hand, think that's the way to build a roster and develop young players. Getting good Year 1 production out of 5+ guys isn't typical. 

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3 hours ago, krunk said:

If I had to gripe and even though he is a baller I must say I'm getting tired of Ebron dropping passes though.   That is starting to get on my nerves a bit!

As they said on the post game radio...

 

"Do you know where he isn't dropping the ball? The endzone." 

 

Perfectly stated. Yesterday's drop across the middle is him turning his head upfield before the ball hits his hands. It's like a golfer not keeping his head down. Fundamental that a lot of receivers fail. Fixable. Just might take time and a coaching staff that addresses (we certainly have that.) 

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Regardless of what everyone's beliefs are, Moderators, Moderators, that are Fans, or just passionate Fans that are not just  X 's and 0's To be a  True Fan is to believe in your current  system, and embrace it and not  constantly second guess it until proven wrong. If you feel that your input is that valuable please I urge  you to send your resume to the current  management

to let them know how much you can improve our current situation. I'm Shure that our current  admin will welcome your input. I know as a NFL  watcher of almost 60 years  I for one will welcome your  input.

 

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1 minute ago, ColtStrong2013 said:

As they said on the post game radio...

 

"Do you know where he isn't dropping the ball? The endzone." 

 

Perfectly stated. Yesterday's drop across the middle is him turning his head upfield before the ball hits his hands. It's like a golfer not keeping his head down. Fundamental that a lot of receivers fail. Fixable. Just might take time and a coaching staff that addresses (we certainly have that.) 

Playoffs are right around the corner. He's got to tighten that up like now.

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24 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

That's absolutely true, for at least a vocal segment of the fan base. There will be some who complain if a draft pick isn't getting starters reps in OTAs. 

 

I, on the other hand, think that's the way to build a roster and develop young players. Getting good Year 1 production out of 5+ guys isn't typical. 

 

Unrealistic expectations are the hallmark of preseason. Remember when Lewis was a bust for being injury prone and when Hines was going to be cut before WK 1 for his fumbling issues?

 

That said so far this class has been way above the curve, I mean I wasn't enthused with Nelson at #6 (I was all for trading back after missing on Chubb) but wow. As for Leonard.. 

 

If we hit on as half as many picks next year it will still be a good class.

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