tikyle

Teambuilding and Tanking: Colts Edition

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5 hours ago, tikyle said:

He snuck in a 5th round RB (Marlon Mack) that is paying dividends but defense was his focus. 

Mack was a 4th rounder.

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4 minutes ago, jvan1973 said:

Also,  one of these coaches or GMs would have blown the whistle long ago

 

Exactly, we'll hear first-hand accounts of tanking on purpose from former GMs and HCs right around the same time we hear first-hand accounts of game-rigging from former refs...  :lol:

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19 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 Yet Ballard went into last season with a QB few people thought would lead us to very many wins. And a FA class that was vilified.
 And an owner that publicly warned the next couple years may be tough.
 NE calling to see if we wanted to trade a guy we might of cut for a guy they had no place for came out of the blue and raised our likelyhood of winning very little.

 Ballard and Irsay had a plan to draft high last year. Thank Goodness.

 

Yep...from all accounts...the deal for JB fell into his lap at the end of TC...after Edelman got hurt. I think Ballard, being a savvy GM, saw an opportunity to get a valuable asset at a reduced rate (one that he will ultimately trade).

 

Otherwise, they were set to go into last season with Tolzien as the starter. And I am pretty sure this on record. 

 

Well, anybody who watched Tolzien for a minute knew he was awful. So they knew what they were getting with him. Had the JB trade not happened, last season would have been ugly and likely resulted in an early race for the #1 pick, with the Colts ultimately ending up with the #2 pick after winning a couple meaningless late games.

 

The thing with "tanking" is that it's not nearly as difficult when you can you control the QB depth chart. And if you want to lose games, you have the (ghost of) Kerry Collins/Curtis Painter/Scott Tolzien atop your depth chart. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, jvan1973 said:

You think a GM or coach is going to tank a season when they know they are getting fired at seasons end?  Also,  one of these coaches or GMs would have blown the whistle long ago

I think coaches are not in those discussions at all. Tanking is almost entirely done on the executive level - the GM just makes decisions that set up the team for maximizing the long-term success rather than for success in the current year(high picks, developing youth, trading away vets that are not part of the long-term future of the team in order to get assets/picks/young players that might be part of the long-term future). The coaches are not told "you should lose"... they are just not given rosters that can consistently win. They are artificially hampered through the roster they are given and through injury management of their best players.  

 

About the GMs - yes, I think  they do this because I think they too underestimate how impatient owners can get under pressure from friends/business partners/media/fans/ etc.  I think they trust that the owner will honor his end of the deal for the plan that has been explained to them. At least that's the feel you get reading Hinkie's resignation letter, for example. There was no pretense in Philly about what was going on. Everybody knew and the league knew it too... and they decided to stop it because it became embarrassing at some point. And BTW they stopped it not because they thought it would fail... they stopped it because they thought it was well on its way to succeed and they couldn't have that. A league can handle 1 or 2 teams being bad at any point. There always are a couple of teams playing horrible basketball/football at any point whether they are doing it because of tanking or because of horrible management(those are different). What a league cannot handle is a bunch... 5-6-7-8 teams with no hope for the future seeing just how well tanking works and trying it themselves. Like I said before I think this would work much better in a sport like the basketball because it's extremely highly star driven and few players have very disproportionate effect on the success of the team. IMO this wouldn't work so clear-cut in the NFL. 

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12 minutes ago, jvan1973 said:

You think a GM or coach is going to tank a season when they know they are getting fired at seasons end?  Also,  one of these coaches or GMs would have blown the whistle long ago

 

Not necessarily. The NFL is a fairly exclusvie club. There are no doubt things that happen that we never know about. There would have to be one hell of an incentive for someone to betray the club.

 

Also, if someone came forward...the NFL would just sweep it under the rug. I mean...NE blatantly cheated for a half decade...and the NFL destroyed evidence...and they act like nothing ever happened.

 

But that was actual cheating...would anyone really care if a team tanked to get better picks? I honestly don't know.

 

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Bottom line: Results oriented business.

 

 If you are a coach on the way out with a new GM in the hizzle (Pagano)  you gonna voluntarily tank for your new boss (he's gonna think your soft and have no competitive fire)

 

If you are a coach on your way in you gonna voluntarily tank (Gruden) Lets get rid of our best players gather up as many draft picks as possible and I will show you what a genius I am......you better be a genius cause you just put all your eggs in that basket.....

 

I don't believe anyone sets out on a season to tank it, and I don't think any coach worth having could be coerced to do it in season......

 

So to me tanking is a generalized term for any team that is under talented...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, stitches said:

I think coaches are not in those discussions at all. Tanking is almost entirely done on the executive level - the GM just makes decisions that set up the team for maximizing the long-term success rather than for success in the current year(high picks, developing youth, trading away vets that are not part of the long-term future of the team in order to get assets/picks/young players that might be part of the long-term future). The coaches are not told "you should lose"... they are just not given rosters that can consistently win. They are artificially hampered through the roster they are given and through injury management of their best players.  

 

About the GMs - yes, I think  they do this because I think they too underestimate how impatient owners can get under pressure from friends/business partners/media/fans/ etc.  I think they trust that the owner will honor his end of the deal for the plan that has been explained to them. At least that's the feel you get reading Hinkie's resignation letter, for example. There was no pretense in Philly about what was going on. Everybody knew and the league knew it too... and they decided to stop it because it became embarrassing at some point. And BTW they stopped it not because they thought it would fail... they stopped it because they thought it was well on its way to succeed and they couldn't have that. A league can handle 1 or 2 teams being bad at any point. There always are a couple of teams playing horrible basketball/football at any point whether they are doing it because of tanking or because of horrible management(those are different). What a league cannot handle is a bunch... 5-6-7-8 teams with no hope for the future seeing just how well tanking works and trying it themselves. Like I said before I think this would work much better in a sport like the basketball because it's extremely highly star driven and few players have very disproportionate effect on the success of the team. IMO this wouldn't work so clear-cut in the NFL. 

 

MLB is sort of going through this right now. The Cubs and Astros have had so much success from their "rebuilding efforts" (tanking) that many other teams have followed suit. This past TDL, you had more half the league trying to sell off MLB assets because they weren't trying to win.

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1 minute ago, Crunked said:

Bottom line: Results oriented business.

 

 If you are a coach on the way out with a new GM in the hizzle (Pagano)  you gonna voluntarily tank for your new boss (he's gonna think your soft and have no competitive fire)

 

If you are a coach on your way in you gonna voluntarily tank (Gruden) Lets get rid of our best players gather up as many draft picks as possible and I will show you what a genius I am......you better be a genius cause you just put all your eggs in that basket.....

 

I don't believe anyone sets out on a season to tank it, and I don't think any coach worth having could be coerced to do it in season......

 

So to me tanking is a generalized term for any team that is under talented...

 

 

 

Gruden has a $100M contract...he's about as comfortable as you get.

 

His job, other than rebuilding the Raiders, is to create an NFL team and following in Las Vegas. That's why they hired him. And to do that, they need to time it right. Make no mistake...as much as I don't really like Gruden as a HC...I think OAK will be good in a few seasons. 

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2 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

MLB is sort of going through this right now. The Cubs and Astros have had so much success from their "rebuilding efforts" (tanking) that many other teams have followed suit. This past TDL, you had more half the league trying to sell off MLB assets because they weren't trying to win.

I've heard that baseball execs have excelled in those strategies too, indeed, but I'm not familiar with the sport and the history of tanking there so I couldn't give examples/support from MLB, so I defer to your knowledge. 

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Just now, shastamasta said:

 

Gruden has a $100M contract...he's about as comfortable as you get.

 

His job, other than rebuilding the Raiders, is to create an NFL team and following in Las Vegas. That's why they hired him. And to do that, they need to time it right. Make no mistake...as much as I don't really like Gruden as a HC...I think OAK will be good in a few seasons. 

I think I could build a good team with all those draft picks, ok maybe not, but if he hasn't built a good team after the dust settles he will be gonzo a hundy mil or not if Jr davis didn't build in some out clauses in that contract, then he's a fool.....

 

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Just now, Crunked said:

I think I could build a good team with all those draft picks, ok maybe not, but if he hasn't built a good team after the dust settles he will be gonzo a hundy mil or not if Jr davis didn't build in some out clauses in that contract, then he's a fool.....

 

 

If it gets bad enough...they will part ways. But I think it's at least 4-5 years before they consider it.

 

He did make that stupid comment about giving the money back if he can't get it done...so who knows what the contract structure looks like.

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1 hour ago, shastamasta said:

 

One example...no way TEN was beating IND in their final game of the 2015 season when they could secure the #1 pick and the bounty of picks that would come with trading it. I can't imagine any competent GM winning that game...and surrendering the bargaining power of the top pick (in a draft with two #1 pick QBs).

 

 

Hmm, Winston and Mariota? Yup, they should have traded back for a boatload of picks.

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4 hours ago, shastamasta said:

 

That's not how it went down. MIN already had two wins before winning their Week 16 game. That TNF game was only IND's 2nd win. And as long as they lost to JAC in Week 17...they were guaranteed that #1 pick due to the SOS tiebreaker over everyone. 

 

MIN didn't have the SOS tiebreaker over STL...so it didn't really matter if they kept losing if STL kept losing...which is what happened. And they did have the SOS tiebreaker over TB (who had 4 wins), so they were basically locked into the #3 pick, regardless of winning or losing their final two games. Talk about meaningless football. 

 

Edit: Just looked at it again...and it appears that CLE could have gotten the #3 pick if MIN won out. Losing that Week 17 game ultimately got them a 4th, 5th and a 7th round pick...because CLE traded up to swap spots with them.

Nope. MN would have had the number 1 pick if they, us, and St Lou all finished with 2 wins.  When they won their 3rd game in week 16 that knocked them out of the #1 spot and put us back in.

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Tanking, in my opinion, is done by an agreement between the Owner and the GM. The owner will tell the GM to build a poor roster (whether that means not spending money, signing lots of 1 year deals, even trading draft picks and players for future draft picks). The GM, in return, will be granted immunity from being fired until he gets a chance to use the high pick and/or cap space to his advantage.

 

This doesn't happen in every situation. Sometimes teams are just bad. However, when you have a first time GM that does bad with a team and they have lots of cap space, usually that's a sign that they may be tanking to get a high pick to start out their tenure. I don't believe the Colts tanked in 2017 because Luck was injured and they signed Brissett, but there are lots of examples of "tanking" that go on. It only usually works, however, if the teams successfully drafts a franchise QB. Since the Colts have Luck, they were 1-5 at one point, and we just needed a team around him, I wasn't against tanking at that point. Luckily, we pulled an amazing turnaround.

 

Tanking only works if you hit on your drafted franchise QB during the tank though, that's why a lot of fanbases complain about us tanking for Manning and Luck, because it's a successful tank.

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I think the OPs comments around Grigson were an interesting take on it. If we take a step back, Grigson probably didn’t do as bad of a job as we give him credit, although don’t get me wrong I was absolutely giddy when he was fired. 

 

There is always a factor of luck in drafting even with the can’t miss superstars. Injuries derail careers. Ebron is another case where even having the right scheme / coaching staff can be the difference between a pro bowl and being out of the league. It’s a fun thought experiment to think about all of the 1st round busts that may have been all pros in the right environment. 

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4 hours ago, shastamasta said:

 

MLB is sort of going through this right now. The Cubs and Astros have had so much success from their "rebuilding efforts" (tanking) that many other teams have followed suit. This past TDL, you had more half the league trying to sell off MLB assets because they weren't trying to win.

 

I think with MLB they try to win, but when it goes bad, you have to get rid of assets for prospects. I can tell you the Orioles tried to win, but ended up losing 115 games. It just happens sometimes. With Manning, except for a few seasons before , the Colts were bad leading to Manning being a top selection. Later, his injury led to the Luck pick. I just think people think the Colts tanked because historically they were able to draft Elway, Manning, and Luck. The downside is, you have to endure some bad seasons to do it. Sometimes it just works that way. 

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3 hours ago, coltsva said:

Hmm, Winston and Mariota? Yup, they should have traded back for a boatload of picks.

 

It was Wentz and Goff. They should have just drafted one of them...haha. But their loss is the Colts gain.

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5 minutes ago, shastamasta said:

 

It was Wentz and Goff. They should have just drafted one of them...haha. But their loss is the Colts gain.

Yes, I was a year off. 

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1 hour ago, SC-Coltsfan said:

Nope. MN would have had the number 1 pick if they, us, and St Lou all finished with 2 wins.  When they won their 3rd game in week 16 that knocked them out of the #1 spot and put us back in.

 

Colts always had the tiebreaker on STL and MIN. I think they even had it all the way back in mid November...because of the strength of the NFC North and because STL had such a tough schedule (#1 in the NFL that season). 

 

Here's an article from before the Week 16 games started. If Colts lost to HOU on TNF...they would have clinched it. At that point, they only needed to lose one more game.

 

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/12/22/2656403/nfl-draft-order-indianapolis-colts-no-1-pick-andrew-luck

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10 hours ago, shastamasta said:

 

Colts always had the tiebreaker on STL and MIN. I think they even had it all the way back in mid November...because of the strength of the NFC North and because STL had such a tough schedule (#1 in the NFL that season). 

 

Here's an article from before the Week 16 games started. If Colts lost to HOU on TNF...they would have clinched it. At that point, they only needed to lose one more game.

 

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/12/22/26

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19 hours ago, braveheartcolt said:

How do you actually 'tank'? Do you tell players to miss tackles or drop easy catches? Tell the kicker to miss his FG's? Ask the coaches to pull the starters or game plan badly? Do you ask your franchise QB to have a stinker? 

 

What's the strategy behind a good 'tank'?

 

19 hours ago, RollerColt said:

Ah. This thread again. I never heard of the term ‘tanking’ until 2011. 

 

That dead horse isn’t going to beat itself I guess?

 

Yep...  dead_horse_point_state_park05-copy.jpg

 

18 hours ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

I think you're chasing your own tail with these arguments.  You claim tanking is real, yet a team can't make it too obvious, and no team would admit it, therefore nobody can prove you wrong.

 

It's basically a conspiracy theory that nobody can prove either way, like the guy that says the NFL tries to rig games through the refs.

 

You look at everything through the prism of the draft, which is self-defeating.  It's about winning football games.  Period.  Nobody involved in high school or college football would ever think about the benefit of losing a football game.  Only in the NFL can losing a football game be seen as beneficial.  It's insane.  :loco:

 

18 hours ago, tikyle said:

 

Yes.  I am glad you enjoyed watching them but did the Colts gain any advantage by taking that approach last season vs tanking?  Did Chuck still not get fired?  Could they not have gotten more from trading the #1 pick if they had it?

 

However, Chuck is starting to generate potential HC possibilities once more.

There's a saying in the NFL- "The eye in the sky don't lie".  If a player or coach is on tape willfully not trying their best to excel, they might not only get dismissed from their current job, but it might also prevent them from securing a future job.  We are talking paychecks/living.

 

Quote

I get losing sucks but when there is a method to it and it's not just a never ending cycle then I don't see how it's so bad?

 

 

Explain the method.

 

Quote

None taken, but how so?  Do you equate tanking to cheating?  Because I see no correlation to what I'm suggesting and the Patriots vs being a fan of any team in the NFL or any other sport.

 

Tanking would cheat the fans.  People don't go to games to watch their team lose on purpose, or buy jerseys etc from poor players.  And you do know regular season ticket (including luxury/premium and walk up) sales are important to day to day team operations.  There is shared revenue in the NFL, but the differences between the best and worst are in local revenue generated.  (what the Cowboys bring in versus the Raiders for example). Teams are even lowering concession prices to lure in more fans.  Tanking would undermine that.

 

18 hours ago, Four2itus said:

Facts? Many people on this board use that word. Rarely are they correct. 

 

Here is a fact. If the NFL started to exhibit patterns of tanking, I will never.....ever....watch another game. That, is a true fact

:hat:

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14 minutes ago, ColtsBlueFL said:

Tanking would cheat the fans.  People don't go to games to watch their team lose on purpose, or buy jerseys etc from poor players.  And you do know regular season ticket (including luxury/premium and walk up) sales are important to day to day team operations.  There is shared revenue in the NFL, but the differences between the best and worst are in  the best are local revenue generated.  (what the Cowboys bring in versus the Raiders for example). Tems are even lowering concession prices to lure in more fans.  Tanking would undermine that.

The NFL is considered an entertainment business. I can't imagine many people feeling entertained by watching a team lose on purpose, but I guess I can be wrong on that. 

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3 minutes ago, RollerColt said:

The NFL is considered an entertainment business. I can't imagine many people feeling entertained by watching a team lose on purpose, but I guess I can be wrong on that. 

 

Apparently some of these folks cheer for losses because they care more about getting the #1 pick than the slim chance we can still get into the playoffs after a bad start to a season.

 

:facepalm:

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4 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

Apparently some of these folks cheer for losses because they care more about getting the #1 pick than the slim chance we can still get into the playoffs after a bad start to a season.

 

:facepalm:

 

Apparently. From their homes, not in person with a purchased ticket...

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27 minutes ago, RollerColt said:

The NFL is considered an entertainment business. I can't imagine many people feeling entertained by watching a team lose on purpose, but I guess I can be wrong on that. 

i bet there are professional teams that have tanked before, especially in the NBA

 

i dont think its nearly as common in the nfl, and very unlikely the colts tanked a season for luck.  the final game was a little suspicious, but the coach, GM and players were not pulling a season long tank job to get fired at the end

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5 minutes ago, aaron11 said:

i bet there are professional teams that have tanked before, especially in the NBA

 

i dont think its nearly as common in the nfl, and very unlikely the colts tanked a season for luck.  the final game was a little suspicious, but the coach, GM and players were not pulling a season long tank job to get fired at the end

I think the key difference would simply be the number of games. If you only have 16 games to sell tickets and gain revenue, you severely limit your potential for profits if the audience knows the team is losing on purpose. 

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2 hours ago, ColtsBlueFL said:

Tanking would cheat the fans.  People don't go to games to watch their team lose on purpose, or buy jerseys etc from poor players.  And you do know regular season ticket (including luxury/premium and walk up) sales are important to day to day team operations.  There is shared revenue in the NFL, but the differences between the best and worst are in local revenue generated.  (what the Cowboys bring in versus the Raiders for example). Teams are even lowering concession prices to lure in more fans.  Tanking would undermine that.

 

:hat:

Not only would it cheat the fans, but it influences veteran players seeking new contracts on other teams as well as free agents potentially coming tou your team later. If you have a ton of recent tape of your team getting killed every week (or no tape at all becaused you were benched for a rookie) it will lower your value on the open market. Good luck getting decent free agents if all the players (or more importantly, their agents) believe that you will bench them when the going gets tough, potentially tanking their value for their next contract.

That doesnt even touch on the possibility of those draft picks you tanked for leaving immediately after their rookie deal because that same agent who represented those vets during the tank represents the draft picks as well and convinces them to move on for fear of their market value being tanked down the line as well. 

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20 hours ago, tikyle said:

 

Tanking isn't a magic elixir.

 

If we had the #6 pick last draft instead of the #3 and got Nelson but had no trade and either lost Leonard or Braden Smith, you think we would've been as good this season?

 

Did the Texans "fail" by getting Watt and Clowney and Watson?  You keep saying the Pats/Steelers/Ravens but the NFL has 32 teams.  What about doing it the Jets/Lions/Redskins way.  They don't give up either.  They win meaningless end of season games too but they don't have success.  Tanking isn't a yo-yo effect of losing.  It's a planned strategy.  What you do with those picks will determine your success.  Just like I pointed out the Texans I can point out the Jags who got Bortles and Ramsey and Fournette.

 

The Pats/Ravens/Steelers aren't those teams because they try to win every game.  They are those teams because of organizational stability and some luck sprinkled in.  Imagine if the Steelers best defensive player could actually walk normally, do you think they would have been better this season with him?  Imagine if the Colts best offensive player played last season, do you think we would've been better last season with him? 

To the bolded, yes that's right.  But you can be just as effective no matter where in the draft order you are, if you scout and evaluate talent better than your average GM.  Sure, the probabilities are more in your favor the earlier you pick, but even in the first round, your hit rate for a pro bowler in the first 6 picks is about 50% and for the last 6 picks, it's about 30%, everything else in the first round is about 40% chance you'll have a pro bowler.  Those numbers don't change regardless of whether your taking a QB or any other position.  I made a post about 2 or 3 years ago, detailing 10 years of 1st rounds in the draft and it included all the data from that.  Took a couple of weeks to flesh the whole thing out.  It's all posted there if you want to look at it.

 

Bottom line is, you're not gaining much by tanking.  People like you assume that you're going to hit on your draft pick and he's going to be a game changer.  In the first round of any draft, that's what every team should be shooting for, yet despite all the cutting edge metrics and all the years of improving what we know about player evaluation, teams still get it wrong more than they get it right.  So whether your batting 300 or 500, you're still wrong as much or more than you are right. 

 

So does wasting an entire season justify tanking for a 20% chance at getting the player you thought you were drafting?  How could it?  Just this year should be proof enough that being a better evaluator of talent is better than drafting higher.  How many 2nd and 3rd round talents have played at an all pro level or close to it?  Half our O line, Leonard, the CBs have played lights out and I thought that position was going to be a liability this year.  Ballard has put talent all over this roster in draft and FA.  I will even assume this is an outlier year, but once he got his coach and changed schemes, even the guys from 2017 started contributing at a higher level.  And we were smack dab in the middle of the draft.

 

So at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you are picking players, so long as you pick the RIGHT players.  You don't have to be picking 1st in order to do that.  I'm sure everyone here can detail a dozen examples of all pro caliber players being drafted late in the first round and early in the first round.  Right now, Ballard is proving he is better than the average GM, and if he keeps this up, he'll be a perennial preseason candidate for executive of the year.  You don't need to tank if that's an asset your team possesses.  You're better off keeping the confidence of every guy in the locker room, which by the way is what happened when we made the decision we didn't want to tank at 1-5 and now look where we are.  Had we tanked, we'd have lost every player in that locker room Ballard/Reich would have poisoned the well for subsequent seasons.  No thanks, what we have is special.

 

 

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