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Legend of Luck

Ballard's Team Building Vision

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Here here! And I for one love watching it play out.

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7 minutes ago, Legend of Luck said:

Look, I know there are a lot of upset people about how free agency has played out, but I wanted to take a deeper look into Ballard's process and maybe relax some people's anxiety.

2 of Ballard's core philosophies are..

1. Take care of your own players.
2. He wants the Colts to be the best team in the league at developing talent.

I think we can all agree that FA has been full of huge contracts payed out to (outside of Earl Thomas and a few others) good, but not elite players.

Ballard's view is likely that he'd prefer to spend our cap room on resigning OUR guys and keeping our core together, rather than let our stars go and try to find their replacements.

Next year, we have a ton of big name free agents. AC, Kelly, Ebron, Moore, Sheard... just to name a few. Then TY is the year after.

So, the question is, where is all this money we have gonna go? Its gonna go right there, to OUR guys.

Now, I have seen many people say, "It doesn't matter what they spend, if we want to win a Superbowl we need better talent."

If you are of that belief, you're not wrong..

What is wrong is assuming Ballard doesnt believe that too. He knows it. The difference is how he chooses to find that jump in talent.

Instead of bringing new faces into the building on big expensive contracts, he is putting all his resources into developing the talent we have. Taking good players and making them great.

Let's look at pass rush for example. (I'm gonna use Madden like terminology just because it's easy to digest)

Let's say, on a scale of 0-100, Kemoko Turay was at a 75 last year.

Maybe Preston Smith was an 84.

Ballard drafted Turay with the belief that, (and again, I'm just thinking hypothetically here) with time/reps/the right coaching, Turay could be a 90.

So, in his mind, his answer for the pass rush is already on the roster. Instead of REPLACING a 75 with an 84, he wants to UPGRADE his 75 to that same level and hopefully beyond.

It's more affordable on the cap, and it establishes a culture of progression.

When players think, "Man, the Colts can help me get the best out of myself. They can help make me the best version of me." then not only do they want to come here and stay here, but they also trust the coaches and lean into them. They work harder knowing that the team has a proven track record of success developing players. They become better players, we win more games, they earn their more money for their next contract. The entire system is symbiotic.

It takes time, and I know that's frustrating when we as fans can't look on paper and just already know the team is definitively better than it was last year. But Ballard has proven that he can do this.

Just look at last year...

Ebron went from ridiculed bust to leading the league in touchdowns.

Glow went from obscurity to incredibly impressive starting RG and earned a nice contract.

Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir, even Quincy Wilson were mocked and called "the weakest position group on the team"... and look how well they played as they got better and better throughout the season.

Ryan Kelly went from a solid Center to arguably the best center in the NFL.

So, yes, its easy to be upset. Theres nothing wrong with wanting impact players to come to the Colts.

But Ballard is banking on himself, and trusting that they're already here. He's earned the right to have this season go HIS way and on HIS terms, where he can prove to all of us that he can make that process work.
 

 

Great post man, well thought out. I like the Madden simplification, definitely easy to digest. 

 

The thing is, and the math was done on another post, that we have the money to resign all of our guys to healthy deals (thru next season, which is the 4-year mark for the current CB agreement), and still have approximately $80 mil left to sign FA's. This money has to be spent, period. My thinking is that Ballard is gonna bide his spending one more year, keep the conservative developmental route, and hope that there's still a healthy and natural progression towards the ultimate goal, a SB title. If things are still ascending come next offseason, then maybe then that's when he'll be willing to make a few more high-level moves in FA, when he feels as though we're that close. He's said that he's willing to bring in the right guys, when the time is right, more or less. Question is, when will the "time be right"?

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1 minute ago, SouthernIndianaNDFan said:

 

Great post man, well thought out. I like the Madden simplification, definitely easy to digest. 

 

The thing is, and the math was done on another post, that we have the money to resign all of our guys to healthy deals (thru next season, which is the 4-year mark for the current CB agreement), and still have approximately $80 mil left to sign FA's. This money has to be spent, period. My thinking is that Ballard is gonna bide his spending one more year, keep the conservative developmental route, and hope that there's still a healthy and natural progression towards the ultimate goal, a SB title. If things are still ascending come next offseason, then maybe then that's when he'll be willing to make a few more high-level moves in FA, when he feels as though we're that close. He's said that he's willing to bring in the right guys, when the time is right, more or less. Question is, when will the "time be right"?

 

I actually read something that if we roll over all of our remaining cap from this year, sign all of our FA's and Restricted FA's, we'd be left with about 50 million next year. And then TY's up the year after that. 50 million is a good amount, dont get me wrong, but it leaves a lot less room for error. I think year 2 in this system with the same coaching, etc. will go a long way in Ballards evaluation of his needs.

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1 minute ago, Legend of Luck said:

 

I actually read something that if we roll over all of our remaining cap from this year, sign all of our FA's and Restricted FA's, we'd be left with about 50 million next year. And then TY's up the year after that. 50 million is a good amount, dont get me wrong, but it leaves a lot less room for error. I think year 2 in this system with the same coaching, etc. will go a long way in Ballards evaluation of his needs.

 

I read in another post (could be wrong, because I didn't actually do the math, just took their word for it), that there would be something to the tune of 80 mil left, and that's after resigning practically everyone to deals. Luck, TY, all of them. I forget the name of the post, or I'd direct you to it. Gonna do some research, and see if I can't figure out what the exact numbers would look like. 

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1 hour ago, Legend of Luck said:

So, in his mind, his answer for the pass rush is already on the roster. 

 

I keep saying this, but if Leonard, Autry and Ward don't once again combine for nearly 20 sacks, our pass rush could be abysmal.  Would anyone be shocked if both Leonard and Autry registered 3-4 sacks in 2019?  In my opinion, you gotta bring in some outside pass rush just to maintain.

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24 minutes ago, #12. said:

 

I keep saying this, but if Leonard, Autry and Ward don't once again combine for nearly 20 sacks, our pass rush could be abysmal.  Would anyone be shocked if both Leonard and Autry registered 3-4 sacks in 2019?  In my opinion, you gotta bring in some outside pass rush just to maintain.

But I think the point is that production is replaced by improvements from Turay and Lewis. Even if the other guys sack totals fall slightly, the goal is to have Turay and Lewis' rise significantly.  Ballard thinks those guys have that capability. 

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Leonard will b an interesting contract.  By the time  he is a free agent he may demand 20 million a year based on his  production and possible awards; another all pro selection  possible defensive player of the year. CJ Mosley has jacked up the market to 17 million a year.  Do u believe that Ballard would pay Leonard say 20 million plus , pass rusher money, when it is his turn for a new contract?  Interesting.

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1 hour ago, Legend of Luck said:

But I think the point is that production is replaced by improvements from Turay and Lewis. Even if the other guys sack totals fall slightly, the goal is to have Turay and Lewis' rise significantly.  Ballard thinks those guys have that capability. 

 

 Wasting your time with several of these guys. They have no idea who we have on the roster, or how the ones we do have project going forward. And just can't get what building through the draft will look like. Clearly they post without researching much of anything. 

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1 hour ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Leonard will b an interesting contract.  By the time  he is a free agent he may demand 20 million a year based on his  production and possible awards; another all pro selection  possible defensive player of the year. CJ Mosley has jacked up the market to 17 million a year.  Do u believe that Ballard would pay Leonard say 20 million plus , pass rusher money, when it is his turn for a new contract?  Interesting.

Yes. He will reward players who are on this team. Especially a impact guy like Leonard. Now that doesn’t play in is he starts getting injured or his play falls off.

 

I think though if doesn’t let him hit FA he won’t cost that much. Ballard won’t let our studs hit FA. And with the culture the thry are building here they will want to stay.

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I would agree with a lot of posters that Ballard is putting a whole heck of a lot of faith into himself to pick the right guys and his staff to develope them, rather than go out and buy a proven player. Risky? Sure. Smart? Time will tell. I think we need to hold faith as well and stay patient. FA hasnt moved the needle much as far as improvement to the roster, so lets get through the rest of it and the draft, than let the fun begin.

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3 hours ago, #12. said:

 

I keep saying this, but if Leonard, Autry and Ward don't once again combine for nearly 20 sacks, our pass rush could be abysmal.  Would anyone be shocked if both Leonard and Autry registered 3-4 sacks in 2019?  In my opinion, you gotta bring in some outside pass rush just to maintain.

You can say that about any player in the league.  Odds are better that with the additional year in the league and in the same system, that they’ll improve their numbers.  

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5 hours ago, SouthernIndianaNDFan said:

 

I read in another post (could be wrong, because I didn't actually do the math, just took their word for it), that there would be something to the tune of 80 mil left, and that's after resigning practically everyone to deals. Luck, TY, all of them. I forget the name of the post, or I'd direct you to it. Gonna do some research, and see if I can't figure out what the exact numbers would look like. 

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2019/3/17/18268326/the-reason-why-the-colts-arent-splurging

 

This is the article I was referencing. 

 

They said it'd be 55 million left over.

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One thing's certain...he won't make any trades with Houston for Mike Tyson, and then draft Elijah Holyfield. That would be disastrous to the locker room. :)

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6 hours ago, Legend of Luck said:

Look, I know there are a lot of upset people about how free agency has played out, but I wanted to take a deeper look into Ballard's process and maybe relax some people's anxiety.

2 of Ballard's core philosophies are..

1. Take care of your own players.
2. He wants the Colts to be the best team in the league at developing talent.

I think we can all agree that FA has been full of huge contracts payed out to (outside of Earl Thomas and a few others) good, but not elite players.

Ballard's view is likely that he'd prefer to spend our cap room on resigning OUR guys and keeping our core together, rather than let our stars go and try to find their replacements.

Next year, we have a ton of big name free agents. AC, Kelly, Ebron, Moore, Sheard... just to name a few. Then TY is the year after.

So, the question is, where is all this money we have gonna go? Its gonna go right there, to OUR guys.

Now, I have seen many people say, "It doesn't matter what they spend, if we want to win a Superbowl we need better talent."

If you are of that belief, you're not wrong..

What is wrong is assuming Ballard doesnt believe that too. He knows it. The difference is how he chooses to find that jump in talent.

Instead of bringing new faces into the building on big expensive contracts, he is putting all his resources into developing the talent we have. Taking good players and making them great.

Let's look at pass rush for example. (I'm gonna use Madden like terminology just because it's easy to digest)

Let's say, on a scale of 0-100, Kemoko Turay was at a 75 last year.

Maybe Preston Smith was an 84.

Ballard drafted Turay with the belief that, (and again, I'm just thinking hypothetically here) with time/reps/the right coaching, Turay could be a 90.

So, in his mind, his answer for the pass rush is already on the roster. Instead of REPLACING a 75 with an 84, he wants to UPGRADE his 75 to that same level and hopefully beyond.

It's more affordable on the cap, and it establishes a culture of progression.

When players think, "Man, the Colts can help me get the best out of myself. They can help make me the best version of me." then not only do they want to come here and stay here, but they also trust the coaches and lean into them. They work harder knowing that the team has a proven track record of success developing players. They become better players, we win more games, they earn their more money for their next contract. The entire system is symbiotic.

It takes time, and I know that's frustrating when we as fans can't look on paper and just already know the team is definitively better than it was last year. But Ballard has proven that he can do this.

Just look at last year...

Ebron went from ridiculed bust to leading the league in touchdowns.

Glow went from obscurity to incredibly impressive starting RG and earned a nice contract.

Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir, even Quincy Wilson were mocked and called "the weakest position group on the team"... and look how well they played as they got better and better throughout the season.

Ryan Kelly went from a solid Center to arguably the best center in the NFL.

So, yes, its easy to be upset. Theres nothing wrong with wanting impact players to come to the Colts.

But Ballard is banking on himself, and trusting that they're already here. He's earned the right to have this season go HIS way and on HIS terms, where he can prove to all of us that he can make that process work.
 

This is what i tried to explain, but you did it much better.

It seems like common sense after you really look at it.

  If one or two teams wouldnt act desperate and throw blank checks around on guys , we wouldnt have these over-paid contracts.  But there is always 1 or 2 teams should hat will bump it into "crazy land."

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5 hours ago, #12. said:

 

I keep saying this, but if Leonard, Autry and Ward don't once again combine for nearly 20 sacks, our pass rush could be abysmal.  Would anyone be shocked if both Leonard and Autry registered 3-4 sacks in 2019?  In my opinion, you gotta bring in some outside pass rush just to maintain.

 

 Agree. And IF Andrew doesn't play better than he did against KC we are doomed.
We have to keep what's his name as our backup just in case.

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37 minutes ago, rock8591 said:

One thing's certain...he won't make any trades with Houston for Mike Tyson, and then draft Elijah Holyfield. That would be disastrous to the locker room. :)

Evander 

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1 minute ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 Agree. And IF Andrew doesn't play better than he did against KC we are doomed.
We have to keep what's his name as our backup just in case.

 

You scared me for a second. I almost didnt see the sarcasm dropping off this post.

 

Almost... lol

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Ryan Kelly was a mid 1st round pick and a stud his rookie year. He just has to be healthy. 

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14 hours ago, rock8591 said:

One thing's certain...he won't make any trades with Houston for Mike Tyson, and then draft Elijah Holyfield. That would be disastrous to the locker room. :)

There would be ears everywhere.

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There is an outstanding article in today's MMQB on why some teams have been light spenders so far in free agency.  They specifically focus on Dallas but the theory applies to Ballard and the Colts.

 

Interesting tidbits

     * Weak overall FA class

     * A study from one team that suggests only 30% of unrestricted free agents plays as well or better than they did the previous year.

     * Big spending teams are chasing draft mistakes - Kwon Alexander getting a big deal because of the Foster fiasco

     * Scheme fits - big deal.  Trying to un-ring a bell in many cases

     * Comp Pick formula is more of a factors

 

 

 

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I'm TOTALLY fine with what Ballard is doing.  Build your locker room FIRST, then bring in players on good and short-term deals that FIT within that climate.  It's been a long-held belief that a tight locker room can achieve much more than one that has more talent but doesn't play together and has division (see Steelers).  That's what he's trying to accomplish WHILE trying to bring in and develop talent and make them Colts.  I also think teams get lured into thinking "This player could put us over the top!" mode when FA opens and that's why you see so many ludicrous dollars being thrown around.  But he's right, you're never just one player away.  I like that he's being calculated on his signings even though he has the most money to spend.  That is being responsible and believing in your plan.  And whether you agree with it or not, you certainly have to respect that mode when so many other GM's would be throwing around ludicrous dollars and setting their teams up for failure in that same scenario.  In Ballard I trust.

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On 3/18/2019 at 10:28 AM, jskinnz said:

There is an outstanding article in today's MMQB on why some teams have been light spenders so far in free agency.  They specifically focus on Dallas but the theory applies to Ballard and the Colts.

 

Interesting tidbits

     * Weak overall FA class

     * A study from one team that suggests only 30% of unrestricted free agents plays as well or better than they did the previous year.

     * Big spending teams are chasing draft mistakes - Kwon Alexander getting a big deal because of the Foster fiasco

     * Scheme fits - big deal.  Trying to un-ring a bell in many cases

     * Comp Pick formula is more of a factors

 

NFL channel talked about several of the same data points last week on one of their shows. 

It is a very weak FA class IMO. They made a great point (similar to the 30% above) about the trend of production (last 2-3 years), and that the trend didn't substantially change in 90+% of FAs. That's why I'm not sunshine pumping on Funchess. Hope he's one of the 10%.  Even if you look at Ebron's past stats, his production and stats (yards and catch rate) didn't really improve. What improved was his TD production, and that's because Indy targeted Ebron in the RZ 3x more than Detroit did. All they did was simply change when and where they targeted him. Upward trending FAs generally stay good. Topped out, or declining trends generally stay where they're at.

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