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One question was answered this past week....

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.... and I'm not sure how I feel about it.    Not too sure how you'll feel about it either.

 

At the owners meeting,  Irsay gave an interview to Colts.com....   the story is on the website....    and the topic is right at the top....   the state of the franchise....   and at the start of his answer,   Irsay says LAST YEAR,  2018,  was Year One in Ballard's 3-year franchise rebuild.    I always thought that clock started when Ballard arrived.    So, I thought last year was Year two and this year,  2019,  was Year three.    Apparently,  I'm wrong.   (Not the first time,  won't be the last)    But here's the set-up and Irsay's answer.   

 

 

» Irsay is very encouraged about the state and direction of the franchise:  Last year at the owners meetings, Irsay talked about entering what he considered Year 1 of a three-year rebuilding process to get to where he believed the team would once again be among the best of the best in the NFL.  Fast forward 365 days, and the Colts have accelerated that process greatly after a 10-6 season and a road win in the playoffs.  A healthy, elite quarterback and one of the better draft classes in recent memory are huge factors in the rise, Irsay acknowledged, but the Frank Reich effect and his “one-day-at-a-time” approach was clearly instrumental, as well.  “You always just felt that this team was going to play to win and was going to succeed and get it done.  You just had this almost quiet certainty that you felt,” Irsay said.  “I just felt even when we weren't winning a lot of games early on that, you know what, this team can.  And I think it can this year.  And we have enough games.  It's going to be tough but we have enough games.  If we get on a run we can do it. … The arrow keeps pointing up.”

 

So, if 2019 is indeed Year two of a 3-year rebuild,  are you ready for another year of rebuild in 2020?

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Sounds like Irsay is writing off 2017 as as a transitional season given that Pagano was still HC.... and under a one year assessment with Ballard as GM.

 

And then there was Andrew’s whole injury/rehab mystery which Irsay....by the way.... stoked in the wrong direction with his (paraphrased) “Andrew will start opening day” comments.

 

All in all, 2017 was just a weird season and thank God we’re past it.

 

And one could hardly lay its woes entirely at Ballard’s feet when Irsay likely directed him to retain Chuck (and his 3-4 defense) for the time being.... and we went from Irsay’s mistaken assurances about Luck to complete and absolute ambiguity.

 

So Irsay’s semantics.... or whatever you want to call his “rebuild” timeline comments.... do have merit given that Ballard’s hands were tied in a couple very key areas before the rebuild could truly begin.

 

Whichever way we look at it, Ballard’s approach.... and of course, Andrew’s comeback.... have combined to take the nightmare that 2017 was, and cast it smaller and smaller into the rear view mirror.

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In my view, a team in today's NFL is always in rebuild mode.  Free agency, injuries, coaching changes, the relatively short player "life cycle", and the inherent risk associated with speculating on a player's future production all add to a very fluid organizational structure.  A team needs to constantly

re-invent itself if it wants to be successful week in and week out (think NE).  Ballard is good at constantly scanning the wire and bringing in guys to upgrade the roster.

  As far as Irsay's comment, i believe we have to really look at 2018 as Ballards "real" first year.  In 2017 he still had Pagano and other coaches and schemes and players who weren't "his guys."  We've seen last year the start of the new culture he

is building.  

  One more year of building and we should have a

solid team with good depth throughout along with a good cap situation. And those young guys will be maturing into experienced players.

  I think the "3 year plan" is still a realistic goal.  I expect us to be better this year with a better roster, but we've discussed here before it will probably take one more draft and off-season (2020) until Ballard has the roster (in luding depth) where he wants it.

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6 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

.... and I'm not sure how I feel about it.    Not too sure how you'll feel about it either.

 

At the owners meeting,  Irsay gave an interview to Colts.com....   the story is on the website....    and the topic is right at the top....   the state of the franchise....   and at the start of his answer,   Irsay says LAST YEAR,  2018,  was Year One in Ballard's 3-year franchise rebuild.    I always thought that clock started when Ballard arrived.    So, I thought last year was Year two and this year,  2019,  was Year three.    Apparently,  I'm wrong.   (Not the first time,  won't be the last)    But here's the set-up and Irsay's answer.   

 

 

» Irsay is very encouraged about the state and direction of the franchise:  Last year at the owners meetings, Irsay talked about entering what he considered Year 1 of a three-year rebuilding process to get to where he believed the team would once again be among the best of the best in the NFL.  Fast forward 365 days, and the Colts have accelerated that process greatly after a 10-6 season and a road win in the playoffs.  A healthy, elite quarterback and one of the better draft classes in recent memory are huge factors in the rise, Irsay acknowledged, but the Frank Reich effect and his “one-day-at-a-time” approach was clearly instrumental, as well.  “You always just felt that this team was going to play to win and was going to succeed and get it done.  You just had this almost quiet certainty that you felt,” Irsay said.  “I just felt even when we weren't winning a lot of games early on that, you know what, this team can.  And I think it can this year.  And we have enough games.  It's going to be tough but we have enough games.  If we get on a run we can do it. … The arrow keeps pointing up.”

 

So, if 2019 is indeed Year two of a 3-year rebuild,  are you ready for another year of rebuild in 2020?

Here's what I very much don't like about this conversation coming from our owner.  It creates built-in excuses and blurs the line of expectation.  Now maybe Irsay is so smart that it's his way of taking pressure off a young team and inexperienced staff, I'd love that to be the case.  Perhaps this is true.  In my crude way of thinking after you go 10-6 it's no longer a re-build, to the point in the post above, you're always in some state of flux and re-build, this league is about winning and this team should be expected to do very well this year.  I predicted a 10 win season last year and this should be an 11-12 win team this year even with a more difficult schedule.  Some nuance to this opinion, I'm not the type of person that says the only successful outcome is winning the Super Bowl, I understand how many uncontrollable factors contribute to that result, yet I do expect this team to be a force in the AFC, I do expect a home playoff game, and I do expect us to be a serious contender.  If we want to call that a re-build that's fine as long as we win big along the way!

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I agree with his take.  2018 was the first year he had the coach  in place. Knew what kind of players Reich wanted. Although he got some good players in 2017 I consider 2018 the first real year.

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All this says to me is he's telling fans it's a young team and they don't need to get wild in free agency to go for it all right now. That they're building something methodically.  Doesn't diminish expectations.

 

Not sure what you mean about being ready for 2020. This is an extremely young team that's on the rise regardless of what Irsay said. 

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 With a number of positions we must get better at, and then needing to add quality prospects to develop to become good depth and future starters, we have a ways to go. 

 Experience playing together in a system has to happen too.

Irsay is sounding educated about our prospects and future. The Mentor has been Mentored, and that is someting to be very thankful for.

 Just write the checks please!

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We won ten games and a playoff game last year.  Our Franchise QB is fully healthy and we added some incredible talent at key positions last year.  Last season's success accelerated the goal.  No reason to think our GM of the year can't continue to improve the roster and finish ahead of schedule.  My guess is that's his goal. 

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I have to agree with Irsay, IMO Ballard wanted nothing to do with Pagano and that staff, i also think Pagano played a hand in the 17 draft.

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2 hours ago, wig said:

All this says to me is he's telling fans it's a young team and they don't need to get wild in free agency to go for it all right now. That they're building something methodically.  Doesn't diminish expectations.

 

Not sure what you mean about being ready for 2020. This is an extremely young team that's on the rise regardless of what Irsay said. 

 

I guess it means we’ll be taking a conservative approach to roster building for one more year — 2020.

 

It appears Ballard won’t loosen the purse strings until 2021.   This frustrated fans last year and this year.  I expect it will be frustrating next year too. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, NorthernBlue said:

I mean if year one of the rebuild results in 10-6 and a playoff win, then I'm down haha 

 

Honestly, just in general with sports, I don't like it when teams throw in these arbitrary timelines for when the team would/could/should be good.

 

i think we should be going all in soon because we have andrew luck.  having a qb like that changes things somewhat imo.

 

if we had an average QB then id be more patient, but when you have a good/great one i think there should definitely be a timeline, heck lucks career is a timeline itself 

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9 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

It appears Ballard won’t loosen the purse strings until 2021.   This frustrated fans last year and this year.  I expect it will be frustrating next year too. 

 

 

If you're talking about bringing in big splashes in FA, then fans may be frustrated throughout Ballards tenure as GM... 

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1 hour ago, throwing BBZ said:

 With a number of positions we must get better at, and then needing to add quality prospects to develop to become good depth and future starters, we have a ways to go. 

 Experience playing together in a system has to happen too.

Irsay is sounding educated about our prospects and future. The Mentor has been Mentored, and that is someting to be very thankful for.

 Just write the checks please!

What're your expectations for this season?

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24 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

I guess it means we’ll be taking a conservative approach to roster building for one more year — 2020.

 

It appears Ballard won’t loosen the purse strings until 2021.   This frustrated fans last year and this year.  I expect it will be frustrating next year too. 

 

 

Perhaps I'm confused.  This is a good roster, I don't expect us to just 'buy' players now or in the future.  I'm not frustrated in the least about where we are or what we're doing, in fact, I think it's a winner and a winner right now.  If this is about splashy free-agents, I find that to be fools gold, Ballard is preparing this team financially to re-sign the guys we have for years to come, I'm not so sure there's a free agent extravaganza on our horizon just because we are well-positioned cap-wise.  That money will be used sparingly and for re-signing our own guys. I think we're living the plan right now and this team can and will win right now.  It's not outrageous to say we were a top-six team last season. So help me understand what I'm missing here, and I do understand the roster can improve as every roster in the NFL can improve, that's basic, is there a bigger master plan here that I'm not quite grasping?  

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14 minutes ago, Rally5 said:

What're your expectations for this season?

 

Currently...   I’m expecting another 10 win season.   The 19 season appears to be the hardest schedule the Colts have had in the Luck era...

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23 minutes ago, Buck Showalter said:

If you're talking about bringing in big splashes in FA, then fans may be frustrated throughout Ballards tenure as GM... 

Perhaps....

 

But when he made the trade down last year with the NY Jets, Ballard gave an interview on camera where he said the conservative approach he’s taking in FA won’t always last.   That this current approach is more the exception and not the rule while he rebuilds the roster.

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One of the great things about this team is as young as we are we don’t have to add to improve. We will get better with guys just being one year older.

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9 minutes ago, Rally5 said:

Perhaps I'm confused.  This is a good roster, I don't expect us to just 'buy' players now or in the future.  I'm not frustrated in the least about where we are or what we're doing, in fact, I think it's a winner and a winner right now.  If this is about splashy free-agents, I find that to be fools gold, Ballard is preparing this team financially to re-sign the guys we have for years to come, I'm not so sure there's a free agent extravaganza on our horizon just because we are well-positioned cap-wise.  That money will be used sparingly and for re-signing our own guys. I think we're living the plan right now and this team can and will win right now.  It's not outrageous to say we were a top-six team last season. So help me understand what I'm missing here, and I do understand the roster can improve as every roster in the NFL can improve, that's basic, is there a bigger master plan here that I'm not quite grasping?  

I’ve written the answer in another post, but I’m happy to write it again here....

 

On the day he made his big trade down with the Jets a year ago, Ballard gave an interview on camera where he said the conservative approach he’s taking while he rebuilds the roster won’t last. That he will eventually spend more in free agency, but not until he’s rebuilt the roster and the locker room.

 

I originally thought the three rebuilding years were 17, 18, and 19.  Turns out they’re 18, 19, and 20.   I take that to mean the purse strings won’t loosen until 21.

 

This thread is dedicated to all the posters here (and there are many) who have complained for the last two years that we’ve had tons of free agent money to spend and we didn’t spend it.   That Ballard is wasting Luck’s prime years.

 

Hope this clarifies...

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1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

Perhaps....

 

But when he made the trade down last year with the NY Jets, Ballard gave an interview on camera where he said the conservative approach he’s taking in FA won’t always last.   That this current approach is more the exception and not the rule while he rebuilds the roster.

Meh...

I still dont see Ballard going after the Bells, Browns, or Beckhams of the NFL, or abandoning his disciplined approach, regardless of some sound bite. 

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1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

I guess it means we’ll be taking a conservative approach to roster building for one more year — 2020.

 

It appears Ballard won’t loosen the purse strings until 2021.   This frustrated fans last year and this year.  I expect it will be frustrating next year too. 

 

 

I agree about the timing of the Colts joining in free agency frenzy, if indeed it ever happens......but for a different reason. I think Ballard will have his hands full next year trying to sign all of the key free agents on the team itself. He has to run through that gauntlet before he can look outside for the finishing touches. That’s why the draft this year is so critical. It sets things up for the final push to build a SB team. 

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2 minutes ago, Buck Showalter said:

Meh...

I still dont see Ballard going after the Bells, Browns, or Beckhams of the NFL, or abandoning his disciplined approach, regardless of some sound bite. 

 

I’d agree that I don’t see him going for the type of players that you noted.

 

Bit I don’t see what is “meh”.    The man said what he said.   That he’s taking a certain approach now but that it won’t always last.   That the course strings will loosen up at some point.

 

What’s meh about that?

 

 

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1 minute ago, Buck Showalter said:

Meh...

I still dont see Ballard going after the Bells, Browns, or Beckhams of the NFL, or abandoning his disciplined approach, regardless of some sound bite. 

I dont see a reason for Ballard to change either. Hes gone after the big names even right now if he sees a fit. He just places a value we are comfortable with and if they demand more than that he moves on. I think his approach should remain that way.

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I think this team should win at least 11 games this year unless we are ravaged by injuries somehow. Im hoping we can get homefield throughout the playoffs. That would be huge if teams had to come see us at Lucas Oil stadium instead of us having to play in the snow, wind and the elements.

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8 minutes ago, Fisticuffs111 said:

Pretty sure he clarified this last offseason even. Or at least I remember a lot of local writers describing last year as year one.

 

https://www.1070thefan.com/blogs/kevins-corner/colts-coverage/jim-irsay-colts-building-3-year-window

 

Thanks so much!   This is a great article, and I’ve never seen it before. 

 

And yet even in this this article about the rebuild and when it starts, the writer, Kevin Bowen,  uses some soft language implying even he is not 100 percent sure when the rebuild starts.  Ultimately, he accepts that it started in 2018 and ends after the 2020 season.

 

Interesting.   I hope you bookmark this so you can retrieve it next year when we’re still rebuilding and some posters are again wondering what Ballard is doing.

 

Really appreciate you finding and posting this.  Just what I hoped existed!

 

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So the 2017 draft was for a different scheme then.

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11 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

Thanks so much!   This is a great article, and I’ve never seen it before. 

 

And yet even in this this article about the rebuild and when it starts, the writer, Kevin Bowen,  uses some soft language implying even he is not 100 percent sure when the rebuild starts.  Ultimately, he accepts that it started in 2018 and ends after the 2020 season.

 

Interesting.   I hope you bookmark this so you can retrieve it next year when we’re still rebuilding and some posters are again wondering what Ballard is doing.

 

Really appreciate you finding and posting this.  Just what I hoped existed!

 


Yeah you're right, just saw that. 

What's funny is that there's even an Indy Star and Stampede Blue article from last year claiming Irsay said it was year one without actually providing a quote of it. So it's nice to actually have clarification from Irsay this year, with actual video evidence/quotes hah

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2 hours ago, Nesjan3 said:

I have to agree with Irsay, IMO Ballard wanted nothing to do with Pagano and that staff, i also think Pagano played a hand in the 17 draft.

I believe so also, Ballard was trying to work with a lame duck 

coach with a 3-4 defense and total different offense vs. the offensive system of Reich and Ballard' s 4-3 defense.

 

2018 was the first year drafting and finding free agents to fit both 

new schemes. 

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IMO those designations are a bit useless when it comes to competing and the season. It only matters when it comes to the moves we make in the off-season. Meaning - Ballard will not pursue splash 'go-for-it-now' type of moves this year, which we already figured out after FA. He will load up the roster with one more draft class before he truly goes for it with moves similar to the ones the Rams or Chicago did last year, or the Browns are doing now. Their window is now due to their QBs being cheap... our window is creeping up, because we are getting some great production from series of rookies on cheap deals, but might not be quite here yet precisely because of the youth of most of our roster. 

 

At the same time, we are good enough to pursue winning as much as the roster allows for during the season.  IMO we have enough talent to be competitive in most matchups, but probably still not competitive against the best of the best. As long as you are a fan who is OK with not doing deals to improve the roster "at all cost", IMO you will be alright with the season that's coming up. 

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One of the biggest issues with the Grigson era was him thinking the team was closer to competing for a title than it actually was. That led to all the failed FA signings and more importantly the Richardson trade. I'm good with a GM actually sticking to a solid plan and his convictions. Build the roster the right way and build the depth.

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7 hours ago, Rally5 said:

Here's what I very much don't like about this conversation coming from our owner.  It creates built-in excuses and blurs the line of expectation.  Now maybe Irsay is so smart that it's his way of taking pressure off a young team and inexperienced staff, I'd love that to be the case.  Perhaps this is true.  In my crude way of thinking after you go 10-6 it's no longer a re-build, to the point in the post above, you're always in some state of flux and re-build, this league is about winning and this team should be expected to do very well this year.  I predicted a 10 win season last year and this should be an 11-12 win team this year even with a more difficult schedule.  Some nuance to this opinion, I'm not the type of person that says the only successful outcome is winning the Super Bowl, I understand how many uncontrollable factors contribute to that result, yet I do expect this team to be a force in the AFC, I do expect a home playoff game, and I do expect us to be a serious contender.  If we want to call that a re-build that's fine as long as we win big along the way!

Very well said I agree. 

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4 hours ago, aaron11 said:

i think we should be going all in soon because we have andrew luck.  having a qb like that changes things somewhat imo.

 

if we had an average QB then id be more patient, but when you have a good/great one i think there should definitely be a timeline, heck lucks career is a timeline itself 

Ballard has said quite a few times 'it's' not about one player".  He has backed that up by saying "he wants the good teams to game plan for us, not the other way around".

We don't have the depth for that to be the case right now. Till we do I don't see too much change in his approach.

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48 minutes ago, Boiler_Colt said:

One of the biggest issues with the Grigson era was him thinking the team was closer to competing for a title than it actually was. That led to all the failed FA signings and more importantly the Richardson trade. I'm good with a GM actually sticking to a solid plan and his convictions. Build the roster the right way and build the depth.

What Grigson did is what some of the forum members want Ballard to do. Grigson let our record influence on how close he thought we were. He attempted to go for it but failed.

Personally I don't have a problem with Ballard's approach.

A draft and a 90 man roster is quickly coming up.

A lot to think about real soon.

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First, I Don't think we should rush to take every word out of Irsay's mouth literally.

 

Second, we were told  this would be like a 3 or 5 year Rebuild, I forget which, (I think it was the latter) when Ballard was hired. We were  NOT TOLD it would be a 3 year rebuild starting in year 3. Lol.

That downright trying to insult our intelligence. What were the first few years under Ballard, Madden?

 

It just could be for a cost conscious organization a excuse to continually find reasons not to spend and go after the Lombardi.

Hopefully it's just Irsay rambling on about nothing.

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We are clearly ahead of schedule. We were two games away from the SB. With the few things we have done so far we should be in the running for the SB next season. The depth on this team is starting to look really good. With Luck there is no reason we can’t be a fav for the SB next season. We need at least the number 2 seed. If we can get that we will have gotten over the hump and to the next level.

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12 minutes ago, LJpalmbeacher2 said:

First, I Don't think we should rush to take every word out of Irsay's mouth literally.

 

Second, we were told  this would be like a 3 or 5 year Rebuild, I forget which, (I think it was the latter) when Ballard was hired. We were  NOT TOLD it would be a 3 year rebuild starting in year 3. Lol.

That downright trying to insult our intelligence. What were the first few years under Ballard, Madden?

 

It just could be for a cost conscious organization a excuse to continually find reasons not to spend and go after the Lombardi.

Hopefully it's just Irsay rambling on about nothing.

I think you’ve mis-read my post.   I think you’ve misremembered what was said.   No mention of five years ever by anyone.  

 

And you didn’t read the article that Fisticuffs linked which would’ve straightened things out for you as it did for me. 

 

Nobody is trying to to insult anyone’s intelligence.   I don’t know where you get this stuff?

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48 minutes ago, LJpalmbeacher2 said:

First, I Don't think we should rush to take every word out of Irsay's mouth literally.

 

Second, we were told  this would be like a 3 or 5 year Rebuild, I forget which, (I think it was the latter) when Ballard was hired. We were  NOT TOLD it would be a 3 year rebuild starting in year 3. Lol.

That downright trying to insult our intelligence. What were the first few years under Ballard, Madden?

 

It just could be for a cost conscious organization a excuse to continually find reasons not to spend and go after the Lombardi.

Hopefully it's just Irsay rambling on about nothing.

Ballard has explained very clear on what his plan is. If you haven't been paying attention pretty much all his pressers are available in case you want to catch up.

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I'm guessing the 3 year plan is based on achieving a healthy roster balance of rookie contracts vs others. It's also likely assumes a certain draft success rate.

 

If 2018 was the start, I'd say we're ahead of plan on draft success rate, and thus a bit ahead on roster balance.

 

Two year, three year, four year, or whatever time frame...  etc.. it's all just a road map that any owner would expect of his GM. And, we never know how much the owner impacts the road map. Some owner may even provide the road map. I'm sure Irsay signed off on Grigson's game plan. Was it a bad game plan, or was it just not executed well? How much of that plan was Irsay's?

 

Regardless, we had a damn good year one. I don't think we'll ever see Ballard go gangbusters in FA ($ and term). Let's all hope for a stellar draft this year, and another big step forward in road map.

 

I'd also note that any good GM or owner, knows that sometime you need to deviate from plan from time to time based real time events/changes. 

 

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    • I have to disagree with the last sentence. I think Sean Taylor (The former Hurricane & Redskin safety) was and would have statistically been better than all 3 had he not been murdered.  That dude was what you’d get if you created a cyborg safety. Big. Fast. Physical. And immaculate receiver level ball skills...  I still love the other 3, especially the Colonel, but Taylor was on another level.  A combination of all 3.
    • This is a big compliment for KM.    
    • No, if he wants to go be a gm somewhere who are we to hold him back from that.
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