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Day one OTAs

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1 hour ago, stitches said:

Real NBA pundits, coaches and execs were parroting "Jump shooting teams cannot win in the NBA" and "You need low post presence to win" just like... 5-10 years ago. Data and analysis about the value of the 3 has been available for close to 20 years. You underestimate just how married people are to their old ways and how hard it is to teach the old dog new tricks, especially when this is all they've known for their whole lives and now you are telling them what they've been taught for 20-30-50 years is wrong. Some will adapt and flourish, most won't... 

 

My favorite quote that encapsulates perfectly the situation comes from a field that is MUCH more open to new ideas than football - science. And even there, there is a long history of resistance to new ideas. Physicist Max Planck once said "Science advances one funeral at a time". What he meant was that science doesn't advance by convincing the old guard that the new ideas are correct, but by the old timers just dying out and the new generation unburdened by emotional attachments to the old stuff being allowed to just follow where the evidence points to. 

 

BTW I do NOT think the run game is meaningless or that it doesn't have a role to play in today's game. It is extremely important in situational football, in end of game situations, in goalline and 3d and 4th and short situations, etc. I just do not think it serves anyone any good perpetuating myths about its importance for things that have been repeatedly shown to not correlate to run-game success. 

 

 

One of my issues and I belive Princeton Tiger brought it up also was when your running game is not very effective.  For example in Peytons last years in Indy our run game was abysmal and teams literally ignored all of our play action fakes. Or you can even look at some of our seasons under Pagano.  They dropped 8 and rushed three a large majority of the time because they had little fear that we could do anything on the ground.  Do you think that happens to us with a successful rushing attack? I personally don't believe so.

 

I think when you are able to run it forces the defense to leave less defenders in coverage.   I don't want to turn this into a long drawn out debate but I believe your contention was it isnt the amount of times you run but more of the effect of the play action itself.  So when the defense is ignoring the play action then what is it that would cause them to honor it again? I believe you would have get some kind of success from your running game which enhances those play action fakes.  It's not just the play action fakes themselves.  I don't really think you need any type of data during a game to tell you that if the defense is committing 8 men or more in the box you've got a better chance of completing passes on the defense.  What causes the defense to committ 8 to 9 men in the box?  A successful running game gets them to do that more often than not.  I think it creates more opportunities for you to face lighter numbers of defenders when you want to pass the ball.   I got to be honest here and say I can't go toe to toe with you on all that stat crunching, but there's just a few things I will just never buy about that data.   And if you're waiting for bodies(us old school thinkers) to die it's going to be a long, long, long time before that happens in the game of football.........

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"But really what is going to set the tone for us is going to be how we run the football. That is not going to change. We have to run the football. Our goal is going to be a top-five rushing football team. That will set up our play-action pass. That will set up all the big chunk plays. To me that will get us where we want to go.”

https://www.colts.com/news/top-takeaways-frank-reich-on-otas-day-1

 

 

Just as Reich has stated above I do believe a good ground game opens up more favorable passing opportunities because teams have to committ more personnel than they would like to run defense. That in itself sets up more opportunities for you to get one on one coverage down the field.  I think you get less of those opportunities if you can't run.   If I want more one on one coverage down field I'd like to know how I'm supposed to do that if I don't need to run? I guess maybe you'd say screens or something?  I'm sure he's saying this based off what he's experienced during games and what he's seen on film.

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7 hours ago, CR91 said:

Former colts reporter Caroline Cann now works for the panthers

 

 

 

Thats a bummer.  She is talented and her and Matt Taylor worked well together. 

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1 hour ago, krunk said:

One of my issues and I belive Princeton Tiger brought it up also was when your running game is not very effective.  For example in Peytons last years in Indy our run game was abysmal and teams literally ignored all of our play action fakes. Or you can even look at some of our seasons under Pagano.  They dropped 8 and rushed three a large majority of the time because they had little fear that we could do anything on the ground.  Do you think that happens to us with a successful rushing attack? I personally don't believe so.

IMO this is the wrong way to look at it. IMO the reason they drop 7-8 is not because they don't fear the run game - it's because they fear the pass game much more than they fear the run game. This is especially true when you have a combination of 1. Exceptional QB with great receivers and 2. bad running game. In general the level of fear that teams should show is:

 

1. Fear of great passing attack

2. Fear of bad passing attack

3. Fear of great running attack

4. Fear of bad running attack. 

 

And the distance between 1 and 4 should be light years! And when you get on your team both great passing attack and horrible running attack this forces opponents to send more help to cover. 

 

It is not a coincidence that teams with great running backs like KC(before Hunt got banished) and the Saints(Kamara) and the Rams(Gurley) faced the least amount of stacked boxes ... this goes directly against what you would assume teams would do in a situation where they face elite running backs. The reason is - they just feared those teams passing games MUCH MORE! The passing game dictates how many people you send to cover much more than the running game. 

 

And at the same time teams like Dallas, TEN, JAX had most stacked boxes - it's because the opponents didn't fear their passing game. I'm using just anecdotes here but the data overall supports that. The passing game strength overall dictates coverage vs run support much more than the quality of the run game. The weaker your pass game is the more stacked boxes you will see almost regardless of how good your RB/running game is. 

 

I said 'almost' above because I can see a situation where you need to have some base level of a threat from the run. You need to at least be a threat to run it.

 

Quote

I think when you are able to run it forces the defense to leave less defenders in coverage.   I don't want to turn this into a long drawn out debate but I believe your contention was it isnt the amount of times you run but more of the effect of the play action itself.  So when the defense is ignoring the play action then what is it that would cause them to honor it again? I believe you would have get some kind of success from your running game which enhances those play action fakes.  It's not just the play action fakes themselves.  I don't really think you need any type of data during a game to tell you that if the defense is committing 8 men or more in the box you've got a better chance of completing passes on the defense.  What causes the defense to committ 8 to 9 men in the box? 

The short answer is ... weak passing game. Notice that this is all relative. No team will 100% leave 8 in the box and not team will 100% leave 8 in coverage. We are talking about percentages. The weaker the passing game, the more attention your run game will get from the defense pre-snap. This is alignment based... now once the snap is made the defenders have to read run and pass keys in order to know whether they should choose optimal strategy for run defense or pass-defense. In general the reason play-action(and RPO) works is because of the THREAT of the run, not the success of the run(it doesn't matter if you run it for 4.2yards a run(where we were last year) or 4.7yard a run(where Reich wants us to be). So ... my point is not that you have to completely ignore the run. You don't ignore it. You still have to keep the threat that you will run it(by running it often enough) in order to make the defenders still read the keys and give you the extra second or so that running the play action gives you while the defenders are reading the run key you are giving(faking to) them. You just don't generally care much if you run for 4.7 or 4.2 when it comes to your passing game or your play-action game. Teams react the same way to 4.7y teams as they do to 4.2y teams when it comes to play action as long as you keep the threat that you will run high enough to make defenders still read their run keys. (now this is another thing I have not seen yet, but expect at some point in the future- some defensive coordinator will say - just screw it - play the pass 100% and don't read the run keys... play the run on your way to the passer and I don't know what will happen then) 

 

Quote

A successful running game gets them to do that more often than not.  I think it creates more opportunities for you to face lighter numbers of defenders when you want to pass the ball.   I got to be honest here and say I can't go toe to toe with you on all that stat crunching, but there's just a few things I will just never buy about that data.   And if you're waiting for bodies(us old school thinkers) to die it's going to be a long, long, long time before that happens in the game of football.....

 

Well, that quote is a bit of an exaggeration to bring the point across. You won't really wait for the old timers to die out. Just... the more young blood comes in(Shanahan, McVey, etc.) and tries the new stuff and succeeds with it against the old strategies the more the old timers that are unable to adjust will lose their jobs to the new kids and so on. This pretty much already happened in the NBA. It's a new league now compared to just 5-10 years ago. It didn't happen because the old timers died out, it happened because the new strategies proved better and more efficient and even some of the old timers borrowed from them and incorporated them into their game plans. IMO similar things are happening and will continue to happen in the NFL. It probably will take longer because in general the NFL seems more conservative of a league but IMO it will happen sooner or later. 

 

In 20-30 years I think we will be laughing at things like "establish the run" or "first we need to stop the run", just like we would be laughing at statements like "what this team really needs is more post ups for their center" or "this guy should have just taken one dribble into the 2p range and taken the shorter 20 feet jumper instead of the 24 feet open 3" in the NBA-context right now. 

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1 hour ago, krunk said:

"But really what is going to set the tone for us is going to be how we run the football. That is not going to change. We have to run the football. Our goal is going to be a top-five rushing football team. That will set up our play-action pass. That will set up all the big chunk plays. To me that will get us where we want to go.”

https://www.colts.com/news/top-takeaways-frank-reich-on-otas-day-1

 

 

Just as Reich has stated above I do believe a good ground game opens up more favorable passing opportunities because teams have to committ more personnel than they would like to run defense. That in itself sets up more opportunities for you to get one on one coverage down the field.  I think you get less of those opportunities if you can't run.   If I want more one on one coverage down field I'd like to know how I'm supposed to do that if I don't need to run? I guess maybe you'd say screens or something?  I'm sure he's saying this based off what he's experienced during games and what he's seen on film.

You know what the weirdest thing is... 

 

I swear I heard either a Frank Reich interview or a Philly journalist/analyst telling a story about how the staff in Philly with the Eagles was given mini-projects about challenging conventional wisdom and researching whether the well known narratives were true or not and Reich got a project about studying whether the play action game is affected by the run success or not and they came back with the answer that it wasn't(what I've been saying here and what statistical studies show)... the thing is... I have this memory in my head but I cannot find the source material so I'm not sure 1. if it was Reich telling the story... or 2. if it wasn't Reich, I cannot tell whether the Philly journalist is mistaken or is mis-attributing the story of another assistant in Philly to Reich... 3... if it's some weird and completely made up memory in my mind(???)... 

 

If 1 is true or the journalist from 2 is not mistaken... I have no idea why Frank would lie and play clueless now? Maybe he thinks there is some value to be gained from opponents thinking he's clueless about it, but this seems like a way too odd and elaborate thing to do over a full off-season in order to convince outside people that you really like the run game... I don't know. I've tried to find the source material before but I can't seem to be able to... I will try again tomorrow and if I do I will post my findings. 

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Frank throwing out easy to follow cliches to media.  I wouldn't read anything into it.

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1 hour ago, stitches said:

IMO this is the wrong way to look at it. IMO the reason they drop 7-8 is not because they don't fear the run game - it's because they fear the pass game much more than they fear the run game. This is especially true when you have a combination of 1. Exceptional QB with great receivers and 2. bad running game. In general the level of fear that teams should show is:

 

1. Fear of great passing attack

2. Fear of bad passing attack

3. Fear of great running attack

4. Fear of bad running attack. 

 

And the distance between 1 and 4 should be light years! And when you get on your team both great passing attack and horrible running attack this forces opponents to send more help to cover. 

 

It is not a coincidence that teams with great running backs like KC(before Hunt got banished) and the Saints(Kamara) and the Rams(Gurley) faced the least amount of stacked boxes ... this goes directly against what you would assume teams would do in a situation where they face elite running backs. The reason is - they just feared those teams passing games MUCH MORE! The passing game dictates how many people you send to cover much more than the running game. 

 

And at the same time teams like Dallas, TEN, JAX had most stacked boxes - it's because the opponents didn't fear their passing game. I'm using just anecdotes here but the data overall supports that. The passing game strength overall dictates coverage vs run support much more than the quality of the run game. The weaker your pass game is the more stacked boxes you will see almost regardless of how good your RB/running game is. 

 

I said 'almost' above because I can see a situation where you need to have some base level of a threat from the run. You need to at least be a threat to run it.

 

The short answer is ... weak passing game. Notice that this is all relative. No team will 100% leave 8 in the box and not team will 100% leave 8 in coverage. We are talking about percentages. The weaker the passing game, the more attention your run game will get from the defense pre-snap. This is alignment based... now once the snap is made the defenders have to read run and pass keys in order to know whether they should choose optimal strategy for run defense or pass-defense. In general the reason play-action(and RPO) works is because of the THREAT of the run, not the success of the run(it doesn't matter if you run it for 4.2yards a run(where we were last year) or 4.7yard a run(where Reich wants us to be). So ... my point is not that you have to completely ignore the run. You don't ignore it. You still have to keep the threat that you will run it(by running it often enough) in order to make the defenders still read the keys and give you the extra second or so that running the play action gives you while the defenders are reading the run key you are giving(faking to) them. You just don't generally care much if you run for 4.7 or 4.2 when it comes to your passing game or your play-action game. Teams react the same way to 4.7y teams as they do to 4.2y teams when it comes to play action as long as you keep the threat that you will run high enough to make defenders still read their run keys. (now this is another thing I have not seen yet, but expect at some point in the future- some defensive coordinator will say - just screw it - play the pass 100% and don't read the run keys... play the run on your way to the passer and I don't know what will happen then) 

 

 

Well, that quote is a bit of an exaggeration to bring the point across. You won't really wait for the old timers to die out. Just... the more young blood comes in(Shanahan, McVey, etc.) and tries the new stuff and succeeds with it against the old strategies the more the old timers that are unable to adjust will lose their jobs to the new kids and so on. This pretty much already happened in the NBA. It's a new league now compared to just 5-10 years ago. It didn't happen because the old timers died out, it happened because the new strategies proved better and more efficient and even some of the old timers borrowed from them and incorporated them into their game plans. IMO similar things are happening and will continue to happen in the NFL. It probably will take longer because in general the NFL seems more conservative of a league but IMO it will happen sooner or later. 

 

In 20-30 years I think we will be laughing at things like "establish the run" or "first we need to stop the run", just like we would be laughing at statements like "what this team really needs is more post ups for their center" or "this guy should have just taken one dribble into the 2p range and taken the shorter 20 feet jumper instead of the 24 feet open 3" in the NBA-context right now. 

So, in other words, it would benefit a team like us to have an elite RB because of Luck and run it less, than say, the Titans having Derrick Henry and running it down people's throats because they have Mariota at QB? It's about the perceived pass threat that makes the run game more effective? Just making sure I'm understanding this right.

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https://www.colts.com/news/2019-colts-practice-notes-otas-day-1

Quote

 

2019 Colts Practice Notes: OTAs, Day 1

Andrew Walker COLTS.COM WRITER

 

INDIANAPOLIS — It not only looked like football was back. It felt like it, too.

The Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday held their first OTA practice of the offseason, and were greeted with fall-like conditions at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, with overcast skies and temperatures in the low-50s.

 

The action on the field was anything but cool, however, as most of the team’s 90-man roster was quickly moving from drill to drill, and then from play to play, as the players and coaches got the chances to conduct team-on-team drills for the first time all offseason.

So what were the top takeaways from the first day of OTA practices?

 

» Quarterback Andrew Luck was a non-participant Tuesday, as he deals with a calf strain. Head coach Frank Reich said after the session that Luck is being held out as a precaution, and he will be re-evaluated at the beginning of next week.

 

» That left three quarterbacks for the session: Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly, who was signed by the team on Monday. Reich said the plan is for the team to keep four quarterbacks for the remainder of the offseason and into camp and the preseason, just like last year when the team had Luck, Brissett, Walker and Brad Kaaya.

 

» We knew heading into the week that wide receiver Deon Cain, tight end Ross Travis, linebacker Darius Leonard and tight end Jack Doyle won’t likely be involved in on-the-field activities until training camp due to their respective injuries and recovery timelines. Others who watched from the sidelines Tuesday included wide receiver Penny Hart, safety Clayton Geathers, cornerback Chris Milton, defensive tackle Jihad Ward, defensive end Jegs Jegede, tight end Eric Ebron and defensive end Jabaal Sheard. The team does not release an injury report during the offseason workout program, so keep an eye out for any injury-related updates when training camp gets underway in late-July.

 

» Among those not sitting out Tuesday were wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Marcus Johnson. Hilton suffered a low and high ankle sprain Week 14 against the Houston Texans last season but continued to play through the injury the rest of the year, including two playoff contests. Hilton was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice session, however, and even was the intended recipient of the first play of 11-on-11 action, a deep pass attempt down the right sideline from Brissett that just fell incomplete. Johnson, meanwhile, suffered a season-ending ankle injury Week 6 against the New York Jets, but was also back on the practice field Tuesday. Good news for the Colts’ receiving corps.

 

» Safeties Malik Hooker and Matthias Farley both were also able to practice on Tuesday, as was linebacker Skai Moore. General manager Chris Ballard said recently he anticipated Hooker being able to take part in the entire offseason program after dealing with some injury issues late last season. Farley, meanwhile, suffered a season-ending wrist injury Week 5 against the New England Patriots, while Moore was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 18 with a neck injury. Moore, who tied the South Carolina record with 14 career interceptions, picked off a pass during 7-on-7 drills Tuesday.

 

» Staying at wide receiver, Tuesday was a solid day for a couple newcomers to the position in particular: Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Funchess, who signed with Indy this offseason as a free agent after spending the first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers, was catching everything thrown his direction, including an impressive 50-50 back-shoulder throw from Brissett where he was draped by cornerback Pierre Desir. The second-round pick Campbell, meanwhile, certainly didn’t look like a rookie in his first official full team practice, as he showed off his speed running routes all over the field, including a nice play out of the slot on a deep slant to the right sideline, hauling in a pass in front of safety George Odum.

 

» Campbell was also seen working in as a punt returner alongside Chester Rogers. Campbell was a dangerous kick returner at Ohio State, but never logged any punt returns in college; he sure looked comfortable fielding punts from Rigoberto Sanchez on a windy Tuesday in Indy, however.

 

» Another second-round pick, Ben Banogu, is officially listed as a linebacker, but on Tuesday he was seen mostly running with the defensive linemen and rushing off the edge. That’s primarily what Banogu did in his college days at TCU, and Ballard has alluded to the fact that he’ll have a role getting after the quarterback on passing downs. But Banogu is also going to be counted on in open space as a linebacker, where he can use his speed and striking ability. We’ll keep an eye on where Banogu is lined up next week.

 

» With Doyle, Ebron and Travis watching practice from the sidelines, Mo Alie-Cox was utilized as the No. 1 tight end on Tuesday, and he was certainly a standout on the offensive side of the ball. Remember: Alie-Cox stopped playing organized football after middle school to focus on basketball, and he ended up becoming a standout on the court for VCU. But the Colts liked his raw athleticism and size, and decided to bring him along as a project at tight end in 2017; last year, he got his first full-time action on the NFL field in Indy, appearing in nine games and logging seven receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Reich on Tuesday raved about Alie-Cox’s development as a route runner, and that showed on Tuesday. He’s yet another talented piece at a major position of strength for the Colts.

 

» Continuing a theme from last year’s OTA and training camp practices, it was hard to get a read on just who was lining up with the “first-team” or “second-team” defense. Coordinator Matt Eberflus likes to mix and match various position groups throughout practice, which helps players get used to playing with all sorts of different combinations once the games actually begin. The defense overall looked quick as advertised on Tuesday, however; cornerback Shakial Taylor and safety Rolan Milligan each logged interceptions during 11-on-11 work.

 

» The Colts will continue OTA practices this week on Wednesday and Thursday. The next scheduled opportunity for the media to watch practice is next Wednesday (May 29).

 

 

-Loved the good news on Funchess and Campbell (both at WR and PR). With Campbell getting an early shot at PR, probably bad news for Dulin (and Hart to an extent). Early, but like how things are shaping up at WR.

 

-Banogu - again starting to think all the LB  talk was more spitballing than substance.

 

-Cox getting reps and praise is great. As I don't expect both Ebron and Doyle to be back, it's nice that Cox is showing his stuff.

 

-Lots of folks banged up or in recovery mode. Really hope all return to health, and the injury bug stays away.

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5 hours ago, stitches said:

I don't know if they will be forcing it, but it certainly sounds like improving the run game is one of the main focuses according to Reich's stated objectives. He keeps repeating it in pretty much every public appearance he's made this off-season. He also keeps repeating that the improved run game will help the play action game and the passing game in general. Every single piece of statistical analysis I've seen says there is zero evidence to support that old-time narrative. Better run game does NOT improve the play-action and passing success.  It goes the other way around - better passing game improves the run game. 

 

The thing that keeps me optimistic is that I have not noticed this belief of Reich's negatively impact his playcalling... he seems very solid overall in this regard. He seems to have either pretty good help with game-to-game analytics, or his instincts are superb... or Luck is helping out a lot with on-field adjustments... or some combination of all of those. I guess... I will say  - until I see it negatively impact the playcalling, it will be just a nervous annoyance with his public statements. 

Maybe his goal is to improve the run game....through the pass game, as the statistics suggest? IDK.  I'm definitely excited to see how this season unfolds for sure!

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His goal is to improve the oline which will improve the run game. I think that is very clear. There are articles about this today. Nelson talked about improving technique today. This is why they fired the oline coach.

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3 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

So, in other words, it would benefit a team like us to have an elite RB because of Luck and run it less, than say, the Titans having Derrick Henry and running it down people's throats because they have Mariota at QB? It's about the perceived pass threat that makes the run game more effective? Just making sure I'm understanding this right.

The second part is correct(perceived pass threat usually makes opponents send less people in the box and create more advantageous run situations), the first part about having elite RB - I'm not sure about. I mean... sure... if you can just snap your fingers and have an elite RB for the same money and without spending premier assets ... sure... have at it. I'm not sure having elite RB is worth investing big asset(1st... maybe even 2nd round pick? or huge contract). Generally the factors by importance for your run game go something like this:

 

1. Quality of your OLine run blocking 

2. Quality of your pass game

 

3. Quality of your running back

 

It's not "not important", but it's probably not worth the capital you need to invest in order to achieve it. 

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14 hours ago, shastamasta said:

 

Nothing wrong with wanting to improve the run game...I just think we don't know what "improvement" looks like. Is it running the ball a lot more...or is it about efficiency?

 

Ultimatley, I just don't think the run game is what drives an offense. I don't think you can get teams to stack the box against Luck. So yes...you take the what the defense gives you.

 

Well, it is not just about running more, it's about running effectively.  If the Colts have to get 2-3 yards in order to get a first down and they are able to do that by running the football.  Then they will have the opponent on their heels and the offense as a whole will be more effective.  

 

I agree that you take what the defense gives you, but I would bet that if the Colts were able to consistently have runs of 6+ yards, the defense would try to stack the box, even against Luck.

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22 hours ago, CR91 said:

Former colts reporter Caroline Cann now works for the panthers

 

 

 

That's the hashtag she chose huh? lol 

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16 hours ago, DougDew said:

So.  He's the 13th rated safety, so he'd get a top 13 contract.  Not bad.  Not a top 5, but not bad.

 

It's hard to rack up a lot of impressive stats like INTs and Passes Defensed when the ball doesn't even come near you.  He's the 13th rated safety in overall stats, but he's #1 at what he does best.

 

#1 in snaps/reception and #1 in snaps/target means other teams don't throw to his zone, so he is essentially shutting down entire areas of the field.  #4 in yds/snap means he is forcing short throws into underneath coverage where guys like Darius Leonard are waiting to make the play on the ball.

 

He is the best in the NFL at doing what he is supposed to do in our system: prevent the deep ball.  Don't be surprised if he is the highest paid safety in the league when it comes time for the Colts to re-sign him.

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14 hours ago, stitches said:

You know what the weirdest thing is... 

 

I swear I heard either a Frank Reich interview or a Philly journalist/analyst telling a story about how the staff in Philly with the Eagles was given mini-projects about challenging conventional wisdom and researching whether the well known narratives were true or not and Reich got a project about studying whether the play action game is affected by the run success or not and they came back with the answer that it wasn't(what I've been saying here and what statistical studies show)... the thing is... I have this memory in my head but I cannot find the source material so I'm not sure 1. if it was Reich telling the story... or 2. if it wasn't Reich, I cannot tell whether the Philly journalist is mistaken or is mis-attributing the story of another assistant in Philly to Reich... 3... if it's some weird and completely made up memory in my mind(???)... 

 

If 1 is true or the journalist from 2 is not mistaken... I have no idea why Frank would lie and play clueless now? Maybe he thinks there is some value to be gained from opponents thinking he's clueless about it, but this seems like a way too odd and elaborate thing to do over a full off-season in order to convince outside people that you really like the run game... I don't know. I've tried to find the source material before but I can't seem to be able to... I will try again tomorrow and if I do I will post my findings. 

 

 You can blather all the statistics, analytics you want. 
  Having 2nd/3rd and long is an advantage for the defense.
 Just as having 3rd and 2 is a big adavantage for the offense.
 We were watching Reich run the ball on first And 2nd down to get short yardage and seeing Luck lead the league in converting. 
Reich KNOWS that Any team that can pound the ball inside totally opens up the whole offense. THAT will never change.
 Anyone that has watched enough football has witnessed championship caliber teams that can force their will in the running game, having the best chance to win week in and week out, and to win against the best come playoff time.
 Something near a 50/50 balance is ideal.
 Obviously there is a place for teams that acquire levels of talent that allows them to lean more to the passing attack, the question becomes, does it give such a team the best odds to hoist the SB trophy compared to a team that can wear them down with the run game, especially in the 4th quarter.
 I know i don't want more pass happy MVP Manning like seasons with his horrific record of 7 times not being able to win a single playoff game. Nothing GOAT about that!

 

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56 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

It's hard to rack up a lot of impressive stats like INTs and Passes Defensed when the ball doesn't even come near you.  He's the 13th rated safety in overall stats, but he's #1 at what he does best.

 

#1 in snaps/reception and #1 in snaps/target means other teams don't throw to his zone, so he is essentially shutting down entire areas of the field.  #4 in yds/snap means he is forcing short throws into underneath coverage where guys like Darius Leonard are waiting to make the play on the ball.

 

He is the best in the NFL at doing what he is supposed to do in our system: prevent the deep ball.  Don't be surprised if he is the highest paid safety in the league when it comes time for the Colts to re-sign him.

I don't really know the coverage packages the Colts ran most of the time.  But I doubt others have either before showering praise.

 

I believe he is ranked #1 in "deep ball preventions" because he is taking away the deep ball in only one half of the field, (his zone) not the deep ball in the entire field, (a bigger deep zone) like Ed Reed would be responsible for in the Pagano defense.  (we changed schemes)

 

So the stat is irrelevant if it is not adjusted for safeties who are responsible for one half of the back half of the field, compared to safeties who are responsible for for the entire back half of the field. 

 

I have read where we have not been able to use him for which he was drafted (cover 1?) because we don't have the other players available to let him roam the entire back half consistently.   

 

Definitions:

 

Cover One is a man-to-man coverage for all the defensive backs except for one player (usually a safety) who is not assigned a man to cover but rather plays deep zone and reacts to the development of the play. In a traditional Cover 1, the free safety plays deep and all of the other defenders lock in man coverage to an assigned player for the duration of the play.

 

In traditional Cover 2 schemes the free safety (FS) and strong safety (SS) have deep responsibilities, each guarding half of the field. The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants run a variant of this defense called the Tampa 2. 

 

You need to know if the stat accounts for safeties playing cover 2 or cover 1.  Safeties who have limited targets in more plays in cover 1 are more impressive when speaking in terms of taking away the deep ball.  Not to mention if the other players assigned coverages underneath (CBs, SSs, and LBs) stink, the QB will simply take the intermediate routes because of how bad those guys are, not because of how good the FS is.  Which equals fewer targets/snap for the FS, even though the play of the FS had little to do with impacting the stat.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, DougDew said:

You need to know if the stat accounts for safeties playing cover 2 or cover 1.  Safeties who have limited targets in more plays in cover 1 are more impressive when speaking in terms of taking away the deep ball.

 

We've had this same conversation before.

 

You do this every time Malik Hooker is recognized for his play.

 

You're willing to discount his play even though you admit you don't have all the statistical analysis to prove it, yet won't praise his play without die-hard comprehensive proof.  That says you have a preconceived opinion of him that you don't want to change.  :thinking:

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2 hours ago, lollygagger8 said:

 

That's the hashtag she chose huh? lol 

Hehehe, don't mind if I do!  Lol!

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1 hour ago, throwing BBZ said:


 I know i don't want more pass happy MVP Manning like seasons with his horrific record of 7 times not being able to win a single playoff game. Nothing GOAT about that!

 

Nothing GOAT about that you say.......lol

 

Manning led teams went 9-10 from 1999 thru 2010 in the playoffs. 

 

1999 - gave up 197 rushing yards and won the turnover battle and lost to TEN

 

2000 - gave up 209 yards to Lamar f%$&ing Smith and lost in OT AFTER Vandershank missed the GW field goal - plus 3 in turnovers in this game too.

 

2002 - minus 3 in turnovers and got blown out of the water by the Jets

 

2003 - 2-1 in the playoffs and got raped by Ty Law and NE's DB's - which you may recall that rule changes were made after that year. Minus 3 in turnovers

 

2004 - 1-1 and gave up 210 rushing yards to NE. Minus 3 in turnovers.

 

2005 - lost to PIT when Vandershank missed again for the win.

 

2006 - 4-0 and won SB

 

2007 - minus 2 in turnovers in a close SD game

 

2008 - OT Loss to SD in another nail biter

 

2009 - 2-1 and lost to NO in the SB

 

2010 - Outrushed by almost 100 yards yet again

 

I would say Manning played better than you think just looking at the "losses". The 3-4 defenses of the Chargers, Patriots and Jets gave him fits BUT realistically the defense got ran out of the building several times and the * drunken kicker missed a few game winners as well. 

 

What happens if the defense played better?

 

What happens if Vandershank makes those kicks.

 

Momentum is a thing.

 

The "Tuck Rule" certainly helped propel a certain franchise in the right direction. Oh by the way, how many games did Vinatieri win for that franchise in the playoffs?

 

It's amazing knowing you have a great kicker backing you up as the QB - then you just have to get in scoring position. The flipside of that is not trusting your * kicker and feel like you've gotta do it on your own.....

 

Manning will never be known as the GOAT because most people can't see past SB Wins and Losses. They can't see how they revolutionized the game or how they handled themselves with dignity and class even after a gut wrenching loss (unlike some other not so classy/humble QB's).

 

There is more to being the GOAT than simply wins and losses. But hey, that's your opinion and this is mine.

 

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

I don't really know the coverage packages the Colts ran most of the time.  But I doubt others have either before showering praise.

 

I believe he is ranked #1 in "deep ball preventions" because he is taking away the deep ball in only one half of the field, (his zone) not the deep ball in the entire field, (a bigger deep zone) like Ed Reed would be responsible for in the Pagano defense.  (we changed schemes)

 

So the stat is irrelevant if it is not adjusted for safeties who are responsible for one half of the back half of the field, compared to safeties who are responsible for for the entire back half of the field. 

 

I have read where we have not been able to use him for which he was drafted (cover 1?) because we don't have the other players available to let him roam the entire back half consistently.   

 

Definitions:

 

Cover One is a man-to-man coverage for all the defensive backs except for one player (usually a safety) who is not assigned a man to cover but rather plays deep zone and reacts to the development of the play. In a traditional Cover 1, the free safety plays deep and all of the other defenders lock in man coverage to an assigned player for the duration of the play.

 

In traditional Cover 2 schemes the free safety (FS) and strong safety (SS) have deep responsibilities, each guarding half of the field. The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants run a variant of this defense called the Tampa 2. 

 

You need to know if the stat accounts for safeties playing cover 2 or cover 1.  Safeties who have limited targets in more plays in cover 1 are more impressive when speaking in terms of taking away the deep ball.  Not to mention if the other players assigned coverages underneath (CBs, SSs, and LBs) stink, the QB will simply take the intermediate routes because of how bad those guys are, not because of how good the FS is.  Which equals fewer targets/snap for the FS, even though the play of the FS had little to do with impacting the stat.

 

 

 

 

Hooker is good. I think he will be better this year a year removed from his knee injury. Really interested how he plays this year. His numbers are down IMO because of what you have stated SCHEME! I do think his numbers go up this year, due to familiarity with the defense, knee, and being able to practice now for the first time this early in the season, at this juncture. I think hes going to have a nice year if he doesn't get hurt.

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1 minute ago, Horse Shoe Heaven said:

His numbers are down IMO because of what you have stated SCHEME! I do think his numbers go up this year, due to familiarity with the defense, knee, and being able to practice now for the first time this early in the season, at this juncture.

 

What numbers?

 

Like I stated, you're not going to pile up stats like INTs and Deflections when the other team avoids throwing the ball at you.

 

The numbers provided earlier already show him as the best at what he does.  You can't improve upon being #1 at how often your zone is targeted and how often you allow receptions.  If the trend continues, his INT and Deflection numbers might actually go down, but that wouldn't be a bad thing if it means QBs are avoiding his zone all the time.

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2 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

What numbers?

 

Like I stated, you're not going to pile up stats like INTs and Deflections when the other team avoids throwing the ball at you.

 

The numbers provided earlier already show him as the best at what he does.  You can't improve upon being #1 at how often your zone is targeted and how often you allow receptions.  If the trend continues, his INT and Deflection numbers might actually go down, but that wouldn't be a bad thing if it means QBs are avoiding his zone all the time.

Numbers compared to his first year. Look I don't DISAGREE with you. I watch safety play a great deal, as  i was a D-1 safety myself. There are a lot of factors that go into Hookers zone targets. Who you play a lot ie our division is not a pass happy division by any sense of the word. The Colts are a light weight wise defense I think teams in general try to run against the Colts. I watched Hooker a lot last year, I think teams know he has ball hawking skills, but I NEVER got the oppion that teams avoided him either. I honestly expect him to be better this year based on defense familiarity and health.

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2 minutes ago, Horse Shoe Heaven said:

as  i was a D-1 safety myself.

 

That's awesome.  That deep centerfield free safety was always my favorite to play.

 

I'm excited to see Hooker in more Cover-3 looks like Seattle used to do with Earl Thomas.

 

If Hooker improves his tackling/ball-punching technique, we might see his Tackle/FF numbers go up quite a bit this year.  :thmup:

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2 hours ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

We've had this same conversation before.

 

You do this every time Malik Hooker is recognized for his play.

 

You're willing to discount his play even though you admit you don't have all the statistical analysis to prove it, yet won't praise his play without die-hard comprehensive proof.  That says you have a preconceived opinion of him that you don't want to change.  :thinking:

No.  I'm not discounting his play while not having all the statistical analysis.  What I'm doing is not awarding praise when I don't have all of the statistical analysis.     

 

Once I know what his assignments are relative to other safeties in the NFL, then I'll be in position to either praise or discount.  Not before.    

 

If you want to praise him now, and speculate upon what type of contract he'll get three years from now, be my guest.  But if I point out that he covers one half of the deep field whereas others he is ranked against might be assigned to cover the entire deep field, that's a simple fact, not a preconceived opinion.

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32 minutes ago, Horse Shoe Heaven said:

Hooker is good. I think he will be better this year a year removed from his knee injury. Really interested how he plays this year. His numbers are down IMO because of what you have stated SCHEME! I do think his numbers go up this year, due to familiarity with the defense, knee, and being able to practice now for the first time this early in the season, at this juncture. I think hes going to have a nice year if he doesn't get hurt.

Agreed.  There are a lot of moving parts to Hooker's situation that are tough to sort out and weigh.   I assume as time moves on, he'll have more opportunities to play the role he was drafted to play.  But I can't pre-judge that before it happens.

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2 minutes ago, DougDew said:

No.  I'm not discounting his play while not having all the statistical analysis.  What I'm doing is not awarding praise when I don't have all of the statistical analysis.

 

Ok, so when a graphic is presented that illustrates how little he is targeted with his 1st, 1st, and 4th rankings in coverage stats, it's just coincidence that you ignore those and comment on his 13th ranking?  Riiiight...

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Just now, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

Ok, so when a graphic is presented that illustrates how little he is targeted with his 1st, 1st, and 4th rankings in coverage stats, it's just coincidence that you ignore those and comment on his 13th ranking?  Riiiight...

I don't know why you choose to ignore this basic concept when it comes to Hooker.....

 

If Greg Toler is one starting CB and a relative fencepost is the other starting CB, wouldn't Greg Toler be ranked #1 in the NFL for lack of targeting?

 

Ballard drafted a lot of back seven defensive players.  It should tell you what he thought of all players not Hooker.

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7 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I don't know why you choose to ignore this basic concept when it comes to Hooker.....

 

I'm not ignoring anything.

 

Can you link something that illustrates Hooker is bad at his job?

 

Because almost everything I've seen is showing he is pretty darn good at his job.

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10 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

I'm not ignoring anything.

 

Can you link something that illustrates Hooker is bad at his job?

 

Because almost everything I've seen is showing he is pretty darn good at his job.

No, since I've never claimed he was bad at his job.  I've said that given the circumstances, I don't know how good he is.  I've explained this several times in this thread, and all threads about Hooker I comment in.  Why do you pretend to not understand the difference?

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9 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I've said that given the circumstances, I don't know how good he is.

 

I understand.  Due to injuries, he hasn't been able to completely prove himself.  But aside from his lack of availability (which I admit is a big deal), everything points to him being a really good safety.

 

9 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Why do you pretend to not understand the difference?

 

I'm just wondering what it's going to take for you to say "Ok, fine, Hooker is good."  If he stays healthy for the entire season and makes the Pro Bowl, it will just confirm what most of us have been seeing since his first game.

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2 hours ago, Scott Pennock said:

2003 - 2-1 in the playoffs and got raped by Ty Law and NE's DB's - which you may recall that rule changes were made after that year. Minus 3 in turnovers

 

No.

 

No rule changes were made. Existing rules were reemphasized. This has been a Pats fan favorite statement ever since that season. 

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1 hour ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

I understand.  Due to injuries, he hasn't been able to completely prove himself.  But aside from his lack of availability (which I admit is a big deal), everything points to him being a really good safety.

 

 

I'm just wondering what it's going to take for you to say "Ok, fine, Hooker is good."  If he stays healthy for the entire season and makes the Pro Bowl, it will just confirm what most of us have been seeing since his first game.

He's fine.  He's pretty good.  Even if he plays no better than pick 50, that's fine too. You may get lucky and he ends up making the plays he was drafted to make after having better teammates around him (like he did at OSU), but that still wouldn't confirm anything.

 

I'm assuming Ballard took a CB with his first pick of the draft, traded up 20 spots for another S, and drafted probably a coverage MIKE because he felt the underneath coverage left gaping holes everywhere.  To a point where QBs didn't target Hooker because he was the best DB on field simply by default.  The idea that QBs didn't throw his way because they were afraid to seems like biased speculation hoping to confirm something. 

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2 hours ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

I understand.  Due to injuries, he hasn't been able to completely prove himself.  But aside from his lack of availability (which I admit is a big deal), everything points to him being a really good safety.

 

 

I'm just wondering what it's going to take for you to say "Ok, fine, Hooker is good."  If he stays healthy for the entire season and makes the Pro Bowl, it will just confirm what most of us have been seeing since his first game.

 

Lucky, 

 

It is not worth the effort, it's just not.

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2 hours ago, Four2itus said:

No.

 

No rule changes were made. Existing rules were reemphasized. This has been a Pats fan favorite statement ever since that season. 

Fair enough, they "emphasized" the rules and actually started applying them properly after that. Still doesn't change the outcome where their DB's were raping Harrison, Wayne, et al. With one exception.....one of Ty Laws interceptions was simply amazing and I'll give him every credit in the world for it.

 

It's also the game where Belichek tripped Marvin after one of Ty Laws interceptions as he was trying to come back on the field to make a tackle. 

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

No, since I've never claimed he was bad at his job.  I've said that given the circumstances, I don't know how good he is.  I've explained this several times in this thread, and all threads about Hooker I comment in.  Why do you pretend to not understand the difference?

 

bro wanna be right so bad lol it’s sickening. He’s a safety playing en a cover 2 scheme. That en itself is his protection. it’s literally begging the opposition to do everything else but throw it deep.

 

When Hooker starts making plays like Eddie Jackson call me. For now he’s iight

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2 hours ago, Scott Pennock said:

Fair enough, they "emphasized" the rules and actually started applying them properly after that. Still doesn't change the outcome where their DB's were raping Harrison, Wayne, et al. With one exception.....one of Ty Laws interceptions was simply amazing and I'll give him every credit in the world for it.

 

It's also the game where Belichek tripped Marvin after one of Ty Laws interceptions as he was trying to come back on the field to make a tackle. 

For clarity, I hated how the Pats got away with crap in that game. 

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I was glad to hear funchess looked very good even with bad QB play.

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

The idea that QBs didn't throw his way because they were afraid to seems like biased speculation hoping to confirm something.

 

2 hours ago, MFT5 said:

When Hooker starts making plays like Eddie Jackson call me. For now he’s iight

 

I certainly don't need to prove anything.

 

I'll just let Hookers' play do the talking for him.

 

If he can't stay healthy, his career will be too short like Bob Sanders.  But if he stays healthy, he might be the next Ed Reed.

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20 hours ago, Scott Pennock said:

2003 - 2-1 in the playoffs and got raped by Ty Law and NE's DB's - which you may recall that rule changes were made after that year. Minus 3 in turnovers

 

17 hours ago, Four2itus said:

No.

 

No rule changes were made. Existing rules were reemphasized. This has been a Pats fan favorite statement ever since that season. 

 

Correct.  Ty Law didn't change the rules, essentially it was Mel Blount that did.

 

In 1977, defenders were permitted to make contact with eligible receivers only once; the head slap was outlawed ...

 

**In 1978, rules changes permitted a defender to maintain contact (just once, and not tackle) with a receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage, but restricted contact beyond that point.**

 

As officials looked away more and more each year, that game and Law had the competition committee look at all games, the D style of Patriots and Panthers (just to name two), and reemphasize the illegal contact rule (possibly known more as the 'chuck' rule back then) in 2004.  Pat's fans say it was Polian crying and ramrodding the competition committee to make a rule for Peyton.  It was actually Mike Martz and Tony Dungy of the subcommittee that introduced it.  Mike Holmgren was involved. Jeff Fisher (Co-Chair and ex defensive back) and Rich McKay (Co-Chair) and the whole competition committee (including Ozzie Newsome, Polian, etc...) made the point of emphasis effective.  Many teams besides Pats weren't happy.

 

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nonsense-xpm-2004-08-06-0408060179-story.html

 

And not just because of that one playoff game either, despite the NFL admitting to at least missing 6 blatant penalties on the Patriots-

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20040215093250/http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4079437/

 

Interest factoid, it was only just one decade later, in 2014, and the NFL had to make the Illegal Contact (old 1978 chuck rule) a point of emphasis_AGAIN!

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2014/07/30/illegal-contact-in-secondary-will-be-major-point-of-emphasis-for-nfl-officials-this-season/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.de42ff6a3f7a

 

Whenever this subject comes up even lightly, I bring up this detailed story again to be sure there is no history revisionist interference.

 

 

 

 

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