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Top Five Best and Worst Chris Ballard decisions

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This should be a fun list. Lets start with the best five to hold back the death threats haha 

 

5. Not Relying On Andrew Luck

 

Ballard's first press conference won me over because he said he understood who Andrew Luck was, but he was not gonna be the only reason we win. He was gonna build a team that can win in the trenches, on defense, and with a running game and that was important to me because teams that are fortunate to have franchise QBs tend to mask their teams flaws with their superstar QB and fail to address the rest of the team's needs.

 

4. Building Through The Draft

 

The draft imo is the best way to build the roster. Im not saying free agency does not help, but if you look at the patriots, their not huge players in FAs. They build through the draft and fill the remaining needs in FA using second tier free agents which is exactly what Ballard has done. Building through the draft allows you to have superstar and/or depth on your team without jeopardizing your cap.

 

3. Fixing The Run Game

 

Ballard has drafted three RBs Mack, Hines, and Wilkins all in the later rounds of the draft and for the first time since Addai, we have a legitimate run game with a workhorse back in Mack and two very good complimentary backs in Hines and Wilkins. Before Mack, the run game has struggled to the point we didn't have a 100 yard rusher in 4 years and a 1000 yard rusher in 9 years. Mack hasn't had a 1000 yard season, but he has shown to be a threat in the run game and has forced teams to defend the run.

 

2 Creating A Defense

 

If you look at the defense since Ballard has taken over, there is only one player left from the Grigson era and that is Geathers. Ballard has said that the first thing that needed to be reworked is the defense and that only one player on the defense was worth keeping that being Geathers. Ballard wanted to create a defense that has multiple fronts and relentless pressure from multiple contributors and you see that with starting with bringing in Sheard, Autry, Hunt and Houston and drafting Turay, Lewis, and Benogu. Then with the secondary, you have physical corners with length in Desir, Moore, Wilson, and Ya-Sin with a safety that can roam and prevent deep passes. With all that, the defense has improved in the two areas that have plagued the colts defense for years that being defending the run game and stopping 20+ yard plays.

 

1. Giving Luck Protection

 

This is by the far the most important thing Ballard has done. Drafting Nelson and Smith and picking up Glowinski and Boehm has given not only the protection Luck has needed, but also depth. Its more then Luck taking quicker throws because you see the line holding up even with deeper pass patterns and in the run game. Marlon Mack and the o-line have allowed Luck to take the burden of having to make every play and allowing him to play smarter and in result stay healthy. 

 

Now for all the good Ballard has done, hes not perfect so for all the Ballard lovers, just hear me out.

 

5. Draft Woes

 

Now im not saying Ballard has not hit on the draft because he has, but the drafting of Basham, Banner, and Stewart haven't provided the same impact as players like Mack, Hines, and Wilkins have had being drafted in similar rounds. Then you have players like Fountain who couldn't crack the roster even with lack of options at WR during the season and Wilson who is struggling with consistency.  With how much talent though Ballard has added through the draft, this is low on the list.

 

4. Pass Rush

 

Ballard's focus has been in the trenches, however in three drafts ballard has taken two DBs and a G as his first picks. Ballard has used the second round to draft three pass rushers in Turay, Lewis, and Benogu and time will tell if they can bring a consistent pass rush, but if we can not generate a consistent pass rush, the defense will struggle facing QBs like Rivers, Carr, Mahomes, Ryan, and Brees.

 

3. Lack Of Depth At LT

 

AC is a stalwart on the line and I am probably one of the few that really value what he brings to the team. With that being said, there is no reliable depth at LT and that was apparent at the beginning of last season. Haeg is more of a G then a T, but he can play T, Clark has not proven to be anything more then serviceable depth, Garcia is an unproven backup, and Webb is coming off an season ending injury.

 

2. Josh Mcdaniels

 

Now I am not putting that completely at Ballard's feet as I was a huge advocate for Mcdaniels and would have made the same decision. The problem I had with this was one allowing Mcdaniels to go back to the Patriots faculty when you know Kraft and BB were gonna try to talk him out of it and two announcing him as your Head Coach and having a press conference without having a signed contract. It was bad look for the colts and a bad look for Ballard. 

 

1. Lying about Andrew's Injury

 

I'm sorry I can not let this go. I honestly feel like we as fans were blatantly lied to in 2017 about Andrew's injury. For weeks, we were told hes close to being back and I honestly believe that was the farthest from the truth. Could there have been a setback in the rehab? Of course, it happens, but I also think the injury was not made as severe as it was until Andrew was put on IR. Irsay is also partly to blame for that as well as I think it was done to sell season tickets. We all know a Andrew Luck led colts team sells more tickets then a Tolzien led colts team. 

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Good and bad In general, Ballard isn’t perfect but he seems to learn from his mistakes quickly.  He thinks he can save everybody. He knows it’s a fault at times. He surrounds himself with top people. Dodd’s, Rusty, Ex Navy Seal, Reich, etc.  he’s a good leader. He’s a visionary. He’s financially savvy. It takes at least 3 drafts. He has his eye on every possible angle and every possible scenario. Every rock is turned over.  He doesn’t lie...he might withhold but I think he does it for good reasons. Be parts his hair on the right which is unusual. Inside joke with myself. 

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No one saw McDaniels backing out. Absolutely no one saw that coming. Now that it has happened, I hate the Patriots even more. But we still didnt see it coming. Maybe should have. So I wouldnt include this in his list of faults. The entire NFL was caught off guard by this. Made pretty big news for a few weeks.  

 

 

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McDaniels is #2 and Reich isn't listed?  Reich and Eberflus were the biggest reasons for the turnaround last year this side of Luck being healthy. 

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8 hours ago, CR91 said:

This should be a fun list. Lets start with the best five to hold back the death threats haha 

 

5. Not Relying On Andrew Luck

 

Ballard's first press conference won me over because he said he understood who Andrew Luck was, but he was not gonna be the only reason we win. He was gonna build a team that can win in the trenches, on defense, and with a running game and that was important to me because teams that are fortunate to have franchise QBs tend to mask their teams flaws with their superstar QB and fail to address the rest of the team's needs.

 

4. Building Through The Draft

 

The draft imo is the best way to build the roster. Im not saying free agency does not help, but if you look at the patriots, their not huge players in FAs. They build through the draft and fill the remaining needs in FA using second tier free agents which is exactly what Ballard has done. Building through the draft allows you to have superstar and/or depth on your team without jeopardizing your cap.

 

3. Fixing The Run Game

 

Ballard has drafted three RBs Mack, Hines, and Wilkins all in the later rounds of the draft and for the first time since Addai, we have a legitimate run game with a workhorse back in Mack and two very good complimentary backs in Hines and Wilkins. Before Mack, the run game has struggled to the point we didn't have a 100 yard rusher in 4 years and a 1000 yard rusher in 9 years. Mack hasn't had a 1000 yard season, but he has shown to be a threat in the run game and has forced teams to defend the run.

 

2 Creating A Defense

 

If you look at the defense since Ballard has taken over, there is only one player left from the Grigson era and that is Geathers. Ballard has said that the first thing that needed to be reworked is the defense and that only one player on the defense was worth keeping that being Geathers. Ballard wanted to create a defense that has multiple fronts and relentless pressure from multiple contributors and you see that with starting with bringing in Sheard, Autry, Hunt and Houston and drafting Turay, Lewis, and Benogu. Then with the secondary, you have physical corners with length in Desir, Moore, Wilson, and Ya-Sin with a safety that can roam and prevent deep passes. With all that, the defense has improved in the two areas that have plagued the colts defense for years that being defending the run game and stopping 20+ yard plays.

 

1. Giving Luck Protection

 

This is by the far the most important thing Ballard has done. Drafting Nelson and Smith and picking up Glowinski and Boehm has given not only the protection Luck has needed, but also depth. Its more then Luck taking quicker throws because you see the line holding up even with deeper pass patterns and in the run game. Marlon Mack and the o-line have allowed Luck to take the burden of having to make every play and allowing him to play smarter and in result stay healthy. 

 

Now for all the good Ballard has done, hes not perfect so for all the Ballard lovers, just hear me out.

 

5. Draft Woes

 

Now im not saying Ballard has not hit on the draft because he has, but the drafting of Basham, Banner, and Stewart haven't provided the same impact as players like Mack, Hines, and Wilkins have had being drafted in similar rounds. Then you have players like Fountain who couldn't crack the roster even with lack of options at WR during the season and Wilson who is struggling with consistency.  With how much talent though Ballard has added through the draft, this is low on the list.

 

4. Pass Rush

 

Ballard's focus has been in the trenches, however in three drafts ballard has taken two DBs and a G as his first picks. Ballard has used the second round to draft three pass rushers in Turay, Lewis, and Benogu and time will tell if they can bring a consistent pass rush, but if we can not generate a consistent pass rush, the defense will struggle facing QBs like Rivers, Carr, Mahomes, Ryan, and Brees.

 

3. Lack Of Depth At LT

 

AC is a stalwart on the line and I am probably one of the few that really value what he brings to the team. With that being said, there is no reliable depth at LT and that was apparent at the beginning of last season. Haeg is more of a G then a T, but he can play T, Clark has not proven to be anything more then serviceable depth, Garcia is an unproven backup, and Webb is coming off an season ending injury.

 

2. Josh Mcdaniels

 

Now I am not putting that completely at Ballard's feet as I was a huge advocate for Mcdaniels and would have made the same decision. The problem I had with this was one allowing Mcdaniels to go back to the Patriots faculty when you know Kraft and BB were gonna try to talk him out of it and two announcing him as your Head Coach and having a press conference without having a signed contract. It was bad look for the colts and a bad look for Ballard. 

 

1. Lying about Andrew's Injury

 

I'm sorry I can not let this go. I honestly feel like we as fans were blatantly lied to in 2017 about Andrew's injury. For weeks, we were told hes close to being back and I honestly believe that was the farthest from the truth. Could there have been a setback in the rehab? Of course, it happens, but I also think the injury was not made as severe as it was until Andrew was put on IR. Irsay is also partly to blame for that as well as I think it was done to sell season tickets. We all know a Andrew Luck led colts team sells more tickets then a Tolzien led colts team. 

I agree with all of this but the last one. I don’t think he lied to us. I think he and the team got caught under estimating the severity of Lucks injury. I also think there is some truth to the status of Lucks mindset during his rehab. Even when Luck did start throwing there towards the end, he looked skinny, underweight and it affected him. I think it was a gross miscalculation and I think that is why the long time team doctor retired

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1 hour ago, NannyMcafee said:

No one saw McDaniels backing out. Absolutely no one saw that coming. Now that it has happened, I hate the Patriots even more. But we still didnt see it coming. Maybe should have. So I wouldnt include this in his list of faults. The entire NFL was caught off guard by this. Made pretty big news for a few weeks.  

 

 

Meh, I'm not going to say I predicted it or saw it coming per se, but I was absolutely not surprised when it did happen. So Ballard not picking up on ANY red flags in the whole interview process is/was a little concerning...

 

Glad it happened though, cause Reich may be my favorite Colts HC...

 

So... I'm not gonna do a top 5 best/worst list, I'm just gonna go out on a limb & say that Ballards ordeal of "getting" his HC encompasses both his best & worst decision...

 

I guess the whole fiasco also makes Ballard that much more relatable? It shows that he is human and prone to error, while also showing that he is able to learn from his mistakes.

 

Just glad it worked out in the end with little to no foreseeable detriment to the team...

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#1 best move should be hiring Frank Reich. What is funny is the #1 worst move was hiring Josh McDaniels because he backed out and made Ballard look bad. Luckily for us McDaniels did back out. Hiring Reich was the best thing by far that Ballard has done. He has created a system that protects Luck much better and gets the ball out of Luck's hands faster.

 

-Ballard has had 2 exceptionally great draft picks in Nelson and Leonard. Nelson alone makes the O.line much better and Leonard is a monster on defense. He has also had 2 terrible one's in Basham and Banner that didn't pan out at all. I can't wait to watch Parris Campbell, I think he has the potential of being a great player in this league.

 

-Ballard picking up Eric Ebron (2018) and Justin Houston (2019) in Free Agency is genius to me. Ebron was great last year.

 

-Just some of my thoughts.

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1 hour ago, NannyMcafee said:

No one saw McDaniels backing out. Absolutely no one saw that coming. Now that it has happened, I hate the Patriots even more. But we still didnt see it coming. Maybe should have. So I wouldnt include this in his list of faults. The entire NFL was caught off guard by this. Made pretty big news for a few weeks.  

 

 

 

I think believing that he could have a symbiotic relationship with that org was a mistake. Not really a fault so much...but definitely a rookie mistake.

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Some of best decisions:

 

- Becoming a face for the franchise and accessible...which has helped to completely change the perception of this team. It’s been a collaborative effort by members of the org...but Ballard has been a key piece in the revamped PR strategy...and it’s paying off. 

 

- Trading back in the draft! For years, we have talked about trading back and now we have a GM that does it. 

 

- “Tanking” the 2017 season. They were more than willing to go into 2017 with Tolzien as QB1...but then the Brissett trade fell in their laps. It would be considered a poor decision if they weren’t intentionally having a “rebuild year”...but we now all know that was the case.

 

Some poor decisions:

 

- I still think not pushing harder for Shanahan was a poor decision. It appears to have worked out because of Reich...but I think Shanahan was a perfect fit. 

 

- FA has had its share...but that is the case for every GM. Only time will tell if the prudent approach pays off.

 

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1 hour ago, wig said:

McDaniels is #2 and Reich isn't listed?  Reich and Eberflus were the biggest reasons for the turnaround last year this side of Luck being healthy. 

 

Reich kinda fell in his lap so I dont really think it belongs on the list. Ballard even said Reich was like 8th on his list of candidates

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1 hour ago, csmopar said:

I agree with all of this but the last one. I don’t think he lied to us. I think he and the team got caught under estimating the severity of Lucks injury. I also think there is some truth to the status of Lucks mindset during his rehab. Even when Luck did start throwing there towards the end, he looked skinny, underweight and it affected him. I think it was a gross miscalculation and I think that is why the long time team doctor retired

 

It was too much of a bad tradjection for not to be a lie. It was first, he'll be ready for Training Camp, then he'll be ready for the season opener, then he'll be ready for the next game and the next game and then he went on IR. 

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43 minutes ago, CR91 said:

 

Reich kinda fell in his lap so I dont really think it belongs on the list. Ballard even said Reich was like 8th on his list of candidates

 

He wasnt on the list 

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28 minutes ago, CR91 said:

 

It was too much of a bad tradjection for not to be a lie. It was first, he'll be ready for Training Camp, then he'll be ready for the season opener, then he'll be ready for the next game and the next game and then he went on IR. 

Agreed. They lied to us about Luck, plain and simple. Would I of done it in Irsay's shoes? Absolutely. My issue with the forum here is that they think the Colts FO is so pure and wholesome, that they wouldn't lie to benefit the bottom line, and that's simply naive and shows a lack of understanding of the business world. Even if you want to argue that they were just withholding information, it's still a form of deception, which is really slimy in itself. The sad thing is that there are still fans who defend the Colts on this, even if they got ripped for season tickets. I don't think Ballard had much of a choice here though. Rookie GM, had to tow the company line here.

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7 minutes ago, NannyMcafee said:

 

He wasnt on the list 

 

He didnt make the initial cut yea. Ballard went with his top five candidates

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I dont buy the lie part. His actions in every other instance have been transparent truth. In fact, I feel he is the most forthcoming GM this team has had since I have followed this team. 

 

That shade don't hunt. 

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5 minutes ago, Four2itus said:

I dont buy the lie part. His actions in every other instance have been transparent truth. In fact, I feel he is the most forthcoming GM this team has had since I have following. 

 

That shade don't hunt. 

Ballard had little to no say in this matter, so I basically give him a free pass. Irsay used his image to get one over on the fans. I don't blame him one bit, but to outright deny it shows you are not a business owner, and don't understand what it takes to be one. They ABSOLUTELY withheld information to sell season tickets. It is a fact, although that info will never be released to the public for obvious reasons. Ballard was a rookie GM at the time with no reputation and his opinion meant nothing to Irsay in the matter. 

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If I live to be 100 (don’t worry, I won’t come close) I’m going to hate this thread with the intensity of a THOUSAND white hot suns! 

 

These kind of threads often surface during the 40-50 days of the summer break.  There’s just nothing to talk about.  People throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

 

No worries....   I’ll do my best to stay out of it...   have fun!  Enjoy yourselves!  

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

If I live to be 100 (don’t worry, I won’t come close) I’m going to hate this thread with the intensity of a THOUSAND white hot suns! 

 

These kind of threads often surface during the 40-50 days of the summer break.  There’s just nothing to talk about.  People throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

 

No worries....   I’ll do my best to stay out of it...   have fun!  Enjoy yourselves!  

 

 

 

 

I think its an interesting topic. Its not a bash thread. Just something to discuss. Its dead time

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1 hour ago, CR91 said:

 

It was too much of a bad tradjection for not to be a lie. It was first, he'll be ready for Training Camp, then he'll be ready for the season opener, then he'll be ready for the next game and the next game and then he went on IR. 

Yeah maybe. I think it was just simply a screw up and I have a different theory based on Lucks physical condition. If your the Colts, would you rather have the perception that you lied about Lucks health or would you rather come out and say that your star QB isn’t in the right place, mentally and physically, following his surgery(stuff Luck has alluded too since)

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I disagree with a lot of your points. 

5. This is the point I agree with. Basham, Stewart, etc. are bad draft picks, but I think Basham was the highest draft pick (3rd round). Not too big of a deal, and you can make the argument that Ballard was drafting for Pagano and didn't have his guys in place. 

4. More pass rush isn't bad, but Ballard could have added more. Then again, who could he have added? Houston got released, and they signed him. No draft pick is a sure fire pass rusher either. Based on the system, I don't think Colts need one really good pass rusher, although that would be nice. 

3. Agreed, but it's not a "worst decision". I think the LT has some depth if Castonzo were to get injured.

2. McDaniels' decision wasn't on Ballard. No one could have predicted he would have gone back on his word. Besides, Ballard can't keep him in Indy. What are they going to do, lock the doors? 

1. I disagree with this one the most. Why would the FO choose to lie about Luck's injury? I see this sentiment a lot, and it's not true. You are reading too much into it. Ballard never set a date for Luck to come back, and I think they shut him down because of his progress or for the high draft pick. 

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For every one step back, Ballard takes two steps forward.  That’s his success formula.  His ideas and vision are solid enough to withstand the occasional mistakes. He seems to be really relaxed and confident and it spreads across the whole organization. 

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15 minutes ago, IndyScribe said:

I disagree with a lot of your points. 

5. This is the point I agree with. Basham, Stewart, etc. are bad draft picks, but I think Basham was the highest draft pick (3rd round). Not too big of a deal, and you can make the argument that Ballard was drafting for Pagano and didn't have his guys in place. 

4. More pass rush isn't bad, but Ballard could have added more. Then again, who could he have added? Houston got released, and they signed him. No draft pick is a sure fire pass rusher either. Based on the system, I don't think Colts need one really good pass rusher, although that would be nice. 

3. Agreed, but it's not a "worst decision". I think the LT has some depth if Castonzo were to get injured.

2. McDaniels' decision wasn't on Ballard. No one could have predicted he would have gone back on his word. Besides, Ballard can't keep him in Indy. What are they going to do, lock the doors? 

1. I disagree with this one the most. Why would the FO choose to lie about Luck's injury? I see this sentiment a lot, and it's not true. You are reading too much into it. Ballard never set a date for Luck to come back, and I think they shut him down because of his progress or for the high draft pick. 

 

5. Fair point, but everyone knew Pagano was getting fired. 

 

4. Well for all the talk about building in the trenches, you would think we would select a pass rusher to build the defense around.

 

3. What depth? Only good piece is Haeg who we use all over the line. Clark Garcia and Webb are not proven depth.

 

2. Irsay's jet should have been sent the day after the super bowl and yet we waited til wednesday.

 

1. You have the best doctors in the world at your disposal. There is no way Ballard wasn't in the loop.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jared Cisneros said:

Ballard had little to no say in this matter, so I basically give him a free pass. Irsay used his image to get one over on the fans. I don't blame him one bit, but to outright deny it shows you are not a business owner, and don't understand what it takes to be one. They ABSOLUTELY withheld information to sell season tickets. It is a fact, although that info will never be released to the public for obvious reasons. Ballard was a rookie GM at the time with no reputation and his opinion meant nothing to Irsay in the matter. 

Funny....this thread is about Ballard. I mentioned my feelings on Ballard being represented as a liar. You have an Irsay Issue. I mean, carry on with your rhetoric, but I will end this by restating, I do not believe Ballard was lying to fans. 

 

Good day, I'm out on this thread. 

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34 minutes ago, Four2itus said:

Funny....this thread is about Ballard. I mentioned my feelings on Ballard being represented as a liar. You have an Irsay Issue. I mean, carry on with your rhetoric, but I will end this by restating, I do not believe Ballard was lying to fans. 

 

Good day, I'm out on this thread. 

Ballard was only saying what Irsay told him to say, he was a middleman and messenger here. Irsay did it as a business move, which I have no problem with. It's just frustrating to me that fans think that could be out of the realm of possibility of happening. Think of it from a business standpoint, not a moral standpoint.

 

I won't discuss it anymore with you now if you don't want too.

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I have to agree Lucks injury situation was purposely convoluted to maintain season ticket sales among other things. I mean anybody can look the other way and pretend us as fans don't get lied too but that's just not the truth.

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his best move was Reich and worst was McDainels to me.  kind of ironic how tied together they were

 

Nelson was a great pick, i would have taken him there too.  Darius Leonard was going to be a genius or * move for Ballard, he deserves praise for going against the grain and being right on that one 

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5 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

Agreed. They lied to us about Luck, plain and simple. Would I of done it in Irsay's shoes? Absolutely. My issue with the forum here is that they think the Colts FO is so pure and wholesome, that they wouldn't lie to benefit the bottom line, and that's simply naive and shows a lack of understanding of the business world. Even if you want to argue that they were just withholding information, it's still a form of deception, which is really slimy in itself. The sad thing is that there are still fans who defend the Colts on this, even if they got ripped for season tickets. I don't think Ballard had much of a choice here though. Rookie GM, had to tow the company line here.

 

I don't think they lied. Luck did try to come back. It does not make sense, that they new he was never able to come back for 2017, but still let him practice, potentially hurt his shoulder even more. That just does not make sense. So, imo they didn't know. Did they tell everything - I mean every last bit of information - immediately? Obviously, they didn't, but there's no team in the NFL that would do that. Because that woul hurt them, other teams would immediately take andvantage of it. 

 

Regardin Ballard's best moves, I only have a "list of good moves" list yet. It's too early to judge, which one will have the most impact on the team eventually. It can be Reich, the trade back with the Jets, Leonard, Nelson, whoever, whatever. We will see in 2-3 years.

 

Regarding his bad moves, I do not consider draft misses as bad moves. Draft misses will inevitably happen, so misses are not mistakes until the hit / miss percentage is above a certain level. In Ballard's case, it is soo much above that level, that it doesn't even worth to discuss those few misses.

 

The McDaniels hiring however was - could have been - a big mistake in my opinion. Not because of what happened. It's because for me, one of Ballard's best traits is his judgement of characters. Ballard was willing to sign McDaniels, which is a bit alarming. Fordunately, it didn't happen, and I just hope he will never make such a big mistake again.

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I think the best thing that Ballard does is learn from his mistakes.  And, to the best of his ability, doesn't repeat them.  Whether is was the organizations lack of pure transparency on Luck's recovery, or the hiring debacle of Josh McDaniels, or the drafting of Tarell Basham and Zach Banner.  He blew it, he owned it, he learned from it, and emerged better for it.  Ballard isn't the best GM in the league.  But he's climbing.  Climbing fast.

 

5 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

If I live to be 100 (don’t worry, I won’t come close) I’m going to hate this thread with the intensity of a THOUSAND white hot suns! 

 

Shout out to NCF:  You gotta love a guy who utilizes one of the best quotes ever from Cheers!

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8 hours ago, wig said:

McDaniels is #2 and Reich isn't listed?  Reich and Eberflus were the biggest reasons for the turnaround last year this side of Luck being healthy. 

 

Matt Eberflus and Nick Sirianni were McDaniel's guys no? Haven't seen anything saying Ballard had anything to do with those decisions. Correct me if I'm wrong?

 

I do agree though Reigh/Sirianni and Eberflus were major impacts to the change in development of our team.

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59 minutes ago, Peterk2011 said:

 

I don't think they lied. Luck did try to come back. It does not make sense, that they new he was never able to come back for 2017, but still let him practice, potentially hurt his shoulder even more. That just does not make sense. So, imo they didn't know. Did they tell everything - I mean every last bit of information - immediately? Obviously, they didn't, but there's no team in the NFL that would do that. Because that would hurt them, other teams would immediately take advantage of it. 

 

Regardin Ballard's best moves, I only have a "list of good moves" list yet. It's too early to judge, which one will have the most impact on the team eventually. It can be Reich, the trade back with the Jets, Leonard, Nelson, whoever, whatever. We will see in 2-3 years.

 

Regarding his bad moves, I do not consider draft misses as bad moves. Draft misses will inevitably happen, so misses are not mistakes until the hit / miss percentage is above a certain level. In Ballard's case, it is soo much above that level, that it doesn't even worth to discuss those few misses.

Spot on. 

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5 hours ago, CR91 said:

 

5. Fair point, but everyone knew Pagano was getting fired. 

 

4. Well for all the talk about building in the trenches, you would think we would select a pass rusher to build the defense around.

 

3. What depth? Only good piece is Haeg who we use all over the line. Clark Garcia and Webb are not proven depth.

 

2. Irsay's jet should have been sent the day after the super bowl and yet we waited til wednesday.

 

1. You have the best doctors in the world at your disposal. There is no way Ballard wasn't in the loop.

 

 

 

5.  Ballard has already stated he thinks Stewart will make a big leap this year and be a very serviceable player for our team.  Basham didn't work out and Banner didn't work out for this team -- though, they are both still in the NFL.  They were in no way worse than Grigson picking Werner in the first round or picking Khaled Holmes, Hugh Thornton or overpaying for Samson Satele or being stubborn with keeping Jonnathan Harrison in the starting lineup.  In fact, Ballard should be praised for moving on from his draft picks who didn't work out (more of them have worked out for him than the other way around... but Grigson literally forced Pagano to keep his mistakes in the line-up because he was too proud to admit he made a mistake -- look no further than Trent Richardson).

 

4.  We had a lot of other needs (we were the worst team in the league when Ballard took over).  We desperately needed secondary help, and it was addressed early in Ballard's tenure with additions like Hooker, Wilson, Moore II, Desir, etc.  We also needed to address the OL, which he did with picks like Smith and Nelson as well as several FA additions.  This team had so many holes, it was ridiculous... Ballard has also added Autry (9 sacks last year in less than 16 games), Hunt (5 sacks), Turay (4 sacks), Lewis (2 sacks in ~1/2 season), Leonard (7 sacks in 14 games), etc... just those guys alone accounted for 27 sacks last year (more than our entire team combined in 2017).  Ballard has also added Houston and it seems as though Turay and Stewart are developing nicely.  Sure, Basham didn't work out, but he was a 3rd round pick and a project pick at that.... it is pretty clear Turay is working harder in his first off-season than Basham was and Basham is still in the NFL (with the NYJ)... it's not like that was a terrible pick (not even close to as bad as Grigson wasting a first-rounder on Bjoern Werner).

 

3.  Our OL was the laughing stock of the league when Ballard inherited this team.  Last year was the deepest group of OL I have seen in Indy since I became a fan in 1994.  We dealt with injuries to AC, Kelly, Glowinski, Slauson, etc. and still managed to keep Luck the least sacked QB in the NFL.  Grigson would've wound up getting Luck killed if he stuck around... in essentially 2 seasons, Ballard turned the worst line in the NFL into the lineup which allowed the fewest sacks.  Pretty remarkable.

 

2. "Irsay's jet should've been sent..." -- you admit in writing that this isn't on Ballard.  He is under Irsay and doesn't have his own jet.

 

1. The shoulder and the hip are the two most complicated joints in the body.  They are very hard to predict (look no further than Giancarlo Stanton from the Yankees and what they thought would be a 5-10 minor shoulder injury turned into a ~3 month injury).  These things are hard to predict.  Our team was also performing terribly without Luck, even if he had come back if/when he was ready, he would've gotten destroyed and we were essentially (I think mathematically) eliminated from the playoffs.  Bringing him back in to get crushed and maybe help us win ~4-5 games would do nothing to benefit the feature of this team.

 

41 minutes ago, Fyasko said:

 

Matt Eberflus and Nick Sirianni were McDaniel's guys no? Haven't seen anything saying Ballard had anything to do with those decisions. Correct me if I'm wrong?

 

I do agree though Reigh/Sirianni and Eberflus were major impacts to the change in development of our team.

 

Sirianni was a Reich guy.  They coached together in SD.  Eberflus was a Ballard/McDaniels guy who was brought on before Reich.  

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1 hour ago, Fyasko said:

 

Matt Eberflus and Nick Sirianni were McDaniel's guys no? Haven't seen anything saying Ballard had anything to do with those decisions. Correct me if I'm wrong?

 

I do agree though Reigh/Sirianni and Eberflus were major impacts to the change in development of our team.

 

Eberflus was Ballard's guy all the way.   They knew each other from a ways back. 

 

Sirianni was Reich's guy.   They worked together in San Diego.

 

McDaniels guys were the ST's coach and the first OL coach that lasted one season,  last year,  before Reich let him go.   There may have been one other assistant coach from JM that I'm forgetting, but someone will step in with a name...

 

 

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48 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

 

 

5.  Ballard has already stated he thinks Stewart will make a big leap this year and be a very serviceable player for our team.  Basham didn't work out and Banner didn't work out for this team -- though, they are both still in the NFL.  They were in no way worse than Grigson picking Werner in the first round or picking Khaled Holmes, Hugh Thornton or overpaying for Samson Satele or being stubborn with keeping Jonnathan Harrison in the starting lineup.  In fact, Ballard should be praised for moving on from his draft picks who didn't work out (more of them have worked out for him than the other way around... but Grigson literally forced Pagano to keep his mistakes in the line-up because he was too proud to admit he made a mistake -- look no further than Trent Richardson).

 

4.  We had a lot of other needs (we were the worst team in the league when Ballard took over).  We desperately needed secondary help, and it was addressed early in Ballard's tenure with additions like Hooker, Wilson, Moore II, Desir, etc.  We also needed to address the OL, which he did with picks like Smith and Nelson as well as several FA additions.  This team had so many holes, it was ridiculous... Ballard has also added Autry (9 sacks last year in less than 16 games), Hunt (5 sacks), Turay (4 sacks), Lewis (2 sacks in ~1/2 season), Leonard (7 sacks in 14 games), etc... just those guys alone accounted for 27 sacks last year (more than our entire team combined in 2017).  Ballard has also added Houston and it seems as though Turay and Stewart are developing nicely.  Sure, Basham didn't work out, but he was a 3rd round pick and a project pick at that.... it is pretty clear Turay is working harder in his first off-season than Basham was and Basham is still in the NFL (with the NYJ)... it's not like that was a terrible pick (not even close to as bad as Grigson wasting a first-rounder on Bjoern Werner).

 

3.  Our OL was the laughing stock of the league when Ballard inherited this team.  Last year was the deepest group of OL I have seen in Indy since I became a fan in 1994.  We dealt with injuries to AC, Kelly, Glowinski, Slauson, etc. and still managed to keep Luck the least sacked QB in the NFL.  Grigson would've wound up getting Luck killed if he stuck around... in essentially 2 seasons, Ballard turned the worst line in the NFL into the lineup which allowed the fewest sacks.  Pretty remarkable.

 

2. "Irsay's jet should've been sent..." -- you admit in writing that this isn't on Ballard.  He is under Irsay and doesn't have his own jet.

 

1. The shoulder and the hip are the two most complicated joints in the body.  They are very hard to predict (look no further than Giancarlo Stanton from the Yankees and what they thought would be a 5-10 minor shoulder injury turned into a ~3 month injury).  These things are hard to predict.  Our team was also performing terribly without Luck, even if he had come back if/when he was ready, he would've gotten destroyed and we were essentially (I think mathematically) eliminated from the playoffs.  Bringing him back in to get crushed and maybe help us win ~4-5 games would do nothing to benefit the feature of this team.

 

 

Sirianni was a Reich guy.  They coached together in SD.  Eberflus was a Ballard/McDaniels guy who was brought on before Reich.  

 

5. Yes I get that which is why I put it low on the list. I gave Ballard credit for the picks he made.

 

4. Regardless you build your defense starting with your pass rush and all we have is aging vets and unproven first and second year players.

 

3. I already praised him for fixing the line, but you show the line was not the same without AC.

 

2. Ballard couldn't tell Irsay to send the jet? Why wait three days? We were embarrassed.

 

1. We're talking basically Luck missing two years not two months. 

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3 hours ago, Peterk2011 said:

 

I don't think they lied. Luck did try to come back. It does not make sense, that they new he was never able to come back for 2017, but still let him practice, potentially hurt his shoulder even more. That just does not make sense. So, imo they didn't know. Did they tell everything - I mean every last bit of information - immediately? Obviously, they didn't, but there's no team in the NFL that would do that. Because that woul hurt them, other teams would immediately take andvantage of it. 

 

Regardin Ballard's best moves, I only have a "list of good moves" list yet. It's too early to judge, which one will have the most impact on the team eventually. It can be Reich, the trade back with the Jets, Leonard, Nelson, whoever, whatever. We will see in 2-3 years.

 

Regarding his bad moves, I do not consider draft misses as bad moves. Draft misses will inevitably happen, so misses are not mistakes until the hit / miss percentage is above a certain level. In Ballard's case, it is soo much above that level, that it doesn't even worth to discuss those few misses.

 

The McDaniels hiring however was - could have been - a big mistake in my opinion. Not because of what happened. It's because for me, one of Ballard's best traits is his judgement of characters. Ballard was willing to sign McDaniels, which is a bit alarming. Fordunately, it didn't happen, and I just hope he will never make such a big mistake again.

Nailed it

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20 hours ago, CR91 said:

This should be a fun list. Lets start with the best five to hold back the death threats haha 

 

5. Not Relying On Andrew Luck

 

Ballard's first press conference won me over because he said he understood who Andrew Luck was, but he was not gonna be the only reason we win. He was gonna build a team that can win in the trenches, on defense, and with a running game and that was important to me because teams that are fortunate to have franchise QBs tend to mask their teams flaws with their superstar QB and fail to address the rest of the team's needs.

 

4. Building Through The Draft

 

The draft imo is the best way to build the roster. Im not saying free agency does not help, but if you look at the patriots, their not huge players in FAs. They build through the draft and fill the remaining needs in FA using second tier free agents which is exactly what Ballard has done. Building through the draft allows you to have superstar and/or depth on your team without jeopardizing your cap.

 

3. Fixing The Run Game

 

Ballard has drafted three RBs Mack, Hines, and Wilkins all in the later rounds of the draft and for the first time since Addai, we have a legitimate run game with a workhorse back in Mack and two very good complimentary backs in Hines and Wilkins. Before Mack, the run game has struggled to the point we didn't have a 100 yard rusher in 4 years and a 1000 yard rusher in 9 years. Mack hasn't had a 1000 yard season, but he has shown to be a threat in the run game and has forced teams to defend the run.

 

2 Creating A Defense

 

If you look at the defense since Ballard has taken over, there is only one player left from the Grigson era and that is Geathers. Ballard has said that the first thing that needed to be reworked is the defense and that only one player on the defense was worth keeping that being Geathers. Ballard wanted to create a defense that has multiple fronts and relentless pressure from multiple contributors and you see that with starting with bringing in Sheard, Autry, Hunt and Houston and drafting Turay, Lewis, and Benogu. Then with the secondary, you have physical corners with length in Desir, Moore, Wilson, and Ya-Sin with a safety that can roam and prevent deep passes. With all that, the defense has improved in the two areas that have plagued the colts defense for years that being defending the run game and stopping 20+ yard plays.

 

1. Giving Luck Protection

 

This is by the far the most important thing Ballard has done. Drafting Nelson and Smith and picking up Glowinski and Boehm has given not only the protection Luck has needed, but also depth. Its more then Luck taking quicker throws because you see the line holding up even with deeper pass patterns and in the run game. Marlon Mack and the o-line have allowed Luck to take the burden of having to make every play and allowing him to play smarter and in result stay healthy. 

 

Now for all the good Ballard has done, hes not perfect so for all the Ballard lovers, just hear me out.

 

5. Draft Woes

 

Now im not saying Ballard has not hit on the draft because he has, but the drafting of Basham, Banner, and Stewart haven't provided the same impact as players like Mack, Hines, and Wilkins have had being drafted in similar rounds. Then you have players like Fountain who couldn't crack the roster even with lack of options at WR during the season and Wilson who is struggling with consistency.  With how much talent though Ballard has added through the draft, this is low on the list.

 

4. Pass Rush

 

Ballard's focus has been in the trenches, however in three drafts ballard has taken two DBs and a G as his first picks. Ballard has used the second round to draft three pass rushers in Turay, Lewis, and Benogu and time will tell if they can bring a consistent pass rush, but if we can not generate a consistent pass rush, the defense will struggle facing QBs like Rivers, Carr, Mahomes, Ryan, and Brees.

 

3. Lack Of Depth At LT

 

AC is a stalwart on the line and I am probably one of the few that really value what he brings to the team. With that being said, there is no reliable depth at LT and that was apparent at the beginning of last season. Haeg is more of a G then a T, but he can play T, Clark has not proven to be anything more then serviceable depth, Garcia is an unproven backup, and Webb is coming off an season ending injury.

 

2. Josh Mcdaniels

 

Now I am not putting that completely at Ballard's feet as I was a huge advocate for Mcdaniels and would have made the same decision. The problem I had with this was one allowing Mcdaniels to go back to the Patriots faculty when you know Kraft and BB were gonna try to talk him out of it and two announcing him as your Head Coach and having a press conference without having a signed contract. It was bad look for the colts and a bad look for Ballard. 

 

1. Lying about Andrew's Injury

 

I'm sorry I can not let this go. I honestly feel like we as fans were blatantly lied to in 2017 about Andrew's injury. For weeks, we were told hes close to being back and I honestly believe that was the farthest from the truth. Could there have been a setback in the rehab? Of course, it happens, but I also think the injury was not made as severe as it was until Andrew was put on IR. Irsay is also partly to blame for that as well as I think it was done to sell season tickets. We all know a Andrew Luck led colts team sells more tickets then a Tolzien led colts team. 

You hit and you miss now ya Basham stunk I think Banner with more time might have been good Stewart was actually ok and he is putting in the work to he lost almost 20 pounds this offseason he went from 333 to 315.

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Just now, jameszeigler834 said:

You hit and you miss now ya Basham stunk I think Banner with more time might have been good Stewart was actually ok and he is putting in the work to he lost almost 20 pounds this offseason he went from 333 to 315.

Now if stewart doesn't show he is getting better this year ballard I bet will move on.

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20 hours ago, LockeDown said:

Good and bad In general, Ballard isn’t perfect but he seems to learn from his mistakes quickly.  He thinks he can save everybody. He knows it’s a fault at times. He surrounds himself with top people. Dodd’s, Rusty, Ex Navy Seal, Reich, etc.  he’s a good leader. He’s a visionary. He’s financially savvy. It takes at least 3 drafts. He has his eye on every possible angle and every possible scenario. Every rock is turned over.  He doesn’t lie...he might withhold but I think he does it for good reasons. Be parts his hair on the right which is unusual. Inside joke with myself. 

Yes, I agree but what I love the most about Ballard is he stands behind his word. That's all you can ask for from anyone in my opinion. 

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