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Superman

Start a team with seven positions

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I've been thinking about this here and there, pretty much since Chuck got fired. It seems relevant with some of the talk about how to construct a roster, and how important QBs are. But I don't want to have the same tired conversation about Jacoby Brissett, just want to talk football theory.

 

So as an exercise, let's see what everyone thinks. This is for the Colts, a dome team in the AFC South in 2019, with our present coaching staff. If you could build the roster from scratch, and you can have seven "top five" players on your roster, what positions would you choose to fill with those top five players?

 

By top five, I mean perennial Pro Bowl, high quality, near All Pro caliber players. At tight end, you'd get someone like Travis Kelce/ Zach Ertz.

 

And for the other 46 players on your roster, you get average, JAG level players. At tight end, you'd get someone like Vance McDonald/Tyler Eifert.

 

Ignore the salary cap, also. Just talking roster construction, on the field. Assume I'm your capologist and I'll make the numbers work.

 

So, what seven positions are you taking to start your roster?

 

Offense: QB, RB, OT, OG, C, WR, Slot, TE

Defense: DT, DE, Will, Mike, Sam, CB, Nickelback, FS, SS

ST: K, P, LS

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2 minutes ago, braveheartcolt said:

With a twist......

 

Manning, Freeney, Harrison, Glenn, Nelson, Sanders & Viniateri......

 

This is interesting. With Nelson, maybe the Colts score that TD against the Pats in 2003 on 4th down, and get the AFCCG at home? With AV, maybe the Colts make the kick against Pittsburgh in 2005?

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25 minutes ago, Superman said:

It seems relevant with some of the talk about how to construct a roster, and how important QBs are.

 

I think because of this, everyone is going to pick QB, and then OT to protect the blindside basically by default.

 

It's interesting to see what comes after that.

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C, S, LG, LB (Will), CB, QB, RB

 

These are the 7 positions, in that order, where I feel that the difference between having a great one and having an average one generates the most wins.

 

And yes, Center is #1.  The difference between a reiable center and a merely semi reliable center is absolutely MASSIVE.  Nothing helps your offence like an efficient center, and nothing hurts it like an inefficient center.

 

Look at what happened to the patriots when they lost their All-Pro center for the year, their offense went from Great to not nearly great.  It gimped their run and their pass massively.  A great center is worth his weight in pure gold and then some.

 

Safety, blindside guard (left guard for a righty), linebacker and Cornerback are all positions where great players can have a hugely disproportionate impact on offense and defense. 

 

These are also the positions that weaknesses there can destroy a team even with a good QB, as we found out the hard way.

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23 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

QB, OT, DT, DE, CB, WR, OT

 

3 minutes ago, ClaytonColt said:

QB - OT - WR - OT - DE - DT - CB

 

2 OTs, interesting

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2 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

 

2 OTs, interesting

I actually changed it to 2 DE's

 

I think either would be fine. 2 sides of the same coin in effect, just depends on the offensive/defensive balance on those battles.

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1 minute ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

 

2 OTs, interesting

 

Yea, I guess that's tough... just kinda feel like outside of a few exceptions (Nelson being one of them), it's harder to find elite guys at the OT position, and outside of some guys (like A. Donald), there's a lot more pass rush coming off the edges than up the middle (at least pass rush which the interior OL are responsible for).  

 

My thought process went like this: (1) an elite QB can keep you in most games and elevate the play of his team more than other positions, (2) we've all seen what happens with an elite/borderline elite QB who was getting crushed every time he stepped back -- so, IMO, two elite OTs can keep him upright if they've got good (not elite) players inside of them..

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6 minutes ago, buccolts said:

OT, G, C, DE, DT, WILL, FS

 

So give me an example of an acceptable "JAG" QB for your team, just out of curiosity.

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

So give me an example of an acceptable "JAG" QB for your team, just out of curiosity.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HarbJi00.htm

 

I don't think the dude we have is JAG, so I can't use him as an example.  Harbaugh was playing in a different era where defense has more of an advantage but was still pretty JAGgy.

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6 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

So give me an example of an acceptable "JAG" QB for your team, just out of curiosity.

Who do you consider top 5 right now? 

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QB, OT, C, DT, DE

 

If it is a foundation to build from: OT/OG, DE/DT

 

If you are trying to win that season: WR, CB/FS

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20 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

So give me an example of an acceptable "JAG" QB for your team, just out of curiosity.

Oh I misread the OP.  If all we need to do is select a guy who's outside the top 5?  Russel Wilson or Jimmy Garoppolo

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31 minutes ago, buccolts said:

I think Brees may fall outside of 5, so I'll go with him.

 

18 minutes ago, Imgrandojji said:

Oh I misread the OP.  If all we need to do is select a guy who's outside the top 5?  Russel Wilson or Jimmy Garoppolo

 

Nah, JAG is someone like Flacco for most of his career, not someone just out of the top five. Look at my TE examples in the OP, you're getting the Tyler Eifert of QBs. Jimmy G might qualify, but Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate right now. 

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This is a tough exercise. I'd probably start with my favorite position. The Doggystyle. And I certainly wouldn't go Nickelback.... talk about the worst band ever. I'd also trade one of my picks down to the Jets, for extra picks next year.

 

In all seriousness.

 

QB, LOT, LOG, DT, DE, MLB, CB

 

 

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Quarterback - Obviously 

 

OT - Protect the Franchise 

 

DE - I feel like along with QB and OT, it should be a default. Every defense is better with a superstar pass rusher 

 

FS - Dome teams like us benefit from a fast style of play. A rangy safety that can make plays (like Hooker) would be invaluable.

 

CB - It adds an extra element to a teams secondary if they just have a guy on defense you can rely on to shut any opposing WR down. Remember Davis in his prime? 

 

TE - Quarterbacks benefit from having reliable tight ends that can make plays in big spots.

 

OG - Sure why not. Maybe I’m boosting because of Nelson, but if you have an elite OG and an elite OT you basically have an elite line. Pair that with an elite QB and you can’t go wrong.

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Mahomes, Barkley, hilton, Quentin nelson, aaron Donald, derwin james,khali mack

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20 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

 

Nah, JAG is someone like Flacco for most of his career, not someone just out of the top five. Look at my TE examples in the OP, you're getting the Tyler Eifert of QBs. Jimmy G might qualify, but Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate right now. 

Then Jimmy G or Wentz 

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QB, DE, MLB, CB, DT, S, S

 

An elite D with a good QB is what wins SBs, a QB can make a decent OL and WRs much much better, as long as I'm still getting a average OL and not a Luck years version I trust Mahomes, Wilson ect to keep the offence on track and an elite D shuts teams down. 

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QB

OT

C

5 tech in a 3/4 Or....... 3 tech in a 4/3

WR

FS

MLB in a 4/3 Or.......Solb in a 3/4

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Nice thread... 

 

There have been some arguments for a while now about the relative value of pass-coverage vs pass-rush. Teams offensively are turning to faster and faster game plans and this affects the pass-rush a ton. You can practically scheme the pass-rush away if you have good enough QB and receivers that get open quickly. The latest advanced analytics seem to favor positions like CB and WR value-wise over long-held champions like EDGE rushers or OTs. I will also take into account your characterization of the rest of the roster(average players as opposed to straight up trash). At some positions the improvement between pro-bowler and average/JAG is higher than at other positions. Those are just part of the considerations that will inform my choise here:

 

Offense:

 

1. QB: not controversial take here - most important position of all... he handles the ball and makes a decision that might affect the game pretty much 100% of the snaps. I want the best passer and decisionmaker to run my offense. 

 

2. WR: yep, give me a beast of an X-receiver. Pass-catchers are incredibly important.

 

3. LT: Yeah, I know, this goes against some of the things I said above, but time and time again we see what a great LT does to an offensive line. Leremy Tunsil is not even that great and he almost single-handedly turned around the HOU OLine. Same with AC last year - we missed him mightily when he was injured to start the year and then turned the line into a great unit. And again - he's not even at the level we are talking here. He still has not had a pro-bowl or all-pro recognition(maybe he gets one this year, he deserves it). But yeah... give me Bakhtiari, give me Armstead, give me Tyron Smith level player... I think this raises the level of the whole O-Line, especially if it's filled with average players at the other positions(rather than horrible ones)

 

------------------------------------

Those will be my selections offensively. I think a QB masks a lot of deficiencies and I think he elevates average players and squeezes everything out of most of them. Just look at what Luck used to do with players like Jack Doyle, Donte Moncrief, Eric Ebron, Inman, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen... 

 

Defense:

 

4. CB: yep, I want a shut down corner. Like I said earlier, newest research shows pass-coverage and especially on the boundary is paramount. and it affects pass-rush more than pass-rush affects CB play. 

 

5. CB: yep, give me one more... I'm shutting down both sides of the field and hoping this gives additional time to my pass-rush to get there. They will play on island and I will scheme out everything else(i.e. slot receivers and TEs)... if I have to I will double away from them. 

 

6. WILL: I want a sideline to sideline monster to clean up the run game and take on crossing routes in the short-intermediate middle in coverage.  

 

7. EDGE: I still want a player capable of beating his man one-on-one on the line and creating pressure/affecting the pass when my pro-bowl CBs lock down their match ups. 

 

So what do you think? Does it make sense? 

 

 

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3 hours ago, braveheartcolt said:

With a twist......

 

Manning, Freeney, Harrison, Glenn, Nelson, Sanders & Viniateri......

With an evil twist......

 

QB, WR, RB, OT, C, DE & S.

 

Painter, Basket, Keith, Ugoh, Satelle, Werner & Landry.

 

May just beat the current Dolphins mind you......

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1 hour ago, stitches said:

Defense:

 

4. CB: yep, I want a shut down corner. Like I said earlier, newest research shows pass-coverage and especially on the boundary is paramount. and it affects pass-rush more than pass-rush affects CB play. 

 

5. CB: yep, give me one more... I'm shutting down both sides of the field and hoping this gives additional time to my pass-rush to get there. They will play on island and I will scheme out everything else(i.e. slot receivers and TEs)... if I have to I will double away from them. 

 

Here's my question. Your coaching staff is Frank Reich and Matt Eberflus, and you're going with two shutdown corners in a zone heavy defense? Or are you assuming that with different personnel, they play more man coverage?

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5 minutes ago, braveheartcolt said:

With an evil twist......

 

QB, WR, RB, OT, C, DE & S.

 

Painter, Basket, Keith, Ugoh, Satelle, Werner & Landry.

 

May just beat the current Dolphins mind you......

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT4G3QNSw3SDRycck3kPgl

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Here's my question. Your coaching staff is Frank Reich and Matt Eberflus, and you're going with two shutdown corners in a zone heavy defense? Or are you assuming that with different personnel, they play more man coverage?

I approached this exercise as a blank canvas, so I assumed I can play any system I want - i.e. I want us to play more man coverage... A LOT MORE. Also... I've been saying this a lot - IMO Ballard wants us to play more man. He has consistently said that and his moves suggest that(drafting Hooker 1st round(IMO Hooker is a waste of a gamechanger in Tampa 2), drafting Ya-Sin who is more of a man corner than zone corner, drafting Wilson, who again IMO is more of a press-man corner(he's not good but he was projected to be more man corner than zone), etc.

 

I think we didn't have the personnel to play more man in the beginning so Ballard was content with masking our deficiencies at corner with that Tampa 2 that helps the corners in the deep field with 2 safeties. 

 

I really want to see if Eberflus starts playing more man after what we did in KC. I know it's one game, and I know KC was injured, but I wonder when Eberflus will get sick of all those QBs papercutting us to death with those WIDE OPEN throws underneath. We cannot stop anyone (that's not Marcus Mariota) with that Tampa 2. Even the Tannehill and old Eli's of the world had no problem moving the ball against this defense.  We jumped from 25% high under Eberflus to 73% against Mahomes and the results were encouraging. Of course you will give up some more big throws but that's why you drafted Malik Hooker in 1st round. This is precisely what his role was supposed to be. He is supposed to be able to help cover the deep field as a single high safety. Get him healthy and get the training wheels off. 

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Good topic @Superman.

 

Personally:

 

QB - Self Explanatory 

OT (Specifically my LT) - Gotta protect the Franchise

OG - Probably LG to shore up one side of the line, but maybe RG for balance.

TE - I'd go TE over WR in the modern game, a Gronk can be a #1 receiver and monster blocker too

DE - PASS RUSH, PASS RUSH and more PASS RUSH. A legit 15+ sack every season guy and drive a whole D IMO. Either they have to account for him, or he's going to be disrupting that backfield. 

CB - Was torn between this and FS. Although I think we've not seen a Revis type corner since, if you could have a Revis guy who can follow their #1 and shut him out 1 on 1 it's huge. 

 

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What would a Jag qb be considered? Peyton won as a shell of his former self. 
But give me 

K.Mack (he can play end too)

Jag

Donald 

Myles Garret 

 

Jag

Luke

Jag

 

Fuller

Gilmore

Jag

J Adams

 

All my offense has to do is score more than 18 points lol

 

 

 

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Reich and Eberflus are my coaches, right?

 

QB, LT, 3T, WILL, SS, DE, C

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