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Offseason Strategy: Time to Win Now


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Not all 7-9 teams are created equal.

 

The question every NFL GM of a mediocre team should ask about their roster:  If I had Kirk Cousins at QB, could we make the playoffs?  If the answer is yes....then your roster is ready to win.

 

Do the Colts have position groups needing an upgrade?....Obviously.  Have to find a 3T and starting WR.  Might need a LT, but we’ll see about that.

 

Put Kirk Cousins in at QB and the Colts were a playoff team...and might have been with a league average kicker and JB at QB...

 

So....it’s time to go win now...and we have 7 months to sort it out.

 

For my money...I’ve come around to the 1st Rd Jordan Love camp, not wait until late 1st, after thinking initially that Ballard won’t go for it.  The more I watch, the more I see a QB that is decisive and accurate in the quick game with the arm, feet and mind to grab chunk plays when available.  No way he makes it past the Bucs at 14, and we might have to trade up to 10 or 11 to prevent the Bucs from the same.

 

Giving up our 3rd or 4th Rd pick to move up for Love, we grab 3T Blacklock @ 34 and BPA WR @ 44

 

JB starts the year and gets us to 6-4 as the rhythm fades away.  Love finishes the year and we go 10-6 for a wildcard spot.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, stitches said:

Sounds good. Lets do it :) 

 

But seriously... we will need to spend some money in FA this year too. I wouldn't mind us pursuing the best 3T or EDGE that hits FA. I think we need a bit more help with CBs and a TE too. 

Agreed...but predicting Ballard’s free agency behavior is futile.  He has and will make sensible moves to shore things up in the open market...just won’t be the guys we’re hoping for.  
 

He’ll definitely sign a TE while drafting another 3rd day.

 

I don’t think we’ll do much in the secondary in Free Agency or before 3rd day in the draft.

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To win now, we need to have what all deep playoff teams have:

 

QB.

 

Dominant EDGE player.

 

 #1 playmaker in the secondary.  Neither Rock nor Hooker have shown, yet, that they can be that guy.

 

Reliable #2 WR

 

Reliable slot WR

 

3T.  Autry is rotational.

 

1T. Grover is rotational.

 

Heavy RB

 

Fast TE

 

And if we're looking beyond next year (being in win now mode two years from now):

 

A LT

 

A #1 WR.

 

Golly, you could say that we need an entire new team except oline , LBers, and a few second rate DBs and Edge rushers.

 

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I like it and I agree Love, Herbert and Tua will be gone by 13.  Need to move up for our guy if that's the plan.  I think Ballard really needs to plug one of our holes in FA.  Especially at Edge or 3T if any of the playmakers make it to FA.  Time to make a big acquisition in FA. 

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Some of you may not remember but after the season, Reich said despite the outcome that we are real close. I’m paraphrasing now but he said something about being around football all of these years and that we are real close.  I take that to mean we don’t need a new group of superstars to add to the roster ...maybe a couple here and there. 

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5 hours ago, DougDew said:

To win now, we need to have what all deep playoff teams have:

 

QB.

 

Dominant EDGE player.

 

 #1 playmaker in the secondary.  Neither Rock nor Hooker have shown, yet, that they can be that guy.

 

Reliable #2 WR

 

Reliable slot WR

 

3T.  Autry is rotational.

 

1T. Grover is rotational.

 

Heavy RB

 

Fast TE

 

And if we're looking beyond next year (being in win now mode two years from now):

 

A LT

 

A #1 WR.

 

Golly, you could say that we need an entire new team except oline , LBers, and a few second rate DBs and Edge rushers.

 

 

Well. That's a wrap. The Colts will never make a deep playoff run ever again. What is a deep playoff run anyways? The AFCCG? You realize not a lot of teams make it there every year? 

 

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11 hours ago, NannyMcafee said:

 

Well. That's a wrap. The Colts will never make a deep playoff run ever again. What is a deep playoff run anyways? The AFCCG? You realize not a lot of teams make it there every year? 

 

We did with Manning, Edge, Marvin, Tarik, Jeff, Reggie, Dwight, Robert, Bob, then Marlin and Kelvin.  During those years, if we DIDN'T make a deep playoff run it was a disappointment.

 

We drafted players who contributed at a high level right away, pretty much, then played that way for 10 years, pretty much.

 

Assuming Hooker, Quincy, Rock, Nelson, Kelly, Smith, Leonard, Turay, and Campbell will all contribute at a similar high level next year and for 8 more years, that would be a nice core.  Since we've probably oversupplied the oline with talent, we would then just need to find a QB,  a #1 WR, a Fast TE, an opposite side edge or DT, and a LT without using 5 consecutive years of first round or high second round picks.  

 

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2 hours ago, DougDew said:

We did with Manning, Edge, Marvin, Tarik, Jeff, Reggie, Dwight, Robert, Bob, then Marlin and Kelvin.  During those years, if we DIDN'T make a deep playoff run it was a disappointment.

 

We drafted players who contributed at a high level right away, pretty much, then played that way for 10 years, pretty much.

 

Assuming Hooker, Quincy, Rock, Nelson, Kelly, Smith, Leonard, Turay, and Campbell will all contribute at a similar high level next year and for 8 more years, that would be a nice core.  Since we've probably oversupplied the oline with talent, we would then just need to find a QB,  a #1 WR, a Fast TE, an opposite side edge or DT, and a LT without using 5 consecutive years of first round or high second round picks.  

 

 

It is so nice to have players of that quality. But you're talking about one of the very best teams in the 2000s. 

 

Personally I think you need a top 10 oline a top 10 dline and a top 10 QB in order to consistently make that deep playoff push you're talking about. The Dline we have would be top 10 with a guy like Kinlaw from the draft and a couple solid FA signings. The colts of the 2000s rarely had a top 10 defensive line even with guys like Freeney and Mathis, and it took everything peyton had because of that. 

 

I believe Ballard is on track and could only stray off of it if he ignores the dline this off season.   

 

Finding a top 10 QB is a lot easier than finding that elite guy. There are some options out there for that, and even JB can be that guy if he cleans up his mid to long range accuracy significantly this off season ( I'm not saying I want him as starter).

 

As for having a #1 WR, Hilton is a #1. I know hes not on the early side of 20, but hes not getting old and we still have Cambell and Fountain who are unproven, plus the upcoming draft. I agree with need at least a #2 WR but right now Hilton is the #1. 

 

So as long as Castanzo doesn't retire, the colts only need a handful of guys to put them over the top.

 

All imo. 

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Some of you are missing it though.  There is no such thing as a team without holes.  There are ALWAYS holes on every team, even the Superbowl champs.  The REAL craftiness lies in being able to cover up those short-comings.  Oh, and being relatively healthy when the playoffs come.  Some if it is simply chance.

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30 minutes ago, NannyMcafee said:

 

It is so nice to have players of that quality. But you're talking about one of the very best teams in the 2000s. 

 

Personally I think you need a top 10 oline a top 10 dline and a top 10 QB in order to consistently make that deep playoff push you're talking about. The Dline we have would be top 10 with a guy like Kinlaw from the draft and a couple solid FA signings. The colts of the 2000s rarely had a top 10 defensive line even with guys like Freeney and Mathis, and it took everything peyton had because of that. 

 

I believe Ballard is on track and could only stray off of it if he ignores the dline this off season.   

 

Finding a top 10 QB is a lot easier than finding that elite guy. There are some options out there for that, and even JB can be that guy if he cleans up his mid to long range accuracy significantly this off season ( I'm not saying I want him as starter).

 

As for having a #1 WR, Hilton is a #1. I know hes not on the early side of 20, but hes not getting old and we still have Cambell and Fountain who are unproven, plus the upcoming draft. I agree with need at least a #2 WR but right now Hilton is the #1. 

 

So as long as Castanzo doesn't retire, the colts only need a handful of guys to put them over the top.

 

All imo. 

Turay played about 4 full games and had two great games against bad LTs, and did nothing in the other two games against playoff caliber LTs.  There is nothing to show that he can be a reliable component of a top 10 line, IMO.  He might be, but we can't rule out having to find another edge player.  Houston is done after this coming season likely. We know we need to improve both DT positions.  We know that we will have to improve Houston's edge position.  What we don't know is if if Turay and Ben can play a reliable edge for 3 downs.

 

I think for me to think of us in a win now mode, I have to be comfortable with what the players have shown.  I can't in my mind elevate the potential I see into a level of consistent play that I haven't seen yet.  To that extent, I can comfortably say that we have the online and linebackers to be a consistent playoff caliber team.  I can't say that about any other position on the team.

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20 hours ago, ztboiler said:

The question every NFL GM of a mediocre team should ask about their roster:  If I had Kirk Cousins at QB, could we make the playoffs?  If the answer is yes....then your roster is ready to win.

 

Lol. Would you like Cousins? Here is a trade offer:

 

Kirk Cousins and a 3rd for Q. Nelson since the Colts need a QB.

 

Yay or Nay?

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I would be okay with Love, but the fact that, by the draft, this fan base will have talked about drafting Love every day for 5 months tells me it's probably not going to happen.  :) Unless you have the number one pick in the draft, when does that ever happen?  Additionally, in the case of Ballard, the majority of his draft picks were spoken about little on this forum.  Even with the #6 pick, you had 25 Chubb posts to every one Nelson post.

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51 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Turay played about 4 full games and had two great games against bad LTs, and did nothing in the other two games against playoff caliber LTs.  There is nothing to show that he can be a reliable component of a top 10 line, IMO.  He might be, but we can't rule out having to find another edge player.  Houston is done after this coming season likely. We know we need to improve both DT positions.  We know that we will have to improve Houston's edge position.  What we don't know is if if Turay and Ben can play a reliable edge for 3 downs.

 

I think for me to think of us in a win now mode, I have to be comfortable with what the players have shown.  I can't in my mind elevate the potential I see into a level of consistent play that I haven't seen yet.  To that extent, I can comfortably say that we have the online and linebackers to be a consistent playoff caliber team.  I can't say that about any other position on the team.

 

 

The dline is all by comity approach. I'm not worried about the individuals numbers as much as I am worried about how they do as a unit. You're stuck on needing several elite players when you dont need that to be a contender year in and year out. 

 

Houston might be gone after this year, but that doesn't mean he will be. Hes our player now. Ballard has already described how badly we need a DT which is why I think we draft Kinlaw at 13 a potentially elite player who can collapse the pocket from the middle. 

 

Ballard preaches and preaches oline and dline which means hes not going to do nothing about the lines every off season like we have seen other GMs do. 

 

If Ballard does what he talks about, we will see new pass rushers and new interior dlineman every year. If the dline becomes top 10 or better, then it will just make those lbers better, it will also make the secondary better, meaning we wont need to have that elite secondary. It's all about the lines on both sides of the ball. When that is your focus for the most part every year, you dont need to worry about all the other positions nearly as much. 

 

You build from the lines out. A team that does this, will be successful. Just because no other team that makes a deep playoff push is focusing on that, doesn't make it the wrong approach. 

 

SF has one of if not the best dlines in the nfl. They made a deep playoff push. They dont have the oline we have. I think the Colts are closer than you think. 

 

But, I could be way off base. 

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21 hours ago, ztboiler said:

Not all 7-9 teams are created equal.

 

The question every NFL GM of a mediocre team should ask about their roster:  If I had Kirk Cousins at QB, could we make the playoffs?  If the answer is yes....then your roster is ready to win.

 

Do the Colts have position groups needing an upgrade?....Obviously.  Have to find a 3T and starting WR.  Might need a LT, but we’ll see about that.

 

Put Kirk Cousins in at QB and the Colts were a playoff team...and might have been with a league average kicker and JB at QB...

 

So....it’s time to go win now...and we have 7 months to sort it out.

 

For my money...I’ve come around to the 1st Rd Jordan Love camp, not wait until late 1st, after thinking initially that Ballard won’t go for it.  The more I watch, the more I see a QB that is decisive and accurate in the quick game with the arm, feet and mind to grab chunk plays when available.  No way he makes it past the Bucs at 14, and we might have to trade up to 10 or 11 to prevent the Bucs from the same.

 

Giving up our 3rd or 4th Rd pick to move up for Love, we grab 3T Blacklock @ 34 and BPA WR @ 44

 

JB starts the year and gets us to 6-4 as the rhythm fades away.  Love finishes the year and we go 10-6 for a wildcard spot.

 

 

 

I was under the impression that at this time last year, after winning two playoff games, we were ready to compete and go all out. And then Ballard did Ballard things during FA.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like his approach in building through the draft, but it's also frustrating because we have to be so patient -- which in some way looks like throwing years away, waiting for the team to develop, and hoping that the rookies actually develop to be good players. That's always a hit-and-miss.

 

And then Luck left and here we are...

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1 minute ago, NannyMcafee said:

 

 

The dline is all by comity approach. I'm not worried about the individuals numbers as much as I am worried about how they do as a unit. You're stuck on needing several elite players when you dont need that to be a contender year in and year out. 

 

Houston might be gone after this year, but that doesn't mean he will be. Hes our player now. Ballard has already described how badly we need a DT which is why I think we draft Kinlaw at 13 a potentially elite player who can collapse the pocket from the middle. 

 

Ballard preaches and preaches oline and dline which means hes not going to do nothing about the lines every off season like we have seen other GMs do. 

 

If Ballard does what he talks about, we will see new pass rushers and new interior dlineman every year. If the dline becomes top 10 or better, then it will just make those lbers better, it will also make the secondary better, meaning we wont need to have that elite secondary. It's all about the lines on both sides of the ball. When that is your focus for the most part every year, you dont need to worry about all the other positions nearly as much. 

 

You build from the lines out. A team that does this, will be successful. Just because no other team that makes a deep playoff push is focusing on that, doesn't make it the wrong approach. 

 

SF has one of if not the best dlines in the nfl. They made a deep playoff push. They dont have the oline we have. I think the Colts are closer than you think. 

 

But, I could be way off base. 

I don't think Dline by committee gets it done.  Chris Jones is an elite player among rotational types, as is JJ Watt.  Nick Bosa made the SF line a top ten.  Other playoff teams may have had a committee approach, but generally to have a top 10 d line, you need one or 2 players who can play at a high level against both the run and pass for 3 downs.

 

I think we are closer if the young players we drafted play up to their expectations.  The young players whom we drafted 3 years a go have not.  

 

And to consider, we have not had any player really play ABOVE their expectations in a significant way.  We're just hoping they play up to their draft slot.  IMO, that's not a good overall trajectory.

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10 minutes ago, Flash7 said:

I was under the impression that at this time last year, after winning two playoff games, we were ready to compete and go all out. And then Ballard did Ballard things during FA.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like his approach in building through the draft, but it's also frustrating because we have to be so patient -- which in some way looks like throwing years away, waiting for the team to develop, and hoping that the rookies actually develop to be good players. That's always a hit-and-miss.

 

And then Luck left and here we are...

Beating the Titans, winner is in, was like a playoff game...so it felt like we won 2...

 

I'm good with staying the course Ballard likes to steer...while it was good to win a playoff game last year, I actually think the quality of the roster and the overall building approach was validated more by the fact that this should have been a 10 win team without Luck than winning a playoff game last year.

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3 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I don't think Dline by committee gets it done.  Chris Jones is an elite player among rotational types, as is JJ Watt.  Nick Bosa made the SF line a top ten.  Other playoff teams may have had a committee approach, but generally to have a top 10 d line, you need one or 2 players who can play at a high level against both the run and pass for 3 downs.

 

I think we are closer if the young players we drafted play up to their expectations.  The young players whom we drafted 3 years a go have not.  

 

And to consider, we have not had any player really play ABOVE their expectations in a significant way.  We're just hoping they play up to their draft slot.  IMO, that's not a good overall trajectory.

 

All valid points. I just hope you're wrong. 

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20 hours ago, LockeDown said:

Some of you may not remember but after the season, Reich said despite the outcome that we are real close. I’m paraphrasing now but he said something about being around football all of these years and that we are real close.  I take that to mean we don’t need a new group of superstars to add to the roster ...maybe a couple here and there. 

 

What's he supposed to say?

 

"Well, with Andrew gone...we're f*cked with a capital F. JB is in the bottom half of the league's game managers, and our only offensive weapon is on the wrong side of the age apex."

 

We need a lot to run with the version of KC that won the SB, and that 49ers team blows em out too, probably worse than KC based on key positional advantages. 

 

Gotta pray we nail at least 3 (half) of QB, WR, TE, DB, DT, DE in the draft and FA, which means we have a decent chance with the additional draft selection at 34 and the surplus of cap $.

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