Indianapolis Colts

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25 April 2011

Colts 2011 NFL Draft Thoughts

By Mark Stein

The Indianapolis Colts played through many injuries last year and still made the playoffs for the ninth straight year.  QB Peyton Manning led his team to a 10-6 record, but the team just could not overcome eighteen players being placed on the injured reserve list.  Indy lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Jets.  2011 brings new hope to Colts fans as most of those players will be good to go by September.  Let’s just hope the NFL is good to go.

On the draft front, Indianapolis needs offensive linemen!  Preferably, a couple that can start.  Currently the Colts have three picks in the top 87 of the draft.  While that’s not a lot, it’s not bad either.  Nate Solder, the OT out of Colorado, or G Danny Watkins from Baylor could be good fits for Indy.  The team could use just about any offensive line position.

Also on offense, the wide receiver position could be addressed.  WR Reggie Wayne is getting older and WR Anthony Gonzalez has never really put it all together.  The Colts may take a tight end late, but it’s not a pressing need.  Recently, there has been some talk of Indy taking a QB to groom behind Manning, but don’t look for it in the first two rounds.  From what most draft experts are saying this year, it’s not a stellar year for QB’s, so why would the Colts reach for one?  Maybe in the later rounds.

On defense, Indianapolis could use safety and cornerback help.  Safety is a position that teams generally wait on, so the team could get lucky in the later rounds.  Safety Ahmad Black out of Florida could be a nice pick after the first round.  The Colts could use some linebacker help too, but who couldn’t?  It does not seem a pressing need for this season, but there are quite a few good rookie linebackers coming out this year, so why not?

Every team could use some cornerback competition, and the Colts are no different.  In fact, they could use a corner that could stay healthy.  If CB Chimdi Chekwa from Ohio State is there in rounds four or five, Indy just might have to snap him up.  He’s well coached and has some nice speed.  At defensive end, last year’s number one pick, Jerry Hughes did not contribute much, so the team may go back to the draft and try again.  Hughes can still play, but a little fire under the tush might help.

Now get ready, Colts fans, the draft is just around the corner and things are looking up.  Your players are getting healthy, Team President Bill Polian knows what he’s doing, and that Manning guy is back too.  2011 should be the Colts 10th straight playoff season, and that ain’t too shabby.  Let’s hope the NFL and the players union can get their mess straightened out in time for the Colts first game of the year at Houston.

Week 15 Matchup

5 January 2010

Super Bowl Bound Colts Ride Manning

After the AFC championship game Peyton Manning looked physically exhausted. But what was going on inside his head was what was more telling. Manning had just triumphed the number one defense in the NFL and was looking toward the daunting task of playing the New Orleans Saints, who by act of divine right have become “Americas Team.” Lets take a closer look at how the Colts pushed the Jets aside to take the game 30-17.

Going into the game, the tone was going to rely heavily on defense. As a unit, the Colts defense had been over looked week after week. But this is largely attributed to the fact that Manning is the Colts. No matter what the team does, everything centers and will find its way back the Mr. Manning who is on a first class trip to Canton.

But this Colts defense, which has played solid all season long ranking 18th overall as a team defense, was lead by a cast of players that understood their roles and played within the system. A system run by coach Caldwell, that was getting much scrutiny when they pulled their starters in that week 16 match up against the NY Jets. On this day, in this AFC championship game, the Colts were not going to be denied.

The first half was taken over by the Jets early on. Peyton was sacked twice in what looked like a frazzled Manning. The Colts got on the board first with a Stover 25 yard field goal. The Jets answered back with a long pass down the seam from Sanchez to Edwards to give the Jets the lead for the rest of the half. However the story in the first half was not how bad Peyton was, but rather how strong the Jets defense was. They got pressure with a four-man rush and were able to get to Manning. Dwight Lowery had two key break ups in the end zone to force field goals.

However, you could feel the tide of the game change at the end of the first half. Manning marched the Colts down the field with a true one minute offense capping the drive with a 16 yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie forcing the halftime score to 17-13 Jets. What makes Manning such a successful quarterback is that he not only reads defenses he reads players. As Herm Edwards said on the Michael Kay Radio Show on 1050 ESPN New York, “Peyton doesn’t just read defenses, he reads you. He will look how you crouch, what foot you lead with, things like that. He knows what you’re going to do, before you do it. Its really not fair.” And this sealed the fate of the Jets.

It takes very little for Peyton to fully understand your defense. So applaud the Jets for baffling him for an entire half. But when you give Manning an entire half plus half time he is bound to bounce back. Manning finished with 337 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Colts to a come from behind 30-17 win. Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark all hauled in one touchdown pass to help exploit a defense that has the games only true cover corner, Darell Revis. By going the opposite side of him all game long the Colts were able to avoid the Jets strongest players. Gary Brackett led the charge on defense with 6 tackles.

Key Stats:
Peyton Manning- Completion/Attempts 26/39        
                           Passing Yards 377
                           Touchdown Passes 3
                          
                           Receiving Yards         Receptions         Touchdown Receptions
Austin Collie      123           7                  1
Dallas Clark       35            4                  1
Pierre Garcon     151        11                   1

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16 December 2009

Week 15 Matchup

All that remains for Indianapolis during the final three weeks of the regular season is the pursuit of 19-0.

Having locked up home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs with last week‘s win over Denver, Colts coach Jim Caldwell indicated his “healthy” starters will see regular action Thursday night in Jacksonville.

According to the team’s official website, quarterback Peyton Manning welcomed the opportunity to go full-bore against a division rival.

“That’s kind of what I think most players wanted to hear,” Manning told Colts.com’s John Oehser. “That’s kind of any competitive player’s nature.”

Arguments still rage over the wisdom of chasing down a 19-0 season, with many fans speculating the enormous pressure married to the pursuit eventually spelled the Patriots’ demise in their runner-up 2007 campaign.

Still, a Colts victory Thursday night would weaken Jacksonville’s (7-6) chances for a wild card berth, thus preventing the possibility of a third meeting this season. Including Pittsburgh’s three-game sweep over Baltimore last January, NFL teams are just 12-8 since the merger when attempting to defeat a single opponent three times in the same year.

Other games Colts fans should keep their eyes on in Week 15...

Sunday 12/20, 4:05 PM--Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) @ San Diego Chargers (10-3)

Winner assumes control of the AFC’s 2nd seed. Should the seeds play out, Indianapolis will welcome either the Bengals or the Chargers to Lucas Oil Stadium for the AFC Championship. Given San Diego’s recent postseason success against Manning and the Colts, Indy fans may want to pull for Cincinnati.

Sunday 12/20, 1:00--Miami Dolphins (7-6) @ Tennessee Titans (6-7)

Indianapolis handed the Titans its only loss since October 18 two weeks ago at Lucas Oil Stadium. While Tennessee most likely needs to win out and receive help from the Broncos, Dolphins, Jaguars, Jets and Ravens, the Titans are not yet eliminated from postseason consideration. After an 0-6 start to the season, a 9-7 record would give Tennessee nine victories in its final 10 games--a scary playoff draw for any AFC team.

Sunday 12/20, 1:00--New England Patriots (8-5) @ Buffalo Bills (5-8)

A Patriots win puts New England at 9-5 overall and keeps the Pats in the AFC East driver’s seat with games against Jacksonville and Houston remaining. New England coach Bill Belichick would love nothing more than an opportunity to atone for his fourth-and-two fiasco in Week 10 with a shot at redemption against the Colts in January. A victory Sunday gets him one game closer.

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20 August 2009

Phasing out the Tampa 2 defense.

If couldn’t tell before that former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was gone, then this small bit of news regarding Colts defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson may do it:

“For the past two years, Dawson has been a mainstay of the Colts’ defensive line. The team’s seventh-round draft pick in 2007, Dawson has started at defensive tackle in 18 of the 30 games he has played as a Colt. And in 2008, he started in all 14 games he appeared in while registering 71 tackles, the most of anyone on the team’s D-line.

Now, the tireless worker is taking on a new project: defensive end.”

This is taken from colts.com and reflects a trend that has been happening all over this Indy defense.

Now, this would not be that big of a deal were it not for Dawson’s history as a player. When he was being evaluated by NFL scouts in 2007, he only worked out the position of linebacker. Some 3-4 teams saw him as a rush linebacker while many 4-3 teams envisioned him as a rotational middle linebacker. Most of these scouts ignored his play at his natural position as a defensive end. As an amateur NFL Draft enthusiast, I was intrigued. Living in the Midwest means I don’t see many Texas Tech games and I was virtually unaware of him before he began his NFL workouts.

While I was pleasantly surprised to see that Keyunta had been drafted by my team, I was curious as to how they would use this would-be linebacker. In the Tampa 2, using a 250 pound outside linebacker to cover top-flight tight ends is championship suicide. I was, however, shocked to see this would-be linebacker listed on the Colts’ roster as a defensive tackle. Naturally, we all assumed Dungy was crazy. But he wasn’t. Dawson played well at his spot, as outlined above.

But what does this have to do with the team and their evolving defense?

It shows us that new coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Larry Coyer are keen on using a more traditional 4-3 set, allowing for more blitzing and relying less on a Cover 2 shell.

But this is not necessarily a good thing. Not only is this a problem in that the Colts simply do not have the personnel for a blitzing attack, but it means another thing: The offense will most certainly suffer.

This sounds like a far-fetched conclusion but it is far from it. Indianapolis has always been a team that likes to use an explosive offense to build a lead and use four defensive lineman to pressure the opposing quarterback while he is forced to pass with his team at a deficit.

But if Indy wants to run a standard 4-3 defense, with blitzing, stunts, man coverage and the like, then they are going to need to spend more money on their defense.

And that means the offense will suffer.

Man-to-man corners are more expensive. Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha recently signed a 3 year, almost $35 million contract to stay with the team. If Indy wants to blitz, they need corners like Rasheen Mathis of Jacksonville or Antonio Cromartie of San Diego, not Tamp 2 guys like Daunte Hughes and Marlin Jackson. Indeed, this would mean not only a roster over-haul (as nearly all of the linebackers, save for Philip Wheeler and Gary Brackett, would have to go) but also a huge investment of cap money that would undoubtedly have gone to the offense.

And that is not how we won the Super Bowl in 2006, or the way the team won 12 games or more the last 7 seasons.

So I think Indy stands at a defensive crossroads. Perhaps this is a plan to wean the team off of aging star QB Peyton Manning. When he is gone, they will need a heavier defense to hold the opposing offense to a low number of points…

And there will be more money for them to spend on defensive playmakers since Manning makes about $15 million a year on average…

And a rookie quarterback would likely cost the team about $3 million - $5million a year on a rookie contract.

Actually, this moves makes more sense then I thought.

Bring on that straight 4-3.

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18 August 2009

Review of Preseason Game 1: Colts vs. Vikings

The good and bad:

-RB Don Brown: He broke several long runs and ran in a one-cut, down-hill style that the Colts haven’t seen Eric Dickerson. I think we can expect him to be a feature back for this team one day.

-RB Joseph Addai: Managed to break one long run after a penalty to make it a manageable 3rd down. Addai also looked to be making sharp cuts and seemed to be blocking well, which is good for QB Peyton Manning.

-S Matt Giordano: Kept the ball in front of him and showed he can play both safety spots on a team that needs depth.

-S Jamie Silva: A second-year undrafted free agent from Boston College who played on special teams last year but who could easily make it hard for Melvin Bullitt to count on resigning with the Colts in the near future. Jamie played nearly the entire game at safety.

-LB Philip Wheeler: Seemed to be on every play and is on the fast track for starting for the next 3 to 4 years.

-P Pat MacAfee: Boomed the ball. Absolutely boomed it. It seems as though the Colts have upgraded their punter spot after Hunter smith signed with Washington in the off-season. He averaged

-G Mike Pollak: Looked good on a pull-block that sprung Joseph Addai and held his own against hardened Vikings’ DT’s.

-WR Austin Collie: This new number 17 made some big plays in his first game, as he had 56 yards on 3 catches. Perhaps the day-one slot receiver.

Here are some of the players who played poorly against Minnesota.

-T Corey Hilliard: Allowed two sacks on the first drive and forced Peyton Manning to really eat it twice. I wouldn’t expect the Colts to play him if a starter went down, because Jared Allen wasn’t even playing this day.

-T Tony Ugoh: Allowed one sack and looked lost at LT. I would be willing to bet his confidence is sapped at this point. Currently, T/G Charlie Johnson is running in his left tackle spot.

-WR Pierre Garcon: Dropped passes and looked slow. I don’t see him having a huge impact this year.

-QB Curtis Painter and QB Chris Crane: I’m not even sure if Chris Crane played, but he didn’t play well at Boston College either so I can assume it was bad. I really hope Jim Sorgi is back from that hamstring soon. Painter threw for 70 yards on 17 attempts. Ouch. He was also intercepted once.

There were some general things to be learned form this game. Firstly, we aren’t going to see what new wrinkles the Colts have on defense this year until the regular season begins. They stayed in a base 4-3 Cover 2 all night and CB Jerraud Powers and CB Tim Jennings gave 10 yard cushions on every down. Therefore, they were never beaten but made QB Sage Rosenfels look like Joe Montana on the short routes.

Secondly, this team is only great because of Peyton Manning. He makes up for poor offensive line play and lack of any depth at receiver. When he retires I pray they have a stable replacement or a much stronger supporting cast for his successor, because they’ll never win again if QB Jim Sorgi has to play with that offensive line and those reserve playmakers.

Finally, this team really needs to stay healthy. The Colts’ reserves, despite playing with a lot of heart, are not NFL starters yet. Guys like LB Adam Seward have no business filling in for Gary Brackett, just as DE Marcus Howard is probably too small to play that spot anyway. I really hope they avoid the injury bug better than they did last year.

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18 August 2009

Some Drama at Tackle

I was cruising Footballguys.com earlier today when I noticed this fine tidbit of information:

“Phillip B. Wilson, of The Indianapolis Star, reports Indianapolis Colts OT Tony Ugoh is expected to start at left tackle in the team's preseason game Friday, Aug. 14, replacing OT Ryan Diem (back).”

This is interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, T Tony Ugoh, who played college ball at Arkansas, is talented player, but has been consistently sidelined by injuries in his two-year career. But when Colts’ Head Coach Jim Caldwell released his initial depth chart this week before the team’s first preseason game this Friday at home against Minnesota, Ugoh was second on the depth chart to versatile T Charlie Johnson, who hails from Oklahoma State and has been with Indy for a few seasons. Johnson has played left tackle, right tackle in the Super Bowl in 2006, and guard all last season in place of injured G Ryan Lilja.

Secondly, this little piece of news means that despite the official Colts depth chart, Ryan Diem would be starting at left tackle were he not injured again. This leads me to believe only one thing:

Tony Ugoh must have found his way into Jim Caldwell’s doghouse.

Last season, before DT Ed Johnson was cut in training camp, I remember Tony Dungy was very hard on Johnson when he made a mistake in practice after a bizarre incident I witnessed where Johnson was caught mocking Dungy’s voice on the sideline. This may have been a contributing factor in the decision to cut Johnson after his drug-related arrest last fall. Further proof this would be that fact not long after Dungy stepped down as head coach, Caldwell took the steps to re-sign Ed Johnson.

I think there could be a similar beef between Ugoh and Caldwell. Unfortunately, all digging led to no news reports of any such rifts.

Then again, this whole this could be speculation: Perhaps the article meant that Ugoh would start for Diem at right tackle, not left tackle as the article said.

I guess we’ll all find out Friday.

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4 August 2009

Early Training Camp Report

I live right here in Terre Haute, Indiana, and I normally make it to training camp at the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology a couple of times a year. But this year I will be attending Rose Hulman, so I will likely be sending back frequent reports for NFL Draft Dog. Which means there will be more fine Colts’ reporting for fine football fans like yourselves.

That said, let’s get down to business.

The Colts managed to sign all of their draft picks just before the start of camp. 1st Round pick RB Donald Brown, 2nd Round pick DT Fili Moala, 3rd Round pick CB Jerraud Powers, 4th Round picks WR Austin Collie and DT Terrance Taylor, 6th Round pick Curtis Painter, and 7th Round picks K/P Pat McAfee and G Jaimie Thomas all agreed to four-year contracts, except RB Don Brown, who agreed to a five-year deal, likely with significant guaranteed money.

Getting your draft picks into camp on time is a huge advantage because it means the player begin to develop as quickly as possible. Holdouts normally mean busts, just ask JaMarcus Russell about how that goes. These players have a leg up on greedy 1st Rounder’s who hold out for more money.

In addition to this good news, Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore and Offensive Line Coach Howard Mudd will return to their previous duties as training camp begins. This means the only major coaching changes this year will be the addition of Larry Coyer at Defensive Coordinator and Jim Caldwell replacing tony Dungy as Head Coach. While this leaves QB Peyton Manning happy, many in the media still see the Colts as a weakened team due to the off-season changes. I, however, think that as long as the team remains stable at quarterback, meaning Manning stays healthy, and the team plays fundamental defense, they will continue their streak of 12-win seasons.

Unfortunately, many veteran players are going to begin this training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform, or PUP, list. This list of players includes WR Sam Giguere (fibula), CB Marlin Jackson (knee), DT Antonio Johnson (knee), OL Charlie Johnson (shoulder), S Bob Sanders (knee) and PK Adam Vinatieri (hip, knee). Aside from Giguere, all of these players can be big contributors, and getting them healthy is key to the Colts’ early success as a team. Vinatieri plans to be ready for the start of the season, but he has not been a top kicker since joining the Colts, so having him out for a while will not kill their season. They would be better served to bring him along slowly.

Most of you probably saw the SportsCenter report about Peyton Manning having a good feeling for the start of this season. The fact remains that Indy won 12 games last year and were a few missed tackles away from advancing in the playoffs. Although it makes all Colts fans happy to see Manning happy with the organization again, we have seen that even through a mobility-impairing injury that Manning can play at MVP form. I fully expect Indianapolis to win the AFC South this year and make another push for the Super Bowl, despite the loss of WR Marvin Harrison, and to shut up all of the naysayers in the big-market biased national media.

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21 July 2009

Colts Conform to an Ugly Trend

Great, just what football needs: A little more blatant commercialism.

Not only are we football fans bombarded with advertisements during the games, on TV and at the stadium, we will now be forced to see advertisements on the players’ jerseys.

This year the Colts will join the ranks of the Tennessee Titans and several others teams in donning practice jerseys bearing sponsorship patches. Where the Titans will wear Baptist Sports Medicine tags, the Colts will break the huddle sporting State Farm Bureau Insurance patches.

For those who don’t know, Farm Bureau has offices in every county in Indiana and probably insures more Hoosier than any other company. But that’s all beside the point.

The real issue is that football is selling itself out. How long will it be before the Indianapolis Colts trot onto the field rocking jerseys with Cummins Diesel on the front instead of Colts? Call me a stickler, but I can recall a time when the only ad on during a Colts game was for beer. Now a TV timeout consists of telecommunications ads and stupid candy bar commercials.

Most club soccer teams in Europe have major sponsors on the front of their jerseys, and the sidelines have barriers all the way around the pitch bearing the names of team sponsors. A few years ago the Arena League allowed teams to wear sponsorship patches on game jerseys and eventually they made their way onto every jersey in the league.

Hopefully the NFL will resist this change and keep the corporate sponsors off of the jerseys, but I can certainly see a day coming when we will see the Sony Patriots or the Microsoft Steelers will face off on Monday Night Football.

And sadly, we will all still watch it.

13 July 2009

Mudd and Moore Retire, Replacements Named.

Long-time Colts coaches Howard Mudd and Tom Moore have retired from the team. In true Colts fashion, their replacements were named quickly.

Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore has been with the team since 1998, and was instrumental in developing all everything quarterback Peyton Manning. Moore helped guide the league’s most prolific offense in his stretch as the teams offense guru, and he was a huge factor in piecing together the offense that won the Super Bowl in 2006 despite an aging receiving corps and a rookie running back.

Moore’s loss hurts, but in recent years,  his job has become less and less important with the rise of QB Peyton Manning as the team’s real play-caller. Moore’s spot will be taken by receiver’s coach Clyde Christensen, who helped players like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokely, Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark grow to stardom in his eight years with the team.

Perhaps more important than the loss of Moore is the loss of Offensive Line Coach Howard Mudd. Mudd, who also came to the team in 1998, helped create players like Jeff Saturday, Tarik Glenn, Ryan Diem and Jake Scott. Mudd had been crucial to the success of the team, often scrapping together a solid offensive line from waiver-wire claims, late round picks, and undrafted free agents. Mudd’s successor is Pete Metzelaars, who has been with the team for six years and played for 16 years in the NFL, most of those years having been spent in Buffalo, playing under then GM Bill Pollian.

This revelation marks bad news for one man in particular: Tony Ugoh. A great talent, Ugoh has struggled handling elite speed rushers and great bull rushers like Vikings DE Jared Allen. The loss of Mudd could hinder the development of Ugoh as the team’s starting left tackle, which would set them back further in the future. The offense relies on great offensive line play, and while guards and centers are replaceable, left tackles aren’t.

The only thing left to do now is to wait and see. There is no doubt that Metzelaars and Christensen are capable coaches. But it may take a while for them to gain the kind of prestige that Mudd and Moore have.

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27 April 2009

2009 NFL Draft Overview: Colts Grab Some More Gems

27.) Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut, 5-10, 210

This is a pretty good pick. Brown provides solid value at the end of round one, and he also fills a team need, although it is a small one. Dominic Rhodes left for Buffalo, so you can’t blame the Colts for going out and getting college football’s leading rusher to replace him.

Three-year letterman who started 23 of 37 career games…was 698-3,800, 33 TDs rushing and 48-276, 2 TDs receiving…also was 9-23.3 KOR avg. and had 4,286 all-purpose yards…set school marks in rushing attempts and yards and ranks tied for 2nd in rushing TDs…ranks 5th in Big East Conference history in rushing attempts, 6th in rushing yards and 9th in rushing TDs…had school-record 17 100+-yard rushing games, including school-record eight consecutive…17 100+ games ranks 7th in conference history.

56.) Fili Moala, DT, USC, 6-4, 303

A big, athletic DT for the Colts’ front four. He could take Keyunta Dawson’s starting spot right away. Moala has been criticized for standing up too much when pass rushing, but this can be corrected with coaching.

Four-year letterman and three-year starter who opened 38 of 52 career games…started final 33 games…had 90 tackles, 46 solo, 23.5 tackles for losses, 9.5 sacks, two FR, five batted passes and two blocked kicks.

92.) Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn, 5-10, 192

This pick is a reach and it doesn’t really fit a need-- Daunte Hughes and Tim Jennings are very effective reserve corners. Even one bad pick from the Bill Polian is unusual, so they must be pretty high on this guy.

Three-year letterman and two-year starter who opened 23 of 36 career games…had 136 tackles, 97 solo, five tackles for losses, six interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two FR and one blocked punt.

127.) Austin Collie, WR, BYU, 6-2, 200

A great pick for the Colts. Collie could have gone in round three, so in round four he is a steal. He is also a mature kid, having spent time on a mission trip. He is 24 years old and he has a real shot at starting in this offense.

Three-year letterman who started 27 of 37 career games…served on church mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2005 and 2006…was 215-3,255, 30 TDs receiving, 49-26.1 KOR avg. and had 106 rushing yards and 11 PR yards for 4,649 all-purpose yards…had 17 100+-yard receiving games…set school career marks in receptions, yardage, TD receptions and 100+-yard games…30 TD receptions set Mountain West Conference record, while he ranks 6th in career receptions, 4th in reception yards and 4th in all-purpose yards.

136.) Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan, 6-0, 319

Well, you know Tony Dungy is gone, because Terrance Taylor is a nose tackle-- something Dungy never would have valued on draft day. Indy instantly upgraded their defensive line in this draft. Per nfldraftscout.com, “Taylor delivered one of the best performances in the weight room at the 2009 NFL Combine, recording 37 repetitions bench-pressing 225 pounds. Strength has always been his biggest asset. He set Michigan prep records with a 500-pound bench press, 680-pound squat and a 670-pound dead lift.” Definitely a new kind of player for the Colts.

Four-year letterman and three-year starter who opened 36 of 48 career games…had 114 tackles, 17.5 for losses, 6.0 sacks, four FR, three batted passes and two blocked kicks.

201.) Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue, 6-4, 225

Another Big Ten quarterback. Perhaps it will be his job to push Josh Betts off of the practice squad. I’m not a big fan of the pick, but Painter has an absolute gun for an arm and if he can do anything, it’s run the scout team.

Four-year letterman who started 41 of 46 career games…was 987-1,648-11,163, 67 TDs/46 ints. passing…also was 225-348, 13 TDs rushing and 1-19 receiving.

222.) Pat McAfee, P/K, West Virginia, 6-0, 227

A punter and kicker at WVU, McAfee can be the week one punter and maybe take over for Adam Vinateri in a couple of years. Solid pick in round seven.

Four-year player who appeared in 51 career games…was 126-43.7 punting avg. (5,512 yards)…had career-long of 75 yards, 35 50+-yard punts and 46 Inside 20…was 58-79 FGs (73.4 pct.) with long of 52 yards and 210-212 PATs for 384 points…had 57 career touchbacks on kickoffs…set school record for most games played and was all-time leading scorer, all-time kick scoring leader and all-time extra points made leader…ranks 2nd in career punting avg. and 2nd in FGs made…holds Big East record for most extra points made and ranks 2nd on all-time scoring list, 2nd in punting avg. and 3rd in FGs made

236.) Jaimie Thomas, G, Maryland, 6-4, 330

I don’t really get this pick. You drafted 3 young center/guards last year. Your line is set for the future. Why draft a guy in the last round, when you could have gotten a kick returner.? Oh well. Jaimie Thomas is a big body, so he has that going for him, but he didn’t do anything impressive or major at Maryland.

Four-year letterman and two-year starter who opened 23 of 45 career games at LG.

Overview:

Overall, the Colts did some really good things in this draft. I believe that we will see two 900-1000 yard rushers on the Colts, because Donald Brown and Joseph Addai are both very capable of doing so. Don’t be surprised if Austin Collie is starting by the end of the year. Pat McAfee will likely be the guy this year as a punter, and he could handle some kickoffs as well. He is valuable too because he could be a kciker in the event of an Adam Vinateri injury. I think it will be a fight between Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor as to who will start next to Raheem Brock in the middle. This was another good draft for the colts, and there is no reason to think that they will not win the division this year after finishing second to Tennessee last year.

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26 April 2009

A Response to Indy’s First Two Rounds

Let me just go ahead and try to quell all of the outrage that I am sensing amongst Colts fans:

Your running game was among the worst in the NFL last year. You also couldn’t stop the run. So why would you have a problem with drafting a new running back and defensive tackle? They were both needs.

I know what you’re thinking: “Joseph Addai was hurt. It’s not his fault he was injured.” No, it isn’t. You nailed it. But it is absolutely true that he has sustained injury in all three years of his career.

Remember Edgerrin James? He was never the same after he blew out his knee. And to add to that, Addai has never carried the load while a member of the Colts, or in college.

He had Kenton Keith and Dominic Rhodes to team with him in Indy and he never carried the load while at LSU, with a career rushing high of just over 900 yards. So why not take a smart, fast, strong, and sure handed back to pair with Addai?

In my opinion, you should get the best running back you can in the draft, because Addai will get hurt. And when he does, the team will have Donald Brown, Mike Hart, and Lance Ball to rely on. And I am very comfortable with that backfield.

Now I’ll bet you’re saying that Trading for Filli Moala was a mistake. But again, I must contend that that pick was fine.

The Colts were 24th in rush defense last year. Ed Johnson was cut after doing to much weed, so the tackle spot by Raheem Brock was once again in flux. Keyunta Dawson has proved effective in rush situations, but can he handle the running game like a Filli Moala? I doubt it. Moala is a very talented player, and he fits the Colts perfectly, being a 300 pound tackle with athleticism.

You might contest that trading a fifth and a second for second to pick Moala was too much. But remember, the Colts have two fourth rounder’s, so that kind of makes the fifth unnecessary.

And you’re probably going to ask why the Colts didn’t draft a receiver one or two. Apparently, they don’t think they need one. Perhaps Pierre Garcon or Roy Hall can step up and take the inside spot. The only ones who think Anthony Gonzalez can’t play the flanker or spilt end spot are people who haven’t watched a Colts game: he plays there all the time. He played there when Marvin was hurt, and he will play there now that Marvin is gone.

So all in all, calm down there, Colts homers. Bill Polian is smarter than most of us, at least when it comes to front office decisions. Bedsides, who says the Colts won’t get fine players late in the draft? Remember, Gary Brackett and Jeff Saturday were undrafted, Antoine Bethea was a sixth rounder, Clint Session was a fifth rounder, and Daunte Hughes was a third round selection. So good players can be had late.

So try not to pull anything, Colts fans. Just sit back, relax, and let the Bill Polian do his thing.

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