I hate the offseason.
I always have. Draft coverage wears me out. I dislike free agency, and I tire of the endless blather. This offseason has been especially bleak as the face and identity of the Colts has changed. It's lead to a schism of sorts in the Colts community. There's a large part of the fan base that's in mourning over what's lost. There's another part that seems fired and up happy about all the changes. I confess, it's not something I fully understand, and not a discussion I am interested in having at the moment.
Like it or not, the Colts are being remade into the image of the Baltimore Ravens. This is something that appeals to many fans. The Ravens play a specific kind of 'macho' football that resonates with fans reared on traditional pigskin values. They have been reasonably successful, making the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years, and posting double digit wins in four of those seasons.
Since 2006, the Ravens have won five playoff games. Since 2001, they've won six. So for all the talk about a certain kind of football that 'wins in the playoffs', there hasn't been any evidence that the Ravens play that kind football, assuming it exists at all (hint: IT DOESN'T). The Ravens have been a good franchise in the top six of the NFL for a decade now. There are certainly worse franchises to emulate than Baltimore.
Forgive me, however, if I don't get excited about building the monster.
The Ravens have been marked by an inability to develop a quarterback, over-conservative coaching, blown 4th-quarter leads in the playoffs, and wasting the primes of a raft of talented defenders like Ed Reed.
In other words, they've been Indy-lite for the better part of the 2000s. I don't see why anyone would be excited about the Colts morphing into a lesser-crappier mirror-image of what they've been. It's not the like the Colts didn't own the Ravens for a decade or anything, consistently pounding them into the turf in every meeting. Now instead of being lead by offense, Indy'll be lead by defense. Defense is more variable from year to year, so I can't see how that makes anything better.
This is where I find myself at a crossroads. Every time I say anything remotely critical or questioning of the new regime and their thought process, the contingent of fans that is happy with the new direction jumps down my throat for being unfair. Understand this, please: I am rooting for the Colts to win and win big. I pay for season tickets. That should tell you all you need to know about my loyalties and my interests in seeing this franchise succeed.
For a long time there was a myth about me. People thought of me as 'the positive' Colts blogger. I'm not, and I never was. I'm the guy who tells the truth. I spent five years defending and explaining the Colts because I honestly believe in the philosophy the team was built with. I believe in passing offense first. I hate free agency. I advocated sitting players in 2009, because I believe that was the right thing to do. I didn't defend Bill Polian and his ways for any reason other than I completely agreed with them. When I didn't (like the 2011 draft), I said so. I'm not the eternal optimist. I'm the guy who always tells the truth. I don't have any agenda. I don't care about being right or wrong. I'm just calling it as I see it. Some fans will find it easier to rail at me than to honestly address my concerns.
I feel it's important to bring these things up now, because my greatest fear for the Colts is this: four years of mediocrity and stories about how bad the franchise was when Grigson and Pagano took over. Everyone hated Bill Polian so much that the media will happily use him as a scape-goat for all future problems of the Colts long past when it's appropriate. If the Colts don't have a competitive team in 2013, it won't be Bill Polian's fault. It will be Pagano and Grigson's fault. If Andrew Luck doesn't develop correctly, it won't be Bill Polian's fault. It will be Pagano and Grigson's fault.
I don't care HOW the Colts win. I just want them to win. However, in my experince and research there is a path to victory in the NFL that is more sure, more reliable than others. The Colts aren't choosing that path.
They want to be like Baltimore.
I can't figure out why.
Felt the need to come back here and talk about this in the wake of the draft. Nate, I believe there were SIX picks on offense, with the first 4 in the draft all being used on Luck, the 2 top-rated TE's in the draft, and a run-between-the-spaces RB who will help on between-the-hashmarks offense. I love reading your stuff Nate, but when you posted this article, I want you to be honest, you had NO idea what the Colts draft thinking was. Because everything you said here is invalidated in the wake of the draft. Sure, they made some free agency defensive acquisitions, but really, all they're doing is following the decade-long successful draft foundation laid by BP. Doesn't sound like the Ravens to me... and I honestly believe they'll continue to be more successful than the Ravens for the simple reason that they know the way the winds are blowing in the NFL. Just felt the need to come on here and say that.
@EdHay I'm thrilled, and I'm not going to step on my column tomorrow by responding in full now.
Basically, they did the exact opposite of what they said they were going to do, and I couldn't be happier.
@Nate Dunlevy @EdHay Just like I said: there is coach speak, and there is actual actions. If you remember (and I doubt you do, since, like, you are a productive member of society) I learned my lesson from the Michigan coaching staff last year-- I think its good if teams talk about run defense and running the ball (and even acquiring a few players to that end) as long as they do something quite different. And the connection to the Michigan coaching staff is notable, too, since Michigan's current D-Coordinator, Greg Mattison, was Pagano's predecessor in Baltimore.
I liked your post, Nate (though I don´t think saying "I'm the guy who always tells the truth" was the best way to highlight your uncompromising honesty). I share your concerns about making run offense and run defense a priority. It´s quite clear coaches in the NFL can be very slow to adapt, and actually reluctant to let go of preconceived ideas that have been thoroughly debunked (as last year proved to us Colts fans, and as countless gutless 4th down calls have shown). So it´s understandable to be wary (at this point, who knows if actions will match declarations). What is absolutely true is that this new brass has 2 years to build a good team (playoffs need to be realistic by 2013) to show they know what they´re doing. Thanks for setting the record straight on Polian´s achievements, because I´m sensing this will need to be restated many, many times. Colts fans need to be realistic about the future, but I will seethe if it becomes leniency towards failure knowing that we let guaranteed brilliance walk away in Polian and Manning.
I don't know that the Colts want to be like the Ravens as much as they' want to be like the AFC North. Accepting this notion, I think it's a great idea.
I've enjoyed the 2000's as a Colts fan as much as the next guy in a Manning jersey but at the same time I've always looked at that divison with a tinge of jealousy. AFC North is old fashioned, physical and fearless, grown man football. The iniital reaction to this is that there's no room for this style of football in the modern NFL and that you cant have real success anymore committing to running the ball and stopping the run. This is a fair assessment but I dont' think this is what the Colts are commiting to at all. Why not? Look no further than Andrew Luck.
You mentioned the Ravens inability to successfully develop a quarterback and this is true. However, the Steelers have done pretty will with Roethlisberger. It's worth mentioning at this point that our new co ordinator is Bruce Arians, formerly seen calling passes thrown all over the field to speedy, big play receivers for several years now. Don't give me that 'Steelers mentality' garbage, that doesn't exist anymore. I have to put up with announcers lauding the Steelers to supposedly using a tough, old school and power running approach to winning football games. Well, they don't. If they did they would draft offensive linemen higher than the 3rd round and not march out scrubs to lean against d linemen with the undrafted Willie Parker making them look good (I leave out Mendenhall because I think they got it right with him, the guy is a beast). The Colts understand that Luck is a rare prospect and Arians will be giddy to help direct 4,000 yard seasons for the next decade-something Irsay saw the value of with Manning and Moore.
Where Pagano and the Ravens tie in gets me excited is, obviously, the defense. With him and Manusky building the unit I'm excited about the eventual transition to a full time 3-4 defense. To be sure, this will take time. You don't find Shawne Merrimans, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis', Ed Reeds or Jamal Williams ()early 2000's) hanging on trees every offseason. In time though, I'm looking forward to the Colts fielding a complete and physical 3-4. Will it ever reach the lofty heights of the 2000's Baltimore Ravens? Given the aforementioned need to build an offense around Luck, probably not. Still, I think we can expect a mix of Baltimore and San Diego style defense when the finished product is assembled. Not too shabby.
Finally, how about the fact that the Colts play in the AFC South? Not exactly a physical, 'man's man' brand of NFL football. The Texans have a good team and should run the show for a few years. However, replicating a hard nosed AFC North styled team in this division should be an advantage in itself. If 'Building the Monster' goes as planned, waffling teams lacking a true (or at least physical)identity like the Titans and Jaguars would find themselves even more uncomfortable going toe to toe with the Colts in fist fights (see: Ravens vs Steelers, only one of those teams would be captained by Blaine Gabbert). Even the Texans have enough to prove. They beat a Bengals team that wouldn't have been in the playoffs in any other AFC year in recent memory and still have to show they can bang with the big boys year in and year out.
All in all, I'm excited about the new direction and take solace in that the Colts aren't trying to be the Ravens but rather are trying to be the AFC North. This is not to call you out or disagree with you entirely, you raised some interesting and legitimate concerns your dissection. However, I might suggest you take in some of the subtleties of the whole situation and enjoy a big scale, long term picture that I think shows great success for the Colts going forward in this regime.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames The AFC South isn't 'man's football'? The last three rushing title winners are in the South. All they do in the South is run the ball and stop the run. The Jaguars entire identity was based around 'big and physical'.
MJD, Arian Foster and Chris Johnson may have rushing titles but you're kidding yourself if you're suggesting the AFC South is at all close to the AFC North in terms of physicality. Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnatti have been hard nosed teams going well back before 2009.
A few years back the AFC South was an elite conference but only enjoyed that for a couple seasons. Before that and since it is among the worst in the NFL with the Colts being the lone bright spot before last season. Try talking about the AFC South being good at something to an NFL fan that doesn't have a team in the division and they'll laugh at you.
It depends mostly on preference and specific use. The most common usage of "data" is to treat it as a mass noun, such as "furniture." Some really want it to exist ONLY as a plural because it is a neuter plural noun in latin, which isn't always the case; really, people should "datum" if they want to be consistant with this but usually say "data point". The reason is that trying to force latin plurals on english is usually pretty strange when it doesn't just add the final "e/es" sound. It is especially since "data" in latin just means "given" making this dedication to the grammar a bit weird anyway. I would argue that if people are making broad statements like "the data speaks for itself", they are probably using it correctly since they mean the total effect.
The issue is, of course, that this is really an unreal question. Grammarians can argue all they want about what it should be, but the fact is that usage determines what language is. Data is becoming the norm, so that is the more "acceptable" usage.* A pretty good analoge would be the word "bacteria", which really should be "bacterium" in the singular and is almost never used because it is not really the accepted usage any more.
* Speaking of "not understanding" how certain things work, calling a usage you disagree with "improper" grammer is better than calling it "poor", but it is probably better to think of it as "acceptable" or "unacceptable". A small semantic difference, to be sure, but since I have already ridden the hobby horse to long anyway, right?
@rogcohen No statistic or data can stand alone, ever. No data or statistic has inherent meaning. If someone has ever said "The data speak for themselves" (or, with improper grammar, "The data speaks for itself"), then that person has 1) Used hyperbole, which is just fine, or 2) shown that they just don't understand science (the process of learning from data) at a very basic level.My point is, the meaning of a stat depends entirely on its context. Given your complaint against Nate, I have to ask you: Does the YPCompletion stat for Tebow against the Steelers in the playoffs last year mean the same as the YPCompletion stat for Manning against the Patriots in their most recent AFC Championship matchup?
@rogcohen AV matters in general, as a loose guideline.
Cosmetic positive stats don't matter if we are talking about what chance a QB actually gave his team to win.
Sacks are from bad QB play in general, but not every sack is the QBs fault.
YPXC is a ok stat, but has limitations when dealing with RBs.
So do QB TDs. There's value in volume, but it's very limited.
Passing yards are always pointless. It's best never to be mentioned except as a curiosity.
Passer rating is handy, but not the end all and be all.
It's called nuance. There is no magic silver bullet when arguing stats.
I wrote an opinion piece to express frustration over a certain issue that I written about in more depth before.
I fail to see what's wrong with that.
Nate, how can you even write the above in the comments section of an opinion piece that you wrote, that has no facts in it at all, which you titled "Truth Telling and the Eternal Optimist."
Furthermore, if there's one thing I've learned while arguing with you on here, it's that you will selectively ignore any facts that don't back up your opinion. In our previous discussion about Colt's teams, you at various points said the following:
AV does not matter
Cosmetic positive stats don't matter
Cosmetic positive stats matter
Sacks are bad QB play
Sacks are bad line play
yards per rushing attempt matter
Touchdown passes for QBs doesn't matter (except when you want it too)
Passing yards for QBs is pointless
Passer rating can be useful (when you want it too be)
Arguing stats with you is pointless as any stat that doesn't back you up doesn't matter in that circumstance. And you just wrote an entire piece that was all wildly thrown out opinion.
You know what... touche. I took your comment out of context, thought it was a potshot at myself and felt like I was in a corner waving a torch for a moment. Didn't know that was a jab at both of us and probably a well deserved one, you're right.
I'm actually thrilled that I found this forum, I live in Toronto and there's not a lot of Colts fans around. Look forward to many discussions with you, Nate and anyone else on this board.
For the record, I drink hard people love me at parties.
@GhostofEdgerrinJamesWow. You must be so much fun at parties. Jokes and sarcasm have no place in your world. Got it. Maybe you should quit insulting everyone else on the board. You're the only one here presenting yourself as smug. A light hearted jab was what your excessively long back and forth whine fest needed. Get over yourself.
I understand that facts and stats are important but in my experience I find that many casual fans who lack an appreciation for the game amass and hide behind sheets of statistics. Maybe the never played football, maybe they like reading about it and playing madden more than watching the games. I'm not saying this is you, Nate or anyone else I've talked to on this forum. I pour through and memorize stats myself, it's part of the game. All I'm adamant about though is that football is decided on the field and you have to have an appreciation and respect for that and no invest solely in box scores.
Please though, I have limited patience for quick one liners and cheap, smug remarks. I love talking about all things football with anyone just try to be engaged and constructive.
Facts also allow people to present very skewed and doctored opinions. Sadly, not many people online know that.
Get off his.
Hey I'm on nights and it was 10 am when I read this after starting at midnight, sorry for flying off the handle. If you want to contritbute though, bring something to the table please.
Thanks for literally quoting and responding to half of a sentence, I think that's the first time I've ever seen that done.
That little symbol after the 's' is a comma. People use this when they have to finish our complete a thought. I did not say stats or facts are meaningless, I just meant that in this case it was unncessary to go digging through 2005 win total for the Jaguars. Thank you for your constructive and insightful response though.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames "I don't need to support my opinions with stats or facts,"
There's your problem right there.
@Nate Dunlevy Yeah, you and me both. I can barely watch Manning on NFL network wearing a Broncos hat, ugh.
Pagano didn't thrill me either but if anything I'm looking forward to some precedent being put into the defense. Let alone Arian Foster I can still see Curtis Martin running wild when i close my eyes sometimes.
I'm with you on the last 4 months being a knife in the heart though. Luck or not, I'll never really forgive them for Manning not retiring a Colt.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames I'm just in a foul mood about football. These are some of the darkest days I've had as a Colts fan, and I'm ready to throw down over anything. I'm just distraught over the direction the team has taken in the last four months.
@Nate Dunlevy Apology accepted, I offer one to you as well. Even as recently as my last post a minute ago I was pretty heated.
I look forward to discussing Colts with you in the future though, regardless of being so adamant I do respect your opinion a great deal by now.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames I'm apologize, sincerely. We have different values when it comes to enjoying football. I lose sight of that often.
I watch football one way, with one set of lenses. You watch it another way with another set. That's great. I didn't mean to jump down your throat. I just took exception to saying it was arrogant for me to link to my own piece. I shouldn't have been so rough on you. There was no call for it.
Also, realize that just because someone doesn't write for Bleacher Report they might still be a pretty big football fan. Even having that distinction means a lot less to me now than it did a few hours ago. You shouldn't talk down to people off the bat dude.
@Nate Dunlevy The only reason I made you "testy" was when you started chiding me with these brash and arrogant remarks. I offered you a lengthy and thoughtful opinion and all you offer back is criticism for an offhand remark about an AFC division that has gotten worse over the last few years and is arguably the worst in the NFL.
To say something like "come on man, you're making this too easy" only reassures yourself. Anyone reading this would isn't rolling their eyes with you.
I think we mean the same things in some ways. The AFC south was pretty good for the first half of the 2000's with the emergence of Peyton Manning and the Titans still being a pretty good team with Mcnair and their defense. The Jaguars have had a few good runs here and there (yes, I have heard of Mike Smith and good example) and this helped the AFC South be arguably the NFL's best as recently as 08 I think.
I don't need to support my opinions with stats or facts, maybe that's just the journalist in you but most football fans I know are just that, football fans. I can go round for round for season totals, rushing titles, etc but at the end of the day if you watch football you know what good football looks like.
You do make a good point in that AFC teams (minus the Colts) do make a living on running the ball, that's very true. I should have been more thoughtful on that during my first comment but my point remains; the AFC North is the posterboy division for phsyicality in the NFL. I'm not alone on this and you can't keep clinging to the AFC south also being tough or underrated.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames Should say "especially Jags and Titans:
The Colts don't play smash mouth football. 6:30 am typo. Sorry.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames Listen, I get testy when people make unsubstantiated claims that are wrong. I then get more testy when they call me arrogant for linking to stats.
Have you ever heard of Mike Smith of Atlanta? Guess where he came from.
The Texans were the worst team in the division over 10 years, but they were the 'best worst team' in the AFC. You really want to compare them to the Browns?
Come on man, you making this too easy. You made a generality that was incorrect. Own it and move on.
The South is many things, but it's not one of the worst divisions in football (and never has been) and it's not soft. The AFC and NFC West have consistently been much, much worse, and the AFC South has consistently been the second or third best in football. They all play run the ball, smash mouth football, especially the Jags and Colts, but even the Texans who fielded one of the best defenses in football.
Just back up your claims. Find some stats, or facts, or anything to support what you said.
My mistake, you honestly come across as a teenager though.
I think I could imagine how much football you watch though, I'm partial myself.
How many 8-8 Texans Seasons and empty playoff losses by the Titans should I be weighing right now? Jaguars send plenty of assistant coaches to head coaching interviews as well now?
@GhostofEdgerrinJames Dude, I watch more football than you can imagine.
I'm not a kid. I'm 35.
I use stats because they are better than wildly throwing out opinions unbacked by anything but an 'eyeball test'.
Make fact claims and back them up. you don't get to pass opinion off as fact.
Like I said, AFC South was an elite conference and arguably the best a few years back.
To suggest the AFC south today is anything but very bad says nothing of you except that you're a huge homer.
I'm starting to put it together though. My mistake to take you as anything more than a stat hoarding, bratty sports journalist. I actually watch football, I don't need your self indulgent articles kid.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames Yes. They would have. You have a terrible memory about the division.
Go spend a half hour on profootballreference and educate yourself.
You don't have a leg to stand on.
lol how nice of you to back up a point you made with an article written... by yourself.
Your arrogance is undserved and also very much confusing.
@GhostofEdgerrinJames the article is full of stats. Read them. Weep.
Let me put it this way, before the 2011 would any team but the Colts finish higher than 3rd place in the AFC North in the last 5 years? 10 years? Titans maybe a couple times, Jags when they were a playoff team in 07?
@GhostofEdgerrinJames Your history of the AFC South is completely wrong.
I don't care if people would laugh. They'd be foolish.
Your perception is normal, and also very much incorrect.
I haven't read any of the comments below, so if I say anything that has already been stated, I apologize.
With that said, I agree with most of what you're saying. It does seem like the Colts are becoming more like the Ravens than the Colts; however, I do emphasize "more like". I do agree with you in that it seems like Indy will be led by their defense. Obviously I will not know that for sure until the end of next season (more than likely after 2-3 seasons), but it does seem that way as of now.
The point I would slightly change to make the statement more in-line with what I believe is that the Colts' defense is becoming the Ravens' defense (and maybe the special teams). Is that a good thing? Maybe not, as PM has shredded that same defense every time. However, I'll still take that over many other defenses in the NFL (especially the Colts' defense the past few years).
I do not think the offensive philosophy will be the same. I believe that will be more of a pass friendly offense than Ravens. Arians was here when PM first started, so he has an idea of how to develop QBs. Rothelisberger the past few years has come on the scene as one of the top tier QBs, and the Steelers offense has definitely become more pass oriented than before.
I'm not saying the Colts will not be run-heavy offense the first few years (especially next year). I fully expect that and kind of welcome it as Luck familiarizes himself with the NFL. However, longer term future, I think, Colts will be more pass friendly than the Ravens (but probably not as much as the PM Colts).
@mshah9008 I'm not willing to say that the Colts will be led by their defense yet.It's clear there's a shift in philosophy, but if you really want to know if the team's going to be a defense first or run first unit, look at where they're spending money. If the Colts drop a ton on a new QB and some new weapons, I wouldn't expect them to really transform into a defense first unit.
@Sinn0331 I agree in that we can't say anything definitive right now... everything I'm saying is obviously pure speculation that could turn out to be a 100% wrong.
However, I do think that this year (and maybe next) they may spend more on the D because they have to get the personnel to fit whatever the new scheme will be. And I also think that the run game will be a larger part of the offense than in the last few years (and it will be a different style of running too).
But in the end, yes, the next couple of years will be very telling in this whole debate
Ha ha ha, this is the funnest thing I've read in a long time. I can't tell if you're being serious or not. "I'm the guy who always tells the truth" reminds me of when someone says "I'm not a rascist, but..." You know the next thing that comes out of there mouth will be rascist.
Nate, I've read your blog for awhile, and truth and optimism are not two things I necessarily associated with it. Insightful reviews - frequently, another take on the Colts - yup, an absolute mancrush on all things Polian - definitely.
The above article contains so much random and unbacked opinion, that to find a line such as "I'm the guy who always tells the truth" makes me unable to tell if you are joking or not.
This line is also fantastic:
"The Ravens have been marked by an inability to develop a quarterback, over-conservative coaching, blown 4th-quarter leads in the playoffs, and wasting the primes of a raft of talented defenders like Ed Reed."
You could switch Ravens with Colts, quarterback with any defensive position, and defenders like Ed Reed with one of the best players ever in Manning.
The Colts have been marked by an inability to develop defensive talent, over-conservative coaching, blown 4th-quarter leads in the playoffs, and wasting the primes of a raft of talented offensive players like Manning.
And why do you think we want be like Baltimore? We have the QB coach who developed Manning, no reason to believe the offensive is like Baltimore's, and if the defensive is half as good as Baltimore's I'd be ecstatic.
My greatest fear is that you will never realise how much Manning covered for the sins of the Polians, and if Luck doesn't turn out to be as good as Manning, you will then turn around and smugly say to all "I told you so" even though the difference in the teams will be the difference in Luck and Manning.
"My greatest fear is that you will never realise how much Manning covered for the sins of the Polians"
No, I always knew that Manning allowed the execution of a very precise strategy. I think people underestimate how much Bill Polian contributed to creating an environment meant to maximize his greatest asset.
Luck won't be as good as Manning. That won't garner an "I told you so". No one thinks he'll be that good. I'm not sure I even follow your point, so why would I say I told you so?
@Nate Dunlevy @rogcohen I continue to be astounded by how dismissive people are of Bill Polian. If it makes no sense at all to judge Manning (and QBs) because of his team´s failures, it makes all the sense in the world to judge GMs based on the results of their teams. And there isn´t a single one who has had better results than Polian. The Colts own the best record EVER in a decade. What more do people need to be convinced he was a genius at team-building? The argument against him is all the more puzzling seeing how he excelled in Buffalo and Carolina too, rendering the Manning exception moot.
@rogcohen Boom. I don't go as far as you did, but you make a lot of points that are pretty good. I think the biggest thing is that he seems to make the logic misstep that being good at one thing precludes being good at another. Part of that, I think, is that the Colts chose to be good at a few things and were terrible at others-- Passing and rushing offense early, passing and passing defense later. Other teams are able to be good at multiple things.
@gbearrin @rogcohen But that is the problem. I've seen no proof that in the modern salary cap era can a team be good at all phases of football. It just can't happen, at least over a long period. A team might be able to be mediocre at everything, and that might be a winning strategy (I doubt it though), or a team can be built to optimize a few areas into strengths at the expense of other areas.
The whole argument is that if you are going to optimize a few areas for the most efficiency of winning they should be passing the ball and stopping the pass. That is the way the NFL works (and there is a lot of evidence building that it has always been this way).
Unfortunately, lots of fans and the media don't understand that. They prefer to play the football game they learned in middle school. It is fine to play smash mouth run first football as a sop to your fans, if you think that will bring in more fans than winning will, just don't confuse the 2.
@Goéland @kasey_junk @rogcohen One more point about DVOA, which is important, and reflects what is easily the most intelligent thing I think that I have heard Bill Polian say, which is no small feat: Statistical analysis in football might be a semi- usefull as a team metric ( I am not sure how much better it is than Pythagorean wins) but football games have so many different situations, formations, coverages, and techniques which don't ever have enough data points from a specific season, to the point that statistics are almost useless as an evaluative tool for players except in the vague, broad generalizations that people like KC Joyner use.
@Goéland @kasey_junk @rogcohen gaaa.... First of, DVOA isn't really as great of a stat as people like to think, though it is still pretty good-- it really doesn't offer as much "context" as people think it does. Secondly, I probably should have used a few other teams like the Steelers, Texans, Falcons, and Lions as examples.
@gbearrin @kasey_junk @rogcohen You´re ignoring how difficult it is for any team to be competent in all phases of the game, I think. For instance, you mention the Patriots, and say they gave themselves a chance to be good on defense. But they were horrendous in 2011 (30th in DVOA, 28th in pass defense). Green Bay? 27th defense in DVOA, 23rd in pass defense. Both were even worse than the Colts (23rd overall, 27th in pass defense). Do they get a pass for "trying"? I doubt the Colts actually decided to suck on D.
Bottom line, and that´s something all GMs acknowledge, not only kasey_junk and Nate on this site: teams have limited resources, and the most successful path in the NFL is to allocate most of your resources to excelling in one or two areas, even if that makes you mediocre or pathetic in others. Have you heard about the 80/20 theory?
@kasey_junk @rogcohen Here's the issue. There is favoring certain phases of the game, and there is completely ignoring significant needs. Take the Pats, who have let defense slide quite a bit: they still give themselves a chance by having a good player (Wilfork, Mayo, Chung, McCourty) at every level of the D and by making attempts to add free agents. The Colts didn't commit enough resources to the Middle of their defense until it was too late. When they did commit major draft picks to certain positions, they were largely failures or at least weren't much better than average (Ugoh, Moala are prime examples).
The reason why run defense was such an issue in the post season was because it rarely rose to the standard of average. its one thing to think run defense is less important, but to turn it into a major exploitable weakness-- and pass blocking was an issue here to, RE: 3-4 defenses with good OLB's-- is a failure.
@rogcohen Did you miss this sentence: "In other words, they've been Indy-lite for the better part of the 2000s"? Nate himself is saying Baltimore has many of the same issues the Colts have had. Therefore, why are we emulating it.
As for his pro Polian slant, you've presented Nate with no valid way to have an opinion. If he says, "I like the way the Polians built the Colts" you can just say "It was the wrong philosophy, but Manning protected them." But if Grigson builds with a different philosophy and fails, you can turn around and say "oh Luck clearly wasn't as good as Manning".
If Nate's pro-Polian bias is blinding him to reality, at least it isn't preventing him from taking a stand that can be tested. If the Colts build to "run the ball, and stop the run" and it is successful, Nate will be wrong. If the Colts build a defensive juggernaut and it produces a better decade than the last 10, Nate will be wrong.
Your premise, that Bill Polian was wrong about many things, and was saved by Manning on the other hand is intellectually weak. There is nothing that can happen in the future that can disprove your point, so what was the reason for your comment again?
Kasey, you are missing the point. This article is titled Truth Telling and the Eternal Optimist. He then writes a negative opinion piece. Nothing in this piece is factually backed up or truthfully argued, starting with his basic premise that the Colts are being modeled after Baltimore. If he wanted to be "Truthful" or "Optimistic" he would have explored both how we are like Baltimore, where we could differ, how salary cap will effect our "Baltimore-light" quality, where he thinks the Colts will be investing money and draft picks, and why, and how this makes us a second rate Baltimore team. He could also explore the moves the Colts have made so far, and whether they are based on necessity or the urge to be like Baltimore, and what he would have done differently. Further, he could explain how we are trying to cultivate a mediocre pass offense by investing the first pick in the draft on a QB.
This was just a bad fluff piece, made all the worse because it was a negative opinion piece where Nate writes he is a truthful optimist. As I said above, this piece reads like fiction, and Nate is either trying to convince himself or the reader, or possibly both, that it is not biased drivel.
@rogcohen The title was ironic Roger. I'm not an optimist at all and never claimed to be. That's a tag other put on me.
I was arguing that it never fit.
I've written all those other articles over the past month, and every time I did, people blasted me for having an agenda.
This was my response to that criticism. Nothing more.