On Tonight's Episode, Greg and Rohan discuss the latest off-season happenings, including Collie and Freeney being let go, the Combine comes and goes, the Colts are linked to every free agent known to man, and more! Live at 8pm ETno comments
Editor's Note: Please welcome Colts' fan Jacob Lewin for his second guest post for Colts Authority, his last piece looking at the possible future for Austin Collie. This piece is of a much different vein, but is still a great read and discussion on iconic jersey's. Enjoy! -KJR
Ever since the Indianapolis Colts decided not to re-sign Dwight Freeney, I kept thinking about what I should do with my two my colts jerseys of yore: Dwight Freeney (#93) and Peyton Manning (#18). Both players are iconic and timeless Colts, and many of us fans own(ed) one, or both of their jerseys.
So, now that our favorite stars are/will-be playing for different teams, what are us fans, who clung to these jerseys – wearing them at games, at tailgate parties, while watching in our living rooms as friends and family think we’re crazy – supposed to do?
Can we wear them this coming season to a game, or at a viewing-party? Do you have to wait until they retire? Is it sacrilegious to sell them (at a reduced price)? These individuals are pillars of the Colts of the 2000s!! Not only us Colts fans face this dilemma – players like Ed Reed or Brian Urlacher, certainly iconic images, may likely be on different teams next season. What are all of us supposed to do?no comments
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
A few days after placing the franchise tag on Punter Pat McAfee, the Colts made another roster move to retain one of their own. The team released the news yesterday that they have agreed to a contract extension with Defensive Lineman Fili Moala. The Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell reported that it is a one-year extension. A year makes sense here, given that Moala is coming off a knee injury, and it could give him a chance to cash in on a better deal if he has a solid season in 2013.
Drafted in the second round in 2009 to play defensive tackle in Indy’s 4-3 Tampa 2 defense, Moala adjusted to playing more of a 3-4 right defensive end role (next to the “rush” linebacker), though in Pagano’s hybrid version, they like to call the position defensive tackle.
Position names aside, Moala has showed some promise in his first year in the new system, and Ryan Grigson took notice (quote from Colts.com):
“Fili is a big and versatile player in our scheme who has a motor that never stops,” said Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson. “He’s been working his tail off rehabbing his knee and we’re very optimistic about his recovery. We’re excited to keep him in the fold.”no comments
Last week, I took a look at the Colts' drop rate over the last five years, noting that this year's drop rate was abnormally bad for an uptempo Colts team. A big part of that was the young skill players, notably Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton.
One of the things that a reader brought up was the possibility that part of the issue likely could simply be that with rookie and young wide receivers learning a new system, some improvement could be anticipated in 2013 and beyond. The same reader (thellamajockey) asked about Peyton Manning's rookie receivers through his tenure in Indianapolis, and whether they showed significant improvement in drops in their first 2-3 years in Indianapolis.
So, I decided to tackle the problem. The only issue is that Pro Football Focus, who I used for the initial piece, only has tracked dropped balls since 2008. Fortunately, STATS LLC. has tracked drops since 1992, all available on SportingCharts.com (the only place where the complete lists can be found, and historical data).no comments
One of the most overlooked units on the 2012 Colts' team was their defensive line.
As we get closer and closer to free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft, there are several key positions that many Colts' fans are focusing on, specifically cornerback, outside linebacker, offensive line, safety, and (to a lesser extent) wide receiver.
For some reason, the defensive line has been glossed over, despite the fact that it was one of the team's worst units in 2012, a big reason why the Colts were terrible against the run and failed to generate a consistent pass rush.
Why is this?
Several reasons come to mind. First, it's not a sexy position. OLB/DE is the traditional pass rushers, who get both the flashy sack numbers and the big contracts. Cornerback, a skill position, has a spot light on them every time the ball is thrown their way, as are wide receivers. Safeties can get lost in the shuffle, but with the rise of players like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, the position has gotten much more focus over the last decade.
Offensive line is the one area that the Colts have holes in that is not a "sexy" position, but with Andrew Luck being hit so often last season, it's a position that has every Colts fan is watching closely this offseason.no comments
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson was questioned by ESPN blogger Paul Kuharsky last week on whether he would be more comfortable starting a rookie offensive lineman, or a rookie defensive back – two positions of need for the Colts.
Grigson's response has set tongues wagging in the Colts community, as he said; “I would have to say a defensive back. Because a first-year offensive lineman, there are a lot more bullets flying in that vicinity he’s working in that involves thinking, that involved experience. That’s why for rookie tackles, they call it a baptism by fire. You don’t say that because it’s an easy process. A lot of times that ends up working in their favor, that they were thrown out there like that.
"But a lot of times depending on the scheme you play, corners that play on an island they are relying on technique and pure athletic ability and God-given ability. A lot of times on the offensive line, their first year they are going to see exotic blitzes that they’ve never even dreamed of. They are going to see pass-rushers and body types that they never knew existed. I would say definitely corner.”
Having assessed the worth of Dwayne Bowe and Greg Jennings in the past fortnight, it's time to turn my attention to the final member of the feted WR trio of free agency, Mike Wallace. Anyone even slightly familiar with Wallace's game would describe him as a deep-threat speedster, a role in which he was most successful under Bruce Arians in the two years of 2010-12.
Given the mini-drama surrounding Wallace last offseason, there was little doubt that his performance this year would be under heavy scrutiny from a variety of teams around the league. Rumours abounded a year ago of Wallace's apparent contract demands, which seemed a tad unrealistic at the time, let alone now. If he could maintain his 2010-12 levels of performance, he'd likely have been paid as a Top 5 receiver in the league - unfortunately for Wallace and the Steelers, 2012 wasn't such a happy time for the wideout. He declined in all major statistical categories (touchdowns aside), while his on-field performance started to incorporate drops and miscommunications which weren't evident in his prior body of work.
Furthermore, questions were raised about his off-field temperment and judgement, with the tense contractual standoff between Wallace and the Steelers - resulting in a holdout last year - augmented by recent reports of lockerroom dissension from fellow receiver Antonio Brown - the guy with the juicy new contract. Add all of the above together and you get a picture of why I don't think the Colts should pursue Mike Wallace - also add in the fact that we have a similarly speedy threat with unlimited potential in T.Y Hilton - though it's only fair to illustrate strengths and weaknesses nonetheless.
The first play I've chosen to illustrate Wallace's main strength is coincidentally against the Colts - though i'd forgive you for having banished the memory, given it comes from the dark days of last year. It's a 2nd and 5 from the PIT 19 with roughly 5:15 on the clock in the 1st Quarter.
I've chosen to circle three important defenders on the play - David Caldwell; Antoine Bethea and Pat Angerer. Caldwell and Bethea are occupying the back end, while Angerer is playing the Mike in the 4-3, and guess which defensive playcall the Colts happened to opt for? That's right, the dreaded Cover 2. Wallace is tasked with streaking across the formation to expose the limitations of the Cover 2 - the opposite receiver is running an out route behind the sitting zone corner, which puts the strong safety (Bethea) in a hell of a bind.no comments
(Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports)
There are a few free agency rumors and reports floating around the internet this week regarding the Colts. We’ll take a look at some of the recent stories and see which ones are true, plausible, or unlikely. The Colts have to spend up to the 89% cap floor this season, with $44 million in cap space, so expect the free agent buzz surrounding the team to ramp up in the next two weeks.
We'll get to this week's big story in a moment, but after the jump, we'll begin with a player most of us believed had played his last game as a Colt.no comments
The NFL Scouting Combine is coming to a close today. No more clinging to the constantly rising and falling stock of the stars of tomorrow as they run around the practice field in shorts and a t-shirt (or state of the art spandex). No more stories about how teams love a certain player, followed by stories from the media telling us that most of those stories are just lies created to throw off other teams.
If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of the combine. In fact, since the NFL Network turned it into a "made for TV" event, I've caught exactly 1 workout: Andrew Luck's. The truth is, I don't know how to decipher half of what I'm seeing, and the half I can decipher - being able to read plain stats such as 40 times and bench press - seem utterly inane to me in the context of football. Really, does it matter how fast I can run in a straight line while not wearing pads? [Spoiler Alert: No]
That said, it is a popular event, so let's talk about some of the bigger news items from the past weekend.no comments
One of my favorite "advanced" stats is wide receiver drop rate.
It's really fairly simple, taking the number of drops and dividing them by the number of targets a wide receiver receives. Unfortunately, most NFL stat places don't keep track of how many of those targets are catchable, and which are not, which is critical when looking at drop rate.
Fortunately, Pro Football Focus has kept track of that since 2008, making a drop rate that is extremely useful when comparing wide receivers.
After an extremely frustrating year for Colts wide receivers in terms of drops, I started playing with PFF's wide receiver numbers and decided to take a look back into the past five years and look at the Colts' numbers. The final product was fascinating, at least to me.