The Colts were great at drafting, for most of the Manning era; in six straight years, their #1 picks were Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Rob Morris, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, and Dallas Clark. Morris was a linebacker out of BYU, but (like most Colts linebackers) was shuffled under the bus when their run defense broke down. Poor guy.
Point is, the last few years have added depth with no flash (thank you, Donald Brown) - until 2012. I read an intelligent piece by Michael Marot at the Associated Press, preluding the Tennessee game with a nod to the Colts current rookies this season.
Each has had a major hand in this season's turnaround from 2-14. Brazill and Fleener each caught a touchdown pass in Sunday's comeback at Detroit, Hilton already has had four 100-yard games, Allen needs seven catches in the final four games to set the Colts' rookie record for receptions by a tight end, and it was Ballard's backward, twisting flip that gave the Colts their first road win of the season at Tennessee on Oct. 28.
Andrew Luck isn't the only first-year on the Colts's roster, as they remind us every week. If not for Fleener, Allen, Hilton, Brazill, and Ballard, the Colts wouldn't be nearly as good as they are now.
@RobertItoh Brown (drafted 27th overall, '09), in four seasons has started 15 games, had two games of over 100 yards, a total of 1840 yards, and 10 touchdowns. To compare, in one season, Chris Johnson (drafted 24th overall, '08) started 16 games, had 12 games of over 100 yards, a total of 2006 yards, and 14 touchdowns. Just sayin'.
It's like having to choose betwen a box with a birthday cake and a box with a time bomb. The top choce is quite nice. The second choice is a big step down.
Keep in mind that we already had a #1 back with a couple 1,000 yard seasons under his belt when Brown was drafted, which certainly curtailed his touches the first two years or so. Schemaically Johnson (who is much better, of course, than a box of birhday cake) was set up for success--to be their offensive bread and butter (with little QB help). Tenn rode him hard because they had to. Even if DB was our only guy, we'd still have been a pass-first team with Mannng (and are once again). Last year was DB's best and not coincidentally was the first without 18 or 29 (not sure about Addai--was he injured or gone last yea?). Add in injuries to DB, the mental lapses (Goddammit Donald!) and yeah, his production was wll below expected but not really because he was a dud. Oh, and sucktastic OL.
@Bobman @LouPin @RobertItoh Addai was hurt last year. I agree, certainly - comparing Johnson and Brown is unfair - but CJ won the starting job from LenDale White in '08. White was only a year older, had a great season the year before (over 1000 yards), and vanished as soon as Johnson started lighting up. Brown didn't even come close to challenging Addai.