Nate Dunlevy took a harder look at Mike McGlynn's career to date and notes an important fact: Howard Mudd didn't like him. Sound familiar? Mudd also wasn't high on new Colts tackle Winston Justice.
There's not much evidence that McGlynn is any good, as he has been unable to crack the starting lineup with any consistency. As the Eagles move to a Howard Mudd-coached line (smaller, faster), the Colts are scooping up guys Ryan Grigson likes from his days in Philly.
If McGlynn is the new Colts center in 2012, it's a sign of bad things to come. He's not going to make anyone forget Jeff Saturday.
Grade: D. Terms of the deal aren't out, but McGlynn isn't very good and is indicative of a bad philosophy of team building. The Colts aren't just rebuilding, but they are rebuilding in the wrong way.
The moves, while encouraging that Grigson intends to address problem spots on the roster, are as Nate points out not all that impressive. These are not guys you can build your franchise around as their careers have clearly demonstrated. I love that Grigson knows the offense is in shambles and he must move swiftly to fortify the foundation but he's doing so with Silly Putty.
Can you point me to quotes from Pagano or Grigson that point to increasing the run game to an extent that justifies your fears? All I find are things like below:
PFW headline reads "Colts mum on Manning, want to emphasize run game" but the only relevant quote in the article is " Pagano talked openly about the team's transformation to a bigger, more physical club, using the Steelers as a comparison. "We want to be explosive, we want to be physical, we want to be tough, we want to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, specifically up front with the offensive line," he said."
This is positively Brad Wellsian in the way the text TOTALLY doesnt say what the headline says it says. He didnt mention running the ball. In fact it is totally meaningless coachspeak.
This from Kuharsky is closer: " I asked him Thursday about his offensive philosophy, and here’s what he said: When asked about his football philosophy, Colts coach Chuck Pagano stressed that teams "have got to run the football and have to stop the run to be successful at any level."“You watch the Steelers play, right? I’ve always said this and I learned this from my dad watching him coach growing up: You’ve got to run the football and have to stop the run to be successful at any level. So we’re going to be able to run the football, and like I said at my first press conference, you’ve got to be able to throw it also. So a good combination of the two. We want to be explosive, we want to be physical, we want to be tough, we want to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, most specifically up front with the offensive line.” http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/34312/will-colts-pagano-lean-on-dated-formula OK, he says he wants to be able to run. But he also says he wants to be able to pass. That it takes a mix. Anyone who watched Manning's play action with Edge and the stretch play vs with Addai and without the stretch play knows that run and pass are symbiotic.
In both he refers to the Steelers who are considered a physical team up front but since Ben arrived have also been considered a passing team. Here is Arians from the Pitts Post Gazette on his philosophy:
"I usually script five home runs a game," Arians said of throwing the deep ball. "I don't like coming home with any of them not being called. That's something we just love to do, we like to throw the ball deep . . .
"I'd like to run the ball a whole lot better so that we can use that play-action because it's hard to drop back and throw it deep," Arians said. "If you get play-action and your running game is working, you can get it deep because then you can eliminate some safety play. We better run the ball better to get it deep."
The last three years, Pitts has been 55% pass, 50% pass and 54% pass. The middle year is skewed because Ben was hurt. In the two Colts Super Bowl years we were 55% and 56% pass over run attempts. The last two years, skewed by injuries, we were 58% and 63% pass. Last season the league average was 55% pass attempts to 45% run attempts. If that is the model, it doesnt seem like a huge departure from our norm
Nate, with this obvious hack job of an evaluation you've done, I DEMAND that your next article is called "Why Grigson is the bestest, awesome, super smart team builder in NFL history." You must list all referenced reports and explain why anyone who thinks otherwise is a complete idiot. Don't worry about the "comments" or "actions" from the FO and head coach that seem to contradict this as they are completely irrelevent.
When is the last time Mudd oversaw a top tier O line? 2007?
That's the equivalent of a generation and a half in NFL terms.
I'm sorry Nate, but that article you wrote was a hack job. You canned McGlynn with a knee jerk, first calling him an Eagle when you didn't do your research and had to make a correction that he was instead a Bengal last year. Sloppy, sloppy journalism. And Todd should be ashamed for agreeing in lock step. "Sign of bad things to come?" "Silly Putty?" "Rebuilding the wrong way?" What research do you have that McGlynn and Justice are so terrible, besides Howard Mudd's opinion? And what about Redding and Tommy Z? Are they pieces of crap too?
The Colts have no money to spend. I think these are pick ups are for depth's stake. I'm not ready to yell "fire" just yet. BTW, is McClendon still on the roster?
You can win with big O-linemen, or you can win with smaller, quicker O-linemen. But which way you choose needs to fit with how your coaches train them, how your plays are designed, etc. The front office seems to have been trying to move towards a bigger O-line for several years - e.g. picking Jaimie Thomas & Jacques McClendon, signing some big free agent linemen, etc. Not sure whether the problem was Polian not being good at evaluating large linemen, the o-line coaches not being good at working with them, or Caldwell & Christensen not designing plays & game plans that utilized their skills. But all of them have now been replaced. If the new guys want big guys and are good at working with them, then these new additions could pan out. If not, they'll end up like the prior attempts to beef up.
Well It's nice to see someone reporting on the Colts with some objectivity. Nate, you have some stones. The Colts have done nothing but sign backups and stop gaps at this point. Howard Mudd is one of the best coaches at any position of all time, and we have signed two of his cast aways. Mudd made something out of not much his entire career. When we had an injury on the line you would never even know it because the backups where so well coached. I actually think this led to some mistakes from the FO in letting guys like Jake Scott and Ryan Lilja go. Regardless of whether coach Mudd likes smaller guys or not, he could practically take a guy of the street and coach him to be ready to play in the NFL. If these guys were in the dog house with Mudd it doesn't speak well of them. It seems like instead of building for the future and bringing in a new era, it is more about my guys, my way. If Luck isn't handing the ball off 25+ times a game he will be on his back 15+ times a game. Forgive me if I'm not jumping up and down in excitement over the moves that have been made.
@NateDunlevy I used to think you knew what you were talking about but I was wrong! You can't even give grigson a chance some colts fan
I agree w/ the harsh rush to judgement... need to weigh this guy against his contract and expectations. Was he paid to be a starter? If not then weigh him against what the Colts had in Pollack, Diem, Richard... depth and competition for a starting job. This isn't about fitting Mudd's system anymore, its about fitting Goodwin's/a Pittsburgh-type system.
The offense may be run first, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You can run to set up the pass, play action for big plays. The Giants, Baltimore, aren't a pass only team, they were effective running the ball and it treated them pretty well. Passing isn't everything... having a great QB is everything so you can capitalize on big plays and make the key 3rd down and goal line passes.
To expect Luck to jump right in and pass the ball 40 times a game seems to be asking for a lot. Think of the complaints about the team last year, stay away from the weakness of the team. Next year will be a rookie QB w/ a much weaker recieving core. Peyton's first years were coupled w/ a good running game. Build up a running game to take some pressure off Luck early in his career. Let him develop his ability to read defenses at the pro level, get used to the speed of the NFL.
I don't know how much money the Colts have for FA this year but I figured after signing Wayne and Mathis, I didn't think they would have much to play w/ for the big name players. Picking up guys to compete for a starting job vs jump in starters would seem to be off the table.
"The Colts aren't just rebuilding, but they are rebuilding in the wrong way."
Wow. How can you possibly believe that without knowing the terms of the contract nor Grigson/Pagano's intentions for McGlynn?
Maybe they're just adding depth with this signing and the Justice trade...? Our OL went south quickly after the injuries to Reitz and Castonzo (and, to a lesser extend, Ijalana, who looked better in limited play at RT than Linkenbach).
@19>18 Pagano is a career defensive assistant (not even a coordinator). He has given two public statements on his view of offense. Both times, he said run the ball and stop the run. The first was in his press conference when hired.
"What’s your philosophy offensively?
“You don’t want to here it. (He laughs). I know you have to run the football and you have to stop the run in the National Football League, in college football, in high school football and Pop Warner. I learned that all the way back growing up and watching my dad coach. You have to be able to run the football and stop the run. Having said that, there’s going to be times when you have be able to throw the football maybe 40 times, 45 times a game, to win a football game. if that’s what we have to do, we’ll be able to do that. Then there’s going to be times that you’re protecting the lead and you’ve go to take the air out of a game and you’ve got to make first downs and not let the other team back on the field and close a game out by running the football. So there’s a balance there. We’re going to do whatever best suits our personnel. Whatever that is, again, we’ll get the coaches in place and our philosophy will determine itself as we move forward.”
Then he echoed it in the Kuharsky piece.
And yes, I do think those quotes are worth freaking out over. We are talking about a guy who idolizes a style of football played in the 1970, is a defensive coach with zero experience working with offense on any level at all. And both times he's asked about offense, he quotes "Run the ball, stop the run".
That's a completely ass-backwards philosophy in today's NFL.
So yeah, maybe he doesn't really mean it. I grant you. However, if you'll recall, I massively criticized the front office under Polian for learning the wrong lessons from the last few years and going to more of a power run game.
I think it's a mistake to go away from a Mudd-style pass block first system. I thought it was a mistake when the Polians did it, and now that the new guys have openly declared the like to 'run the ball and stop the run', I get worried when they pick guys who are the exact opposite of the guys Mudd liked.
Look, this is all my opinion. You all don't have to buy in. I'm worried about this regime. If you aren't, then fine. We'll find out in 2013 who is right.
I hope it's you.
@BMS Please. Mudd was trying to work with the likes of Charlie Johnson, that's hardly an argument.
@Dr.T Want to know what happened? I did a ton of research, read scouting reports, and articles and at 6 AM wrote an article and made typo. BR doesn't let me fix anything that could be considered 'professional' mistakes, so I had to leave it up.
NO ONE thinks this guy is good. He's been cut by two teams now. I'm sorry I made a small mistake when I typed it up after reading a lot of reports about the Eagles and was working on 5 hours sleep.
It was sloppy. It wasn't lazy. It wasn't wrong.
I don't criticize the defensive guys, because Pagano has a track record there, unlike offense where he knows nothing as far as I can tell.
McGlynn has no value other than Grigson knows him.
He's cannon fodder. If he makes the roster it's a bad sign. Do some research yourself and you'll see.
@naptown_ninja I think he went to the Vikings last year.
@Peyton for President Fans rarely jump up and down when their team improves on the 50th or 51st man on their roster but the GM still needs to make those signings.
@Peyton for President I'm not jumping up and down either with the additions. But to me it seems like we already know that the team is not going to be good next year. It seems to me to be a bit premature to think that the guys they're bringing in in March the first year of a rebuilding project are going to be the end all be all of the offensive line. They still are going to have to sign guys just to make it through the next year of 'cap hell'. As far as the scheme goes, I totally agree with Nate that IF they come out and decide they want to be the next incarnation of the New York Jets(run first, stop the run) that's a HORRIBLE plan. But I haven't seen them actually do that yet, and I'll reserve that judgment until they do.
@Peyton for President Do I thank you for the support or act terrified we agree? ;)
@RayDadIV They are building the wrong kind of team. By their own admission, the kind of team they want to build is suspect.
@Westhoff Agree with both this post and the silly putty line.
This is one of those "well now we don't HAVE to use draft picks on an interior lineman in 2012" moves. If he works out, great. If not, he's better than Pollak and can serve for a year. They've only got seven picks this year and there are 40 slots to fill before this team contends again. There's not a ton of money to go around in FA in 2012, nor is this the year to make big moves anyway. Signings like this one are just a way of bringing in someone better than a UDFA that can be counted on to help keep the new QB alive. Now they can stick to BPA in the draft and not worry if there isn't a primo interior lineman at any of their spots.
@Scratch and Sniff I can know it based on everything they've said. They are building a ridiculous run first offensive line that is the exact opposite of everything the Colts have done until now. They are picking up players 180 degree the opposite of what Howard Mudd wanted.
I fear for this team. Deeply.
When the Colts were at their best, Peyton getting ahead on the scoreboard and letting the D tee off, the second half usually went exactly as Pagano described it. We alternated our RBs by series and pounded the ball on the ground eating up the clock on 7,8,9 minute drives keeping our defense fresh and forcing the other team to throw the ball to catch up. He describes using the run the same way. He also mentions being able to throw the ball 40 or more times when necessary. He gives the Steelers as a model and you have admitted that Arians passing rep gives you hope. Add in that Justice is considered athletic as opposed to a power run guy and I think you are ignoring any evidence that doesnt fit your fears. Worried? I worry about a rookie GM tinkering under the hood of our franchise. I worry about a rookie head coach at the wheel. I worry about a rookie OL coach whose job description previously has emphasized film work, not hands on coaching. I worry about all the holes on the roster. I am not a 3-4 fan; I prefer a Jim Johnson aggressive 4-3. But my way is not the only way. In truth, I am only worried about how well they execute their plan, not whether they share my ideal of the best way to build a Super Bowl winner.
It would be nice if there was no salary cap and/or if the Colts had 15 draft picks each year, but since you don't believe in FA and neither of those things are going to happen, the team just has to work with what it can. You can't have it all.
@Nate Dunlevy @Dr.T I don't know why I am entering the fray, but I am. Ok, so you did "a ton of research" and "read scouting reports." THats great. But if you don't cite your sources, don't offer any specific reasons why he isn't good (in other words, show that you did a lot of research) and you make a fairly obvious "typo" (if thats what it can be called) than you should expect to be critcized. I ALWAYS liked your writing, but your response to what really amounts to the the first bit of bad writing I can remember was a little surprising. All you have to do is tell us why you think its a bad move specifically and show a little balance (even say something like, "I dissagree but its also a low-risk gamble" or even "hopefully Grigson knows what he's doing") and you can bash the move all day long; its Rhetoric 101.
@19>18 If they are paying the 50th and 51st man on the roster like this we are going to be about 100mil over the cap.
@Sinn0331 I don't disagree with anything you said. I have the same concerns with the scheme, but agree it is way to early to take Grigson to the wood shed. Just a little criticism on my part. I agree that the comments from the coaching staff and the new hires are a reason for some concern though. Center is one of the most underrated positions in football, and I would much rather see a Myers or Wells come in or address the position in the draft. I'd much rather see a 1 or 2 year deal offered to Saturday than McGlynn. It makes some sense to bring in former Ravens and Eagles, but also lacks creativity. I hold Howard Mudd in very high regard and it makes me nervous that he wasn't a fan of either of these guys. I love resigning Reggie and Mathis. I like bringing in Redding and Tom Z, but some of it kinda feels like kicking the can down the road a bit. With the way the roster looks I'm really thinking they need to find some value for Freeney to give them more flexibility. Doubtfull though. They might have to cut him.
@Nate Dunlevy Lol. Probably 50/50 .
@NateDunlevy we may not be getting the players we want but this is gonna be a long process I'm a fan of the justice trade can only help
@Nate Dunlevy @Scratch and SniffSo the only right way to play football is the way the Colts have done it the past decade? The only way to play OL is the way that Howard Mudd did it? Nothing I have read about Justice or McGlynn screams run game stud/cant pass block. If you are not going to be able to get over the fact that this new Colts braintrust is going to do things THEIR way and not the way their predecessors did, please let us know now.
@Nate Dunlevy @Scratch and Sniff Are you making this assumption because they are moving from a zone blocking scheme to a power blocking scheme? Hasnt Pitts (Arians and Goodwin) run a zone blocking scheme? Isnt Justice known more for his athleticism than his strength . . . at least before the knee injury? What you said in the article about McGlynn is also true for Pollak who would seem to be his most direct competition. So you could be right AND he could still be an improvement over Pollak.
@Nate Dunlevy @Scratch and Sniff I agree with the sentiments of others: I don't care at all about what they say on a player who isn't going to make much and is probably a decent back up. Now, if the contract is huge, thats one thing. If these are the only O-linemen they are going to add, thats one thing. But a trade for a decent RT and a cheap back up guard/center isn't worth getting worked up for.
@BMS Not sure how that is relevant. If this pick is just a stop gap and not a sign of a philosophy, then fine.
First of all, from his ESPN scouting report: "McGlynn has good initial quickness to snap and step to gain leverage at the line of scrimmage. He flashes active hands to stay connected as a run blocker and appears to have a good feel for angles on combination blocks."
The reason why I read articles by other people is so that I don't have to "do the research myself"; a good writer (my favorite is John Hollinger) presents relevant information, puts into context, and interprets it intelligently. Good writing makes me want to do research because it offers a new way of interpreting facts. Honestly, you have done that consistently ever since I have read your stuff, especially your stuff about the draft and about Harrison and the hall of fame. But you offered almost hint of relevant information or context other than "he was cut by two teams" (which logically also means he was signed by two teams, or rather three now) and jumped to a conclusion that said "Everyone in the colts is doing everything wrong." I know that's not what you meant; but since 1) you didn't offer any reason to think any other way and 2) you didn't guard your language, you looked like you thought that Grigson is incompetent. You could have said, "If this is his only option at center, then that is a bad sign" and have been totally OK. Saying "This strategy of run blocking seemingly at the cost of pass blocking is generally a bad trend that I hope doesn't hold" is also a prefectly fine thing to say.
And now I am done nit picking on the first piece of writing-- and a really minor one-- tthat you have written which also made me respond like this. Your other stuff has been so good that I don't want to lecture you on writing or give you the impression that I don't like your writing. In fact, having started to write a column myself, I know how hard it can be to churn out "perfect writing" all the time. You do it at a much higher rate than I do!
The complaints are because I ripped the way this team is being rebuilt. I agree this signing in and of itself doesn't mean anything. I'm just trying to draw attention to the fact that this is part of an effort (which began under the Polians) to remake the kind of line the Colts use. Coupled with the public statements of the team, I feel it's a fair and merited observation that they are trying to build the wrong kind of offense.
I said why I think it's bad. It's bad because he's a twice cut guy with no value and he's a guy Tom Moore didn't like.
I think the team is being built wrong based on what Pagano has said and how that matches the two OL signings this week.
I just think people are pissed because I don't feel good about the new regime. I don't agree with the direction of the club and I think there's a real chance the team suffers through some wasted seasons because of a bad philosophy.
This move doesn't prove or disprove that, but I wanted to call attention to it.
@19>18 Look man, I'm not in total disagreement with you. Why this particular signing bothers me is because it is a center, and like I've already said, center is one of the most important positions in football. There were better options availible. This guy is either a backup or nothing. You think McGlynn is the right type of player to teach a younger guy the position? I don't. Bring back Saturday and draft someone. Sign one of the stud free agents availible. To sign a guy like McGlynn over Saturday IMO is stupid. To me it's like bringing in a scrub WR instead of Reggie Wayne just because Grigson knows the guy. McGlynn has little value on the field and probably less in the locker room. We already have Jake K. on the roster so I'm assuming McGlynn is projected to be the starter. Obviously we still need to address the position. So what exactly does signing McGlynn accomplish other than being stopgap at a position that is crucial to a QB's success? I think it would be in Andrew Lucks best interest to have the same guy snapping him the ball for years to come. McGlynn isn't "that guy". Either is Saturday, but he is capable of tutoring his replacement. This signing doesn't have "We are building this team around the QB" written on it. I don't think it is proof positive that Grigson is a retard, but it is slightly concerning. I appreciate the fact that Nate sees something he doesn't like and has the balls to take a position that I'm sure he knew wouldn't be popular. Could he be wrong? Sure. But I'd rather hear honest opinions than a desperate attempt to defend everything the FO is doing when there are obvious reasons to be critical.
You know football obviously. You recognize that the team will go to camp with more than 53 players. They need extra camp arms to throw balls to extra WRs. They bring in guys to get a look at them. Some surprise and make the team. Some show enough to get a call when a roster player goes down. Some get referred to another team looking for depth at that position. It always drives me crazy when a baseball team will sign a minor league free agent to come to camp or provide maturity to the A team and some smartass fan always has to prove how clever he is by asking if the GM really thinks this is the move that will put the team in the world series. This post is similar. We need to line up 16 times next season whether we are in Super Bowl mode or rebuild mode. For our ultimate goal we need to bring in dependable top players we can win with. We will do that in Luck hopefully. We have kept Mathis. But we are NOT going to fill the roster with that kind of player in the first year of a rebuild and in the meantime, we still need to field a team. This means balancing between cutting players with something left in the tank but outsized cap hits and signing lesser players who allow us to play 16 games without tying up the cap room we are freeing up. Thus we sign a McGlynn and a Zbikoski. one of whom has started 14 games and the other 15 after both were drafted in 2008. Not every move is a blockbuster and reading into a throwaway move a whole shift in philosophy from a bottom of the roster signing is pretty Chicken Little. I have not heard Grigson say we want to run the ball 70% of our plays. I have heard him say he wants to get bigger and more physical on offense and more aggressive and attacking on defense. He wants to run the ball better. Presumably, Dungy, Polian, Peyton, Moore and Caldwell all wanted to run the ball better. Nothing radical about this.Better doesnt mean instead of or to the detriment of something else.Pace yourself. There will be plenty of moves to debate over the next three years. This one doesnt warrant the level of angst it is drawing, IMO.
@19>18 The contract details for McGlynn haven't been released yet as far as I know. I was just being facetious. If McGlynn is #50 or 51 on the roster league minimum for a vet would be too much. I wouldn't care as much if we were talking about a gaurd, but if they plan on starting this guy at center that would be......um stupid. With a new QB coming in they need to find someone who can potentially become an anchor for years to come. That is no way a desciption on McGlynn.
@Peyton for President Where have you seen the terms of his deal? I cant find them anywhere.
@Peyton for President only if you are ranking by paycheck instead of by contribution to the team.
I get the new braintrust is doing things differently.
I want to be on the record that it's a mistake. If it works out, I'll happily admit I'm wrong. I'm taking a position, though.That position is that they are building the team the wrong way.
Hope I'm wrong.
Just saying no one is right all the time and you are no different. So instead of taking your word for gospel, I will wait until the season starts to form my concrete opinion about the offensive line and offensive philosophy and will continue to support the team even though Polian is no longer running it. There's more than one way to skin a cat, they say.
@mattshedd Why would they draft Luck? That can't be a serious question. You can't seriously think it is even a possibility that drafting Luck is proof that they won't be a run first team.
@BMS @Nate Dunlevy @gbearrin @Scratch and Sniff Absolutely every scouting report said positive things on Hughes. He was a sack machine and known for being a hard worker. Some scouts had him going in the mid first. For whatever reason he wasn't able to adjust to the Colts scheme. Considering that Coyer is the only D cordinater he has ever been coached by and he is only 23,24 years old, I think it is a little early to close the book on him just yet. I'll go out on a limb and say I actually think he will be the biggest benifactor from Pagano's system and will have a breakout year. So since you've already labeled him as a bust, remember that you heard it hear first.
This guy has been cut twice in the past season.
I was wrong on Hughes. Lots of people were. How is that relevant to this discussion? Because I was wrong about the mental make up of a guy coming out of college, I can't be trusted to do research about what people say about McGlynn? Or do you just distrust all scouting reports because one was wrong one time on one guy?
I don't think that makes any sense.
I think I can safely say we all know you think Adrian Peterson is to the NFL as buggy whips are to our transportation system lol. Meanwhile the team let its starting RB go, resigned their number one WR and is bringing in a highly rated rookie passer so I am not sure what you are decrying in their change of emphasis. We know they want to get more physical, but that isnt necessarily all about deemphasizing the passing game.
@Macko @Nate Dunlevy @Scratch and Sniff The Steelers had a vertical threat in Wallace, the Colts don't have anthing to back the defense off. Garcon would have helped this problem much more than Wayne. Not saying we should have matched Garcons contract, just with the current roster it looks like we will see an attempt to ground and pound. With Brown and Carter in the backfield that could be a scary thought. The Colts need to build a team around the QB not a running game. If they learn from and improve on the Manning era Colts they would be much better off than scratching everything to become the Ravens 2.0. Teams with great QB's look like the Packers, Saints, Patriots, or old Colts. Not like the Jets or Ravens.