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Indianapolis Colts Season Preview

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Joined: 21 Jan 2005
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Location: Bay Area
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:56 am    Post subject: Indianapolis Colts Season Preview Reply with quote

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts return the same team they did last year which features one of the best offenses ever and a paper defense. While the Coltsí will continue to tear through many of their opponents, they struggle against top teams. All of the superbowl talk surrounding the Colts is hype as the Colts will not win any superbowls until their defense improves.
There is no denying the greatness of their offense. Peyton Manningís play is nothing short of masterful and he is completely deserving of his last 2 MVP and he will probably win more of them before his career is over. He has the perfect arsenal of weapons on his side as well. Marvin Harrison is a great, reliable go-to player with great speed and hands. Reggie Wayne is an excellent athlete who Peyton Manning throws a lot of quick drops too and he makes teams pay for leaving him in single coverage. Brandon Stokley is the perfect slot receiver because of his incredible chemistry with Manning and his great speed and hands. All 3 of their WRs are great open field runners who are good at feeling out defenses. Because of Manningís precision passing receivers donít have to slow down or make tough catches as they watch balls land right in their hands without breaking stride. Peyton also does a good job of leading his receivers to open space which results in a lot of yards after the catch. Dallas Clark is also a good TE with the speed to work the seam route and his 16.9 yards per catch average is as good as it gets among TEs.
He also has a great HB to hand the ball off to and an excellent O-line. Edgerrin James is one of the premier running backs in the league and is a multi-talented runner who can run tough inside, break it to the outside, turn screen passes into big plays and go out and work as a receiver. Manningís mastery of the play-action fake to Edge is a huge part of their offense and consistently throws defenses off. LT Tarik Glenn is one of the best pass protectors in the league and is a huge comfort to Manning. Manning got sacked a mere 13 times last season and that is due to his composure, ability to read defenses and quick release but also the great protection his line gave him. RT Ryan Diem and C Jeff Saturday are also excellent player. But the team does have a little bit of a weakness at OG. Losing OG Rick DeMulling was a blow. Their new starting OGs will be Jake Scott and Ryan Lilja, a pair of light but quick, mobile and smart OGs. Neither is very strong and they wonít create a strong push in the running game. But overall, their line is excellent, as is every other part of their offense.
But donít get it wrong, this offense is not unstoppable. While they can easily put up 40 or 50 points on a bad defense, they only score 20 or so points against good defenses. 20 points is still a good total, but with their defense it is not enough. Teams that have the defense to stop the Colts from scoring at will and the offense to tear apart the Coltsí defense will beat them. And the elite teams can do that, which is why the Colts are not a superbowl team.
Their defense has one and only one thing going for it, which is a strong pass-rush. When the Colts jump out to a big lead and teams are forced to abandon the run, things quickly get ugly. The Colts have a nasty pass-rushing package where their whole D-line is full of light, quick players who can penetrate and have the speed to get to the QB. Dwight Freeney is one of the best DEs in the league and is often unblockable. No DE in this league has the quickness and moves that Freeney does. OTs cannot get a hold of him and he blows right by them and uses his speed to get to the QB. Robert Mathis is an excellent pass-rusher who got double-digit sacks last year and is almost exclusively used in passing situations. Raheem Brock is used as a DE on first and second down but in passing situations he is moved to DT where he can be used as a penetrator. Montae Reagor is smallish DT with a quick first step. Give credit to Dungy for coming up with this package, as it is the shining light in his defense. But when teams run at the Colts and the Colts canít use that package, the defense is a push-over.
Even in their first and second down package, the Colts are not good at defending the run. The team doesnít use one player close to 300 pounds in their rotation and none of their lineman can anchor against the run. Josh Williams and Larry Triplett are both quick, athletic lineman, but when you run right at them, they arenít effective. Their LBs are sub-par as well. MLB Rob Morris plays with a non-stop motor and is fairly productive but he doesnít possess good range and lacks any kind of athletic ability. OLB David Thornton, the teamsí best LB, has good range and athletic ability, but he is not a physical presence and plays a little soft and he is not a playmaker. OLB Cato June is also a rangy linebacker with good athletic ability, but he isnít a very tough or physical LB and he isnít nearly as good in coverage as Thornton. All the Coltsí LBs have the same problem in that they are not good at fighting off blocks. Their front 7 as a whole is a little soft and donít do well against power running attacks or teams that are good at getting blocks down on the second level.
The secondary is a weak unit too. They do have good depth in the secondary, but there isnít a standout player in the group. CB Nick Harper is a productive player with ball-hawking skills but he cannot handle many receivers in man to man coverage. He isnít very strong or physical either. The team would like to see this yearís first round pick, CB Marlin Jackson, emerge as a starter. Jackson is a big, physical receivers who is at his best pressing receivers and smothering them on short routes. He lacks the speed to run with fast receivers or catch up after making a mistake but he matches up well with bigger receivers. Donald Strickland is an effective starter when healthy, but he has a hard time doing that, as he has only played 15 games in the last 2 seasons, and he is hardly outstanding when he is healthy. Jason David is a small CB who is quick and tough and makes for a decent dime back. The team also has a couple decent developmental CBs in Kelvin Hayden and Joseph Jefferson. Both have good size and measurable but their technique needs work. Hayden posses pure speed that Jefferson lacks and Jefferson may be moved to FS. Their safety duo consists of a couple of tough gamers who are extremely undersized. Both are physical players with great football instincts and athletic ability but both suffer greatly from a lack of height and struggle to make plays downfield. They are not as much help as safeties should be in deep coverage and it hurts their defense.
To win, the Colts rely on jumping out to quick leads and controlling the game-tempo and making the other team play their game. They consistently do this against weaker teams and dominate them. Peyton Manning and the offense donít have off weeks and this team doesnít get upset, which should get them into the playoffs once again. However, they should be in for a tough fight for the AFC South from the up-and-coming Jaguars, and they are not the superbowl contender they have been made out to be. No team has ever won a superbowl with a paper defense and thereís a reason for that. While the saying that a powerhouse defense is necessary to win a superbowl is not true, it is true that unless the Coltsí defense shows surprising rapid improvement, a superbowl is out of the question.

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shadow walker

Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Posts: 11860
Location: Virginia Beach
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great post. do u do things like this for a living?

you are a very talents writer. hope u make it to the big time

one of the great ones on this site
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to bump this post up to see how accurate "TheBigE" was in this season preview
Of course I can't be honest without saying that the Corey Simon acquisition came a month after he posted this but nontheless most of his observations were dead on, Cato June came on strong this year and with Simon in the middle Gary Brackett played well also, leaving David Thonton whom BigE called our best LB to be overshadowed all year

enjoy this lengthy yet well done read
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