Welcome once again to a Devil's Take. Consider this a "mixed bag" of comments based on recent events in the NFL, both around the Colts and league wide. I'm going to try and touch on a variety of subjects, from the Colts lineup to the Brett Favre sexting tidbit.
Please be kind and remember these are just MY opinions based on information I can find both online and in the news media. All discussion is appreciated...
However, before I start, I'd like to address a comment or two I've seen the last day or so. Apparently, a few people think I'm either making excuses or sucking up to BBS in defending him on a few posts. That could not be farther from the truth. I'm a fairly blunt person. If you screw up, that's on you. That's just what it is. For all the people who disagree with his articles or comments, you forget that there are people who equally enjoy or agree with his viewpoint. Unfortunately, a lot of those people are not willing to endure the crap in voicing their opinion in that some of you unload in your comments.
I'm not here to debate whether you are wrong or right. If BBS writes something utterly stupid, that's your right to give him a bunch of crap about it. His most recent article, I think is entirely off base and without merit. YET, the topic itself is of significance. I enjoy it when I read an article and I feel like I can relate to the writer, based on his or her writing style. I like it when people keep it direct and straight forward. The irony to it all is that I can relate to BBS. I've been a forum administrator on a couple of sites that were home to over 80,000 members. It's a fine balance between frustration and love as a fan.
Bottom line: I'm just a simple site member who enjoys reading this site. I don't agree with everyone, and I certainly don't believe my answers are always right. I'm just a fan who enjoys chatting it up with his fellow fans. If agreeing with or defending BBS on anything makes me some kiss ass, well I guess I am. However, if/when I agree with you, what does that make me? A schmuck?
- The Brett Favre Sexting Fiasco - Quite honestly, do we not have something better to do here? This occurred a couple years ago between two consenting adults. She's not pressing charges. In fact, if some news company had not gotten a hold of these, we would know nothing about it. If something illegal was done, I'm all for supporting legal action. However, if this wasn't a story 2 years ago, why now? Simple: Roger "The Hammer" Goodell. His zero tolerance policy is why this is even a story. With the stupidity of DUI rampant players and Captain of the party squad, Ben Rothelisberger, this is why it even matters. She's smoking hot by the way....search for Jenn Sterger Playboy...
- The Lions finally won a game! Yes, it was against the lowly Rams, but still, they won. I don't know if any of you pay attention to these guys, but they really remind me of Manning's rookie season. They have a lot of decent talent waiting to take it up a notch. To be honest, they've got the makings of a team ready to be a contender. This is a team that should be 2-3, but was screwed over by the Tuck Rule 2.0. I am just impressed by this team. It's a team that has finally found an identity, and I would love to see this team pull a Rams or Saints in the next year or so...
- The AFC South is all knotted up at 3-2 a piece. That is insane. Usually by now we have a team that is 1-3 or 1-4 and there are just two teams duking it out. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I expect the Jags to fall down, but which of the other two (Texans/Titans) will choke.
- For all the knock on the Colts rushing attack, let me say this: The Cowboys running game is far worse. The Cowboys rushing tandem of Barber and Jones are supposed to be one of the league's best, yet their ineptness in running the ball is one of the primary reasons the Cowboys are 1-3. So for a team who has what amounts to a top 5 passing attack, a top 10 QB, and supposedly a quality rushing attack, how does this happen? Simple: Execution. You don't have to be pretty, and you don't have to be dominant, you just have to execute it. This is why the Colts have been able to mask the running game issues for so long. They simply execute their offense BETTER.
- Ndamukong Suh - Remember this name. The guy has been scary good for a habitually bad team. This guy will be a force to reckon with for years to come. May sound crazy now, but the guy reminds me a lot of Reggie White with a little Derrick Thomas thrown in.
- Parity abounds in the NFL. The two top picked teams in the NFC are a combined 2-7, while two doormats, the Bucs and the Bears, sit atop their divisions. Both of these teams were picked to finish at or near the bottom of their divisions. The same goes for in the AFC, as the Chiefs (3-1) are a top of their division while the Chargers are 2-3.
- I still don't like the Randy Moss trade. From a fan perspective, it still makes zero sense. Add to that, the Patriots re-sign an oft injured Deion Branch to replace him. If the Pats had gotten a quality player out of the trade, I could probably see it. I just don't see how this actually helps the Patriots, especially in a division where all of their competition is playing smash mouth football. Keep watching this to see how it pans out, but I say if the Patriots miss the playoffs, this is why.
- While discussing malcontents, my boy T.O. is still making a living making people look silly. I love this guy. He talks the talk, and walks the walk. Yeah, he's had games where he dropped passes, but the guy has always gone out and gave his all. He's also been a jackass too. I at least can respect his game, unlike "Play when I wanna" Moss. I'm still absolutely astounded that the Eagles lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl despite his inhuman performance.
- The Colts Pro Bowl DE's have failed to generate sacks on a regular basis through 5 games. This is a misleading statistic. How so you ask? Of the 5 teams we have faced, 4 are considered power running offenses. What does this mean? Generally, these teams line up anywhere from 6-8 players on the offensive line. It essentially double teams the Colts pass rushers and leaves 2 on 3 in the middle in most instances. This would make it a great time for the Colts to blitz. Unfortunately, it seems like the only time we do blitz is when there are 20 guys on the line in front of us. Not saying there aren't other factors involved, but I think people maybe overlooking this critical part of the puzzle.
The Colts need to make some decisions when it comes to the offensive line, and they need to do it soon. Resident member Z.Pain has been the most vocal, but a few others have also mentioned adding Linkenbach to the O-line as a starter. Others have mentioned adding DeVan back to the line or made questions regarding McClendon.
- DeVan took the starter position all last year and has looked good in just about every game I've seen him play in. He's certainly not the best, but he's definitely better than any other option on the Colts roster. Put him back in, and I daresay the Colts could run better.
- Linkenbach performed well in relief effort for Charlie Johnson. He's got some talent, and some size. The Colts really need to get this kid into the game, perhaps consider moving Diem to Guard if necessary. The bottom line here is that Linkenbach offers more upside at the moment.
- McClendon was asked by Colts management to switch to center during training camp, and this is the only explanation as to why he's not active in some games. The Colts have Pollak and Richard as the current backups in a pinch, so there isn't much reason to list him as active.
- My thoughts on an O-line for the Colts: CJ, DeVan, Saturday, Diem, and Linkenbach. Not out of the question, but definitely out on a limb.
As many of you have already seen BBS's front page post about Jerry Hughes being a possible bust, there's been several quality and worthwhile explanations against this. Naptown_Ninja, Mr. Indianapolis Colts, myself (indirectly) and a few others have all given very good answers. However, smonroe actually hit the most likely answer to this whole ordeal.
On game day, an NFL team is only allowed 45 active players on the sideline. That's 8 players less than the limit allowed for the entire team. Okay, so let me break this down for you pretty quickly...you can add Gonzo, Sanders, and Conner to that right off the top....which leaves 5 more players to be ruled inactive.
11 starters on offense (most of which do not pull double duty)
(5 linemen, quarterback, 1 running back, 1 TE, and 3 WR)
11 starters on defense (most of which do not pull double duty)
That leaves 23 players left for the team to bring with them.
Add to that, a deep snapper (Snow), a backup QB (Painter), a kicker/punter (McAfee), and our FG kicker (Vinatieri...
That's down to 19 players left over.... and you have to spread those players across the entire team. Add to the lack of depth due to injuries of key backups like Bullitt and Silva, this requires a team to overload at a position out of necessity. Bullitt was capable of filling in for either Bethea or Sanders in a pinch. Now the Colts can't even go to that resource.
Do you see the problem here? You need to carry at least 1 significant backup at every position left (LB, DE, TE, RB, CB, Safety, etc) That severely reduces your players. Which are you going to use? It's a conundrum for the Colts. The Colts have the ability to use Dawson and Foster, despite their "average" ability, are capable of playing multiple positions which then allows the Colts to focus on other positions.
Hughes is a player, and he will be a part of this defense at some point, but the injuries right now are preventing that from happening.
If I could play GM for a day, and my deals would stand as real world deals, here is what I would do:
- Move Hayden out as the starting CB. Bring up Tryon, Lacey, or Brandon King and let them give it a go. It can't get any worse.
- Move Hayden to Strong Safety. Look, he has the speed and likes to hit, so it's not a completely silly idea. Add to this that this position generally plays up for run support, and it's not all that crazy.
- Trade Gonzo for anywhere from a 2nd to 5th round pick. Regardless of what happens this season, Gonzo is out as a Colt. Take and get what we can now while he still has some value. Granted, teams would be taking him based on past contributions, but it would be better than losing him for basically 2 years and getting nothing out of it.
Ah well, thanks for reading as always!