Andy Alleman suggests he fits with the Colts; not so much with the Chiefs

New Colts guard Andy Alleman probably did not like playing in Todd Haley's offensive system last year in KC. Here's Alleman featured on Colts.com:

I believe that, in my heart, I honestly think that for the first time I feel like I fit with what [the Colts] offense is trying to do; kind of their personnel group, with the types of guys that they use. I just think that this is as good an opportunity I've probably had so far.

This suggests that the opportunities in places as recent as Kansas City were not so great, even though Chiefs coach Todd Haley said last November that Alleman would be the starter. However, the Chiefs did not tender Alleman after the season ended, which is why he is in Indy.

Alleman was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2007, following their then-improbable run to the NFC Championship (where they got waxed by the Bears). He was cut in 2008, and between then and now he's been with the Dolphins and Chiefs. He started three games against the Chiefs last year, and in all three Pro Football Focus ranked him pretty poorly. Overall, Alleman ranked at a -11.3. For comparison's sake, Mike Pollak (who, I think, we all pretty universally regard as a bad offensive lineman at this point in his short career) ranked -9.6.

However, PFF is just one way of judging a player's overall performance, and it is not always the correct way. The people who run the site make it clear they are not scouts. Their system has a degree of of subjectivity to it, which is no surprise. All stat systems have varying degrees of subjectivity. Plus, while I like PFF, I don't need their system to tell me Mike Pollak is a crappy guard. I could see it, with my own two subjective eyes every friggin week last year. With Alleman, Chiefs fans didn't seem to think he sucked or anything despite PFF's awful rating. Alleman was also limited by a knee injury last year.

Moving forward, the hope is this Colts team and this system agree with Alleman. For all intents and purposes, Alleman was swapped for longtime Colts guard Ryan Lilja. Lilja was surprisingly cut from the Colts in March, and then signed with the Chiefs who had just let Alleman walk. All last year, Ryan Lilja was the best guard on this Colts' offensive line. So, to dump him for seemingly no reason at all, and then pick up a guy who was given his walking papers by one of the worst team's in football all seemed a bit odd. Hell, it still seems odd.

But, "fit" is very important in this league. Some guys can play in any system, and play well. Others require a certain method, or process, in order to be productive. Look at how the Tampa-2 defense has allowed many undersized players (Gary Brackett, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Robert Mathis) to thrive in the NFL. Offensive line philosophies are similar.

In Alleman's case, let's hope the Colts coaches know how to use him a bit better than the Chiefs, or Dolphins, or Saints coaches did.

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