To the members of the thinned stampede ~
Stampedes normally move in one direction with great vigor. With the loss of our bell cow (brand #18), sometimes we have been listless and sometimes we resembled a panicking herd split by controversy over the Polians, Caldwell, and Manning vs. Luck. It is customary this time of year to reflect and take inventory. To that end, I’m sharing my up-to-date 2011 Colts Chronicle: Locked Out & Un-Fused edition.
I shared this last year. This is a link to an Excel file I created that attempts to capture in graphic form the evolution of the roster throughout the season. This link will let you open the file and even save a copy you can edit and play with. Please do not use for any commercial purpose; I spent a lot of time keeping it current and trying to make it self-explanatory. It is about passion, not profit. I am sharing this personally, fan to fan.
There are 3 pages in the file:
The first is a Transaction Log. It starts with the end of last season. Roster additions and deletions are paired ledger-style after the start of the regular season to help demonstrate the rationale of the moves.
The second is the Depth Chart, organized as I saw fit. It is color-coded based on the seniority and quality of returning Colts as well as how new players were acquired after the start of the season. There’s also a table showing 3 years of data on roster turnover at the end of training camp and the distribution of positions on the initial 53-man roster.
The third is the Game-by-Game Roster Tracker. Injuries, starter/back-up status, inactives, and roster composition (including PS members ) are tracked here in color-coded “dashboard” format. The data on injuries is based on the final injury report, and the status of starters and inactives for each game has been corroborated by the Colts’ media guide. Notes about benchings, adjustments, and in-game injuries are based only on chance observation. Gameballs and Goats are strictly my opinions. I have taken the liberty of projecting starters and inactives for tonight's game vs. the Texans.
After the jump, I'll make a few observations.
The following guys have started all 14 games so far: Wayne, Garcon, Saturday, Linkenbach, Freeney (Mathis came off the bench in week 2), Angerer (Kavell came off the bench vs. the Pats when we started in nickel), and Bethea. Call it 9 guys, plus the kicking battery of K, P, & LS.
There are 15 guys currently on the 53-man roster who were not with the team on opening day/at the final roster cut-down. Some names that we are counting on now include: Mahaffey, Felton, Hill, Ojinnaka, Addison, Lutrus, Edds, Diles, Bentley, Hines, and Holmes. Nearly a third of the guys who suited up in the win on Sunday were unknown to us in September.
The Colts have churned through lots of young and veteran guys since the start of the season, looking for keepers. So far, 91 players have been on the 53-man roster or the practice squad. 76 people have been on the 53-man roster at some point (albeit possibly inactive on gameday).
12 men have been IR’d since the beginning of the season, and to be realistic, you have to add Manning to that list. Make this number 13, a very unlucky number indeed. There were 5 IR’d during the preseason, most notably Jamie Thomas and Cody Glenn. Last year, there were 12 guys IR’d during the regular season and 1 playoff game, and there were an additional 9 IR’d during the preseason (including Tony Ugoh, Jamie Silva, David Caldwell, Tom Santi, and Kevin Thomas.) It might be argued that last year’s IRs were more depleting, hitting higher-value players, but when you factor in Manning this year, both years appear crippling.
The front office has obviously remained extremely active. I didn’t look at the historical data, but there seem to have been more waiver claims (7), veteran additions (9-14), and poachings of players from other teams’ practice squads (5) than in past years. Perhaps this is an indication of a more aggressive front office strategy under Chris Polian.
Waiver claims were used on:
Gronkowski, Olsen, Hines, Felton, Addison, Diles, Bentley
Poached practice squad players include:
Edds, Hill, Lutrus, Hines (again), Brandon King
Veteran free agents (3+ yrs accrued) added since the offseason that have played in the regular season were:
Collins, Orlovsky, Hill, Ojinnaka, Felton, Anderson, Brayton, Sims, & Bentley (& Morgan Trent for 1 game). You could also include here the atavistic recurrences of Toudouze, Jamey Richards, Nate Triplett, and Muir.
Positions with greatest health & stability:
Um, none. Maybe the kicking battery. Maybe WRs. Maybe D-Line.
I’d be happy to hear any feedback, and I’d love to know if I have any errors (of course some of it is just opinion).
Happy New Year!