Player Breakdown - First Preseason Game


First post ever!  We’ll see how this goes.  I’ve been following StampedeBlue for 2 years now, but have held off from posting.  Tonight I finally decided I ought to give back a bit.


Before anything though – please pray for the people who were at the Indiana State Fair Concert Saturday night.  News reports are saying at least 4 dead with many injured.


Alright, I’ve broken this down into 4 sections:

Guys who should/will make the team:
Guys I want to see more of:
Guys I want to see less of:
Guys who need cut immediately:

Should be plenty self-explanatory.  There were a few guys like Jamaal Anderson and Tommie Harris who I didn’t get a great look at.  I focused mainly on the new guys as much as I could.  Unfortunately I don’t have DVR, so these are all first impressions.  Please comment!


Lets begin…

Guys who should/will make the team:
Donald Brown (RB):
Last year he showed flashes of what he should be.  He did an excellent job of making reads under a spotty offensive line.  Perhaps he has turned a new leaf?  Keep an eye on his pass-blocking though, seeing as we didn’t see any tonight.

Delone Carter (RB):
Love the push that this guy generates…now if only we could get him some blocking…  Great between the tackles runner with lots of power.  The guy looks like a train when running.

Jeff Linkenbach (OT):
Acceptable backup, but not an NFL starter.  He did look cleaner this year than he did last.  I could very easily see him starting at LT early this year if Castonzo doesn’t show more progress.

Ryan Diem (OT):
Same as last year.  Trying his best, but just doesn’t have the same power he used to have to throw a DE back anymore.  Excellent footwork though.  The new rookies can really learn a lot from him.  I’m glad the Colts kept him for one more year if only for that reason.

Anthony Castonzo (OT):
Playing nervous to begin with, but looking good in pass blocking.  Probably the best offensive tackle run blocker other than Ijalana as well.  I can’t wait to see what happens when he becomes more comfortable.

Ben Ijalana (OT):
Mediocre pass blocking this game.  Has the power needed, but looks like he needs technique work.  This guy will be a great RT next year to pair with Castonzo.  Looks like he has huge potential in run blocking. 

Mike Pollak (OG/C):
Excellent job as center, not so much as RG.  Seems to be better than last year however, so expect to see him as a starting guard if Diem isn’t moved in.

Jacques McClendon (OG):
Average in both pass and run blocking.  Acceptable at this point, but I expect him to get better as the preseason goes on.  As of right now, I wouldn’t start him over DeVan or Pollak.

Philip Wheeler (LB):
Looked great in run defense.  He has that special hitting power that I wish he would use more.   If only his pass defense was as good.  If he continues to play at the level he did for this game, he may take back his starting job.

Drake Nevis (DT):
Good burst, but not quite as routine as I was hoping for.  So close to a sack in the first quarter!  He consistently was in the back field, but failed to make a huge difference while there.  I expect that to change quickly, however.  When he was paired with Johnson, they were a big group in the middle and gave me hope for some run stopping this season.

Tommie Harris (DT):
Not seeing much of the pro-bowl level that we want to see, but he is doing well on the run defense. Showed flashes of brilliance and had a quick burst.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see him as the NT on long 3rd downs paired with Drake Nevis.

Antonio Johnson (DT):
It does the soul good to see him back as the starter.  Please keep it that way!  Great job holding the run this game.

Jerry Hughes (DE):
Got past his defender a few times.  They were running opposite of him all first half.  Starting to get better at the spin move.  Just needs some more power.   Playing like he wants to prove he deserves to be here.  He was held a few times where he would have had tackles in the backfield.  Sooner or later he has to become what Bill Polian sees in him...right?

Ollie Ogbu (DT): !!!
Black horse of 2011.  Great awareness.  As an UT, quick burst off ball and into the backfield multiple times.  This is a big guy who very easily could make the team over Ricardo Mathews.  Takes up a lot of space.  Wait to see him as Antonio Johnsons’s backup this year.   Before this game I’d never heard of him, after it, I want to see more.  #64 (64 offense is Kirkpatrick), keep your eyes on him.

Kevin Thomas (CB):
This guy can hit.  Hard.  Looking good in run defense.  I foresee him taking the starting CB spot opposite of Powers before the preseason is over.  Missed a big special teams tackle though.  Has great ST speed, but not looking good in his tackling on ST.  Covered up quite a few LB errors by not letting the receiver get to the next level.  Was faked biting on a long ball when the receiver cut back and made a good catch  Missed a couple tackles when trying to wrap the feet.

Chris Rucker (CB):
Good man coverage and had a good pass breakup.  Needs to keep better awareness of where the ball is during a pass.  Looks to be a good, hard tackler.

Al Afalava (S):
This guy was everywhere.   Excellent run stopping.  This guy should make the team as backup to Bethea.

Pat McAfee (P):
Looks like he’s past his swimming experience and is looking better than ever!  Our ST players consistently had chances to blow up returners as he forced nearly 5 seconds of hang time.


Guys I want to see more of:
Curtis Painter (QB):
I can't believe I'm saying I want to see more curtis painter...he was very streaky in the first game.  He is missing the pinpoint accuracy that he needs.  Seems to let his emotions get to him.  I’ve never been a fan of his, but he has the potential.  If he can get over his own mental mistakes, we may see a decent backup.  Unfortunately I wouldn’t bet on that happening any time soon.

Dan Orlovsky (QB):
Wasn’t to blame for the first interception – he hit Chris Brooks in the hands and it jumped up.  He was definitely to blame for the second one, as he threw it straight into a defender's hands.  Much cooler under pressure than Painter and has better accuracy.  Lacks awareness of when his receivers are open.  Threw a bad interception to a wide open Taj Smith late in the game.

Chad Spann (RB):
Management really wanted to see this guy’s return skills.  Twice muffed kickoff returns.  Has a spin move as he’s being hit that makes him hard to wrap.  I liked his ability to read the coverage, but we all know, if you can’t catch the ball, the Colts won’t look at what you do with it after.  Good speed as a RB, but lacks the power to keep his legs moving after the initial hit.  Great looking hands.  Great burst to miss tackles.  Needs to learn to run out of bounds instead of taking big hits or else we’ll just see a Devin Moore repeat.

Javarris James (RB):
Awesome special teams hit.  Really lit up the punt returner.  Excellent speed to get downfield fast.  I really wish we had seen more of him as a running back this game.  I’m still pulling for him to land as a 5th RB.

Darren Evans (RB):
Good runner.  Doesn’t always keep his legs going after first hit and takes a while to get up to full speed.  However, he had some great runs near the end that make me want to see more.

David Gilreath (WR):
Not speedy, but good awareness and route running.  Looked solid as a kick returner, but doesn’t have the "oomf" we need.  Great hands.  Look for him to overtake Blair White (noooo!!!!) as the 5th receiver.

Mike McNeil (TE):
Catching everything thrown his way.   Good routes.  If it wasn’t for the fact that we have 3 good TEs before him, I would push for this guy to make the team.  If Eldridge is out hurt, look for this guy to be the 3rd TE.

Tyson DeVree (TE):
Great route running.  Great hands.

Jake Kirkpatrick (C):
Great push in pass blocking.  Looking good as a backup.  I really hope to see him make the team.  Everything we’ve heard about him being a Saturday clone could very easily be true.

Adrian Moten (LB):
Good pass blocking for the most part.  Let the quarterback make a read on the receiver only to be ready to break it up as soon as it came his way.  He needs to work on his run blocking awareness.  I expect him to be the 7th LB if we have one.

Kerry Neal (LB):
I wish I watched this guy more often.  He was in the backfield multiple times.  Great tackler.

Tuihalamaka? (LB):
Good tackler.  Can’t find his name on the roster though.  Some guy with a name no one can pronounce.  I want to see more of him.

Chris Colasanti (LB):
Highs and lows.  Is quick, but doesn’t show good agility.  Excellent tackler however.  Unfortunately for him we rarely keep 8 linebackers.

Demario Pressley (DT):
Broke through for a close sack.   Interesting to see our NT breaking through more often than our UT.

Ricardo Mathews (DT):
Good job holding the line as the NT.  Good tackles and good awareness.  He and Ollie Ogbu will be battling for backup to Johnson.

John Chick (DE):
I really liked him last year.  He has gotten even better this year.  Consistently blew through his man to get to backfield on running plays.  There’s a good chance of him making the team.

David Caldwell (CB):
Great tackler.  Borderline that he makes the team.  I like the power and awareness he brings.

Joe Lefeged (S):
Good tackling.  Doesn’t have that hard hit that I was hoping for.  I need to see more before I make a good judgement.


Guys I want to see less of:
Mike Hartline (QB):
Very limited play.  Missed a long pass, but it wasn’t terribly far off.

Nate Davis (QB):
Looks awful.  Can’t target a pass correctly to save his life.  Seems to have difficulty in decision making.  I hope he doesn’t make the team.  Sucks to see a local guy not doing well.

Taj Smith (WR):
Just too up and down on  running clean routes.  Unless he’s brought in as a ST only player, don’t expect to see him make the final cut.  Had a nice catch for touchdown, but that was mainly due to defender error.  Great speed though.

Nate Triplett (LB):
Just lacking the speed needed for this level.  He can’t keep up with the receivers in pass coverage.  He is acceptable in run blocking.

Eric Foster (DE):
Unfortunately looking very average so far, which is too bad because I’ve always liked the heart he plays with.  They need to keep him away from DT if he makes the teams this year.  He just doesn’t have the weight to match up well with an NFL level guard.

Cornelius Brown (CB):
Not wrapping tackles.  We can’t have that this year.  Too bad, because he was a decent nickleback last year.

Brandon King (CB/S):
While he looked good last year, and is good tackling, he is not looking good in pass coverage.  They had him lined up as nickleback quite a few times and his awareness was lacking.


Guys who need cut immediately:
Chris Brooks (WR):
Cause of one of Orlovsky’s interceptions.  This guy needed to be gone last year.  Somehow he made it back.  It’s too bad, because we could really use a receiver with his height.  Dropped 2 easy catches.

Casey Bender (OT):
No power.  Expect to see this guy cut soon.

John Gill (DT):
Lined up a few times as DE.  Nothing special.  Needs to quite drinking.  Also needs to be cut.

David Bedford (DT):
Missed his assignments multiple times.  This guy will be cut soon I imagine.

Terrence Johnson (CB):
He needs cut.  Awful at pass coverage.  Good ST tackle, however.


That's it!  There were a few people that I never hit the field tonight (Devin Moore) that I still want to see.  Overall though, it looks like we've picked up some great UDFAs this year.  Please comment and let me know what you think!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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