Have you noticed how every episode of the Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote starts off the same? The coyote always comes up with an elaborate plan on how he'll capture his devious nemesis, yet each time he fails in his execution. I believe the same mentality falls upon the Colts coaching staff. In every way they try to over think themselves... Maybe, they don't go to the extremes of strapping an Acme rocket to their back, but it's close. They are however, making just enough mistakes to nearly kill themselves in games. We keep hearing, "We need to start off faster... Establish the run...Control the line of scrimmage." Then, the lights come on and we're completely unprepared for our competition. Over the course of the last three games we've surrendered 66 points, while forcing a meager 9 points of our own. By halftime we look like our dear friend Mr. Coyote, hanging mid air off the cliff edge, holding a sign that says "YIKES!" So, to those who are ready to rain down fire and brimstone on the coaching staff - I say "Don't Panic"... We are still in the hunt for our first Limbardi Trophy with Andrew Luck at the helm. And, my personal opinion as time goes on Chuck Pagano will develop into a great leader.
The reasoning for this post will not be a recap of the Thursday night's game, Josh Wilson already did a wonderful job in his write-up following the game. This my fellow Colts' fans, will be my take on what the team should do to right the ship. I've compiled a list of suggestions (though, what do I know? They'd probably label me a street rat and tell me I shouldn't open my mouth). So, without further ado, I'll start it off with the words of Dave Dameshek... "LET IT BEGIN!!!'
- For starters, I think Pep Hamilton finally realized Darrius Heyward-Bey had no business being in the starting line-up. Congratulations to him for discovering what we as fans have been spouting for weeks. The guy has harder stone hands than 'Thing from Fantastic Four'. Does this mean he should super glue his buns to the bench for the remainder of the season? Hmm.... No, but maybe he should try putting some on his hands. This team does have a place for him, I just don't think it's on offense anymore. How about Special Teams? Let's face some facts, now that T.Y. Hilton is our top receiver, we shouldn't be risking his health on punt returns. And, David Reed should have been kicked off the bus like USC did when they booted Lane Kiffen. DHB has never lacked speed and if given the opportunity he can make a defender miss. All I'm saying is, we experimented with him at receiver just like the Bears did with Devin Hester, but some guys are what they are one-trick-ponies. Who knows? He may be what the doctor ordered to spark the return game.
- Next, I was glad to see Da'Rick Rogers promoted from the practice squad. I kept on fearing the rash of injuries around the league would cause a team to snatch him away. Lucky for us that didn't occur. But, fans asking for him to come in this week and become our Savior, probably were a little too over ambitious. The talent is there, but he needs to be slowly acclimated to the speed of the game and the timing with Luck. I envision him being utilized fashionably in the same effect Cleveland Brown's did with Josh Gordon his rookie season. Down the stretch his development could benefit us during the playoffs.
- With the extended week off the focus should be offensive line adjustments, we can't expose our franchise quarterback to these continual hits. Samson Satele may have single handily brought down our entire offense. So far, he is the worst signing in the Grigson era. If Houston has enough wisdom to cut a player like Ed Reed for playing like crap, then benching Satele should be a no-brainer. Seriously, at this point I think I'd rather have a yield sign at the center of our line, it's gotten that bad. Move McGlynn over to center or see what you have in Holmes. Stop trying to shine a turd to see if he becomes a diamond, he's obviously always going to be a turd.
- It's time for Donald Brown to start games and let Trent Richardson finish them out. Brown seems to make the offense move at a higher tempo, defenses don't key on him in the same way they do Richardson. We don't need to pound the ball from the very beginning of games. Once a lead is established we can construct drives like we did in the 4th quarter against the Titans. For now, situationally rotate our backs, the Saints are a prime example of how this can be accomplished (Sproles and Thomas).
- Greg Manusky and Chuck Pagano have to get this defense back on track. The mistakes being made early on are inexcusable - Defenders not filling their lanes on run plays, letting simple crossing patterns leave opposing receivers to wide open, giving underrated QBs all day in the pocket, and applying zero pass rush to help disrupt some of the weaker coverage down the field. Don't blame your problems on the offense for stalling out, blame your inability to get off the field on 3rd down.
Some of the issues with the team just can't be addressed during the season. Injuries happen in the NFL, it's part of the game, but when they happen to a team rebuilding, the toll is far greater. We'll most likely solve a majority of our deficiencies in the off-season. Hell, I'm no predictificationist like Nick Ragsdale, but the fortune teller I recently visited in the parking lot of an outlet mall has never been wrong. She told me 3 predictions as we sat in the back of her 81' Honda. As I ate my Ben's pretzel the spirits told her...
- We'll sign Hakeem Nicks to round out the receiver squad next year in free agency, you heard it here first.
- Antonine Bethea is going to be donning different team colors following this season. Sorry, but he's old and not one of Grigson's guys.
- The final prediction, before I get out of here... Adam Vinatieri hangs up his cleats after the Colts win the Super Bowl.