Hi guys. I am a Colts fan from the UK and have only recently set up an account on here, so I thought I would post an article for the first time. I first got into American football after the Colts Saints Superbowl and have been hooked ever since. I am going to my third NFL game at Wembley this year, and am just dying for neck beard and the boys to come over soon! I have also read the majority of the articles on this site over the past couple of years and find many of the articles and discussions entertaining and thought-provoking.
Anyway, the main point of this post was to comment on the offseason moves and how I feel going into next season. The one word that comes to mind after free agency and the draft, is competition. I believe that there is a good level of competition across the board for nearly every position now. For example at NT this season rather than trying to pretend that Antonio Johnson was a capable NT, we now have many different players who can compete and are familiar with the position (both acquired through the draft and free agency). After all in the famous words of Coach Pagano, "steel sharpens steel".
I have a friend who is a big Ravens fan and have talked to him at length about the defense that Chuck ran when he was in Baltimore. I always liked the way that they seemed to have good depth at linebacker and on the defensive line. They could very easily change the looks of the front seven depending on the time in the game, whether they were winning etc. I feel we are definitely progressing towards that in Indy. Now I am not saying that Lawrence Sidbury is going to come in and blow it up and get 15 sacks this year, but if he only contributes on passing downs and causes some pressure/disruption when he is on the field then great! Again with Erik Walden, if he is good at setting the edge and helping out stop the run then I shall be very happy with the acquisition (whether $4 million per year is the right price I guess only time will tell). He does not necessarily have to come in and be a 3 down linebacker who can do it all. It is very rare to find a 3-4 outside linebacker who is very good across the board and as much as it would be fantastic to have one, I do not believe it is crucial to us now, not this season at least. In summary I just feel that the way Chuck will constantly change the front seven throughout the game, it could perhaps hide some of the deficiencies that players on our front seven possess.
I like the way Grigson drafted for the first few rounds. He seemed to assess the needs of the team well (in my opinion pass rush and interior o-line were our biggest needs going into the draft) and go with whoever was highest on their board for the respective positions. Maybe some of the picks were reaches, we will just have to wait and see. A couple of the later picks I liked too, mainly the Boyett and Hughes picks. Getting to the later rounds in the draft players are there for a reason, either they have health/character/size concerns, they are from a small school perhaps or quite simply the talent just isn’t there. Yes there are concerns with the Boyett and Hughes picks, but without these concerns it seems that there is no doubt they would have gone higher and if the Staff can sort out these concerns, then we have perhaps got ourselves a couple of steals. If they don’t work out then it is just a couple of late round picks we have wasted and I believe you have to take a couple of players like that each year just to find that one player that beats the odds.
Overall I think the way our roster has transformed over the past couple of years has been incredible and the camp battles/pre-season will be great to watch. I am not saying that all our picks/signings this year will be stars, I just love the way the roster is taking shape across the board now.
A few random points:
- I have not had chance to see a lot of the picks for all of the teams but a few teams made a few selections that I liked along the way. These were the Eagles, Cards, Ravens, 49ers and Bengals.
- Talking of the 49ers, their roster is downright scary now and I can see some very good quality players getting cut there before the season begins. I am sure Belichick will be camped outside Candlestick Park to sign any cuts straight away.
- I look forward to seeing Chapman get onto the field for the first time and just see what he can do.
- Someone on here mentioned trying to predict the 53 man roster (I apologise I do not remember who). I gave this a try and it was surprisingly difficult and that was not considering any UDFA’s last minute veteran signings. I urge you all to give it a go it is quite fun.
- For those who are disappointed with our offseason, just take a moment to look at the Jets roster and try and be hopeful for the upcoming season with that bunch of jokers on your team.
- As much as I love reading mock drafts and having discussions about them with friends, I do feel that the first round this year once again highlighted the uselessness of mock drafts (due to the trades).
- I would have taken Vontae over anybody in the second round this year, let alone at pick 24.
- The Bjoern Werner Game of Thrones meme was absolutely fantastic!
Your feedback is welcomed and I apologise for making this a long post. I will try and answer any questions in the comment section below. Go Colts!