Welcome to the Stampede Blue mailbag, where your resident schmuck at Stampede Blue answers your questions about the Indianapolis Colts from both Twitter and our email address (sbnationcolts-at-yahoo.com).
For this week's mailbag, all our questions come from Twitter, and it starts with a question about undrafted rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kelley out of Maine (I think):
@StampedeBlue how is that 6'6 wr we have looking out there? hasn't been much talk about him. Kelley I do believe.— Cory Wilks (@Kobe_Luck) July 10, 2013
Answer: I assume you mean Jeremy Kelley, who is indeed 6'6 and 231 pounds. He's a 25 year old rookie, undrafted out of Maine. I honestly haven't heard much about him from rookie minicamp, OTAs, or mandatory minicamp. That's not good or bad, but, for me, if Kelley wants to make an impact and hopefully land on the Colts practice squad in 2013, he needs to show something in preseason.
With receivers like Griff Whalen, Jabin Sambrano, and Nathan Palmer already having shown flashes last year and during the offseason this year, Kelley would really need to stand out in a preseason game. I know his size is intriguing, but the Colts already have the 6'2 Darius Heyward-Bey and the 6'6 Coby Fleener. Size at receiver/tight end isn't something the Colts truly need.
@StampedeBlue who do you think is the colts most important new addition?— Vince Pipitone (@Cenzo23) July 10, 2013
Answer: Probably the most important new addition was OLB Bjoern Werner, the first round draft pick for the Colts this year. Others might say the free agent acquisitions like Ahmad Bradshaw, or LaRon Landry, or maybe Gosder Cherilus but the loss of Dwight Freeney on defense is not something that can be dismissed as "no big deal."
Freeney scared defenses. Outside of old No.93, no one else frightened opposing offensive coordinators. No, not even Robert Mathis, who is a very good player, but he isn't the kind of pass rusher Freeney was. And should anything happen to the 32-year-old Mathis (who battled injuries last year), the Colts would be totally screwed in terms of pass rushing talent.
Drafting Werner filled THE BIGGEST NEED this team had this offseason, and Chuck Pagano pretty much said that at his post-draft press conference. Teams don't win unless they can do two things: Make plays in the passing game, and pressuring the quarterback. Drafting Werner was extremely important in improving the pass rush.
@StampedeBlue Will Mike McGlynn start this year? Will he make the team?— Andrew Roble (@RoblePeacePrize) July 10, 2013
Answer: No, McGlynn won't start. At least, he better not. If McGlynn starts it either means that there have been extensive injuries, or that Hugh Thornton or Khaled Holmes were huge busts taken in the 3rd and 4th rounds this year, respectively. Both Thornton and Holmes are more talented than McGlynn, and both offer more upside. Heck, Joe Reitz is better than McGlynn, and don't forget about 2012 7th round pick Justin Anderson out of Georgia, or, if he's healthy, 2011 second-rounder Ben Ijalana.
So, to answer this as clearly and as bluntly as I can, McGlynn's days in Indianapolis are numbered. That's nothing against him personally, and I thought, despite some truly bad performances last year, he gutted it out overall and showed that he still has something to offer a team as a reserve. But he isn't a starter. Not in today's pass-happy NFL.
@StampedeBlue how spot on was Evan Silva with his V Ballard assessment in his Rotoworld article?— Steve Cardenas (@Steve_Cardenas) July 10, 2013
If you want to know what Steve is referring to, check out Evan Silva's post here.
Answer: Yeah, I think Evan was pretty fair in his assessment.
Ballard is a "try hard" player. He isn't as talented as, say, Giants second-year back David Wilson. If Ballard were on Wilson's level in terms of talent, then he'd have been drafted in the first round in 2012, as Wilson was. This is why it was so critical for the Colts to sign Ahmad Bradshaw. Anyone who thought Ballard was a 1,500 yard, 10 touchdown back was not basing that off tape study or objective analysis. Ballard isn't a talent on that level.
He is, however, ideally suited to succeed in an offense that will have two backs split carries.
@StampedeBlue why cant we ever have an awesome returner? Seems like a guy they would eventually find— Josh (@joshwade135) July 10, 2013
Answer: I thought they had a strong one in Deji Karim last year, but for whatever reason Ryan Grigson let Karim walk and has, instead, opted to go with Utah St. rookie Kerwynn Williams. T.Y. Hilton also has some talent in the return game, as does LaVon Brazill.
@StampedeBlue Do you think Khaled Holmes could beat Satele and start at C at some point this season?— Colts Universe (@Colts_Universe) July 10, 2013
Answer: Yes. The Colts and Chuck Pagano were very impressed with Holmes during his USC workout. However, I spoke with the USC bloggers over at Conquest Chronicles recently, and their main editor was pretty set on the notion that Holmes was NOT a quality center, but was much better suited to play guard at the NFL level.
Personally, I think Grigson screwed up in keeping Satele for 2013 and trading A.Q. Shipley to Baltimore. Shipley is better, younger, and cheaper than Satele. Paul Kuharsky recently wrote something about Satele, stating:
For as many good moves as Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made in his first season in the post, the NFL executive of the year also had some bobbles.
It’s fair to say Year 1 of center Samson Satele was one of them.
Satele got a three-year, $10.8 million contract with $4 million guaranteed and a $2.7 million base salary in 2013.
He started 11 games, missing action with knee and ankle injuries. A.Q. Shipley, who replaced Satele, was better when he played.
Yep. What Paul said.