With all the news involving the Titans around here, you'd think this was a Titans blog. Such a blog already exists, and a damn fine one at that. And not some pretender blog either. If you've ever heard Jimmy talk on the SBNSR, you know immediately Jimmy is a Tennessee boy. And since he and his Titans brethren do such a fine job covering our division foes, I think we'll stick to covering the Colts for a bit, thank you. Oh sure, whenever Vince Young provides more fun nuggets that demonstrate his lack of intelligence, we'll post them. But Kickoff Weekend is almost upon us, and there's too much happening!
- Folks, get used to this. Whenever you turn on ESPN, get used to the Patriots ball rubbing they do. While most other seemingly legit sports news outlets (like CNNSI) have the Colts at the top spot in their power rankings. Of course, power rankings don't mean crap, but it is generally a sign of simple respect to have the Super Bowl champions as #1 in the power rankings when the season starts. Hell, even the pro-Patriots site Cold Hard Football Facts has the Colts listed as #1! However, ESPN has already scripted their through-line for the season: All Patriots, all the time. This is why literally all of ESPN's experts have picked the Patriots to win the AFC. Now, we all know this isn't what all these experts really think. The Mickey Mouse Brigade running ESPN tells these "experts" who to pick so it fits within their scripted through-line. So, as the season progresses, and ESPN continues to fondle the nutsack of Bill Belicheck more and more, don't get too angry. ESPN is a hack network, and it's just what they do. I recommend switching the channel. Rather than report the news, ESPN feels the need to storyline the news BEFORE it happens. It's sad. It's pathetic. It's ESPN. Boo-yah.
- K Shane Andrus was cut along with OT Travis Leitko. Obviously, Andrus had no chance and he knew this going in. He did kick very well in Training Camp and pre-season. So, maybe he'll land with another team. He's a quality kicker.
Great article on Tony Ugoh from the Star. My worries about his growth and development are quelled somewhat. He's just got a level head, and he knows how to play LT. I like this from the Star:
Mudd said Ugoh possesses an outgoing personality, and "fills up the room'' during meetings. In the locker room, though, Ugoh is quiet, unassuming. He keeps to himself until a member of the media invades his space, generally seeking a progress report.Sounds like we have another gem at LT, but we'll see as the season progresses.
While many starters are expected to get the night off when the Colts close the preseason Friday at Cincinnati, Ugoh might be one of the exceptions. Every game, every practice, is a chance to learn.
"I've prepared for (preseason) games as if they were real games, as if they did count," Ugoh said. "I'm just focusing on knowing what to do week in and week out and just getting better.
- Expect to see a lot of Michael Coe and Brandon Condren this Friday against the Bengals. Dante Hughes might also get a lot of playing time.
- DeDe Dorsey, Kenton Keith, or Clifton Dawson? At least one of these guys will indeed get cut.
- Peter King thinks Peyton Manning is the #1 player in the NFL right now. Thank you, Peter. It's taken you four years to figure out what many of us already knew. Manning has been the best in the NFL since 2003. There was never any real debate. General idiots and pathetic homers swore it was Brady, or McNair, or even Michael Vick. It's always been Manning. Welcome to the real world, Peter.
- Someone remind Pat Kirwan that he should actually WATCH THE GAMES before making a stupid statements like this:
Have the Colts become the latest Super Bowl winner to get dismantled?Meanwhile, over at CNNSI, Don Banks makes the grade this week, proving that (unlike Kirwan) he is watching the games.
Gone from a Colts defense that was ranked 21st in 2006 are linemen Anthony McFarland (injury), Monte Reagor and Corey Simon; linebackers Cato June and Gilbert Gardner; and defensive backs Jason David, Mike Doss and Nick Harper. The offense lost left tackle Tarik Glenn (retired), RB Dominic Rhodes, and wide receiver Brandon Stokley. Not all of them were major contributors in 2006, but they were all part of building the Colts' Super Bowl team, and they all have to be replaced...
Linebacker Cato June is one of the players the Colts will miss this season.AFC SouthWhat's funny about Kirwan's dumbass statement is that Cato June isn't working out well withh is new team, the Bucs. JScott over at Buc'Em told me the other night that Tampa is looking to trade June. We know the pre-season games are boring Pat, but since you are paid to write about the NFL, it kind of means you have to watch them.
1. Indianapolis Colts
A reason to believe: Despite losing four starters, the Colts defense is better. That's right, better. The unit has played stout against the run in August (2.7 yards per rush) and the tackling is noticeably improved. Nobody's missing Cato June, Jason David, Nick Harper, or even Anthony McFarland at this point.
The thing that makes you nervous: We all know what a quality offensive left tackle means for the health of your right-handed starting quarterback. The Colts are depending on rookie Tony Ugoh to handle the role previously held by Tarik Glenn. It's a gamble, and Peyton Manning's blindside is the stakes.