GBB88's Preseason Week 3 Thoughts

This game pissed me off. I'm actually writing this with 3:00 left in the third quarter to get a head start. Also as a distraction. Why am I pissed? For one, Gary Brackett (hand) got hurt, potentially Joseph Addai (concussion) as well. But mostly because I know what the reaction to this game is going to be like. Dumb, casual fans are going to predict doom and gloom. All the NFL sites I read will write articles about how the Colts should be concerned about X, Y and Z. And knowing that, the Colts won't be able to prove them wrong for another few weeks now, given that the fourth preseason game is little more than a waiver wire contest.

So I have to have this bad taste in my mouth for several weeks and listen to a lot of ignorant people write and say things they will conveniently forget when the Colts rattle off another 12+ wins. As such, I'm pissed off.

That said, let's get to the observations:

1. Peyton Manning looked alright, though his INT was a terrible throw. Much credit is given to The Sheriff/Iceman/Gruden's latest nickname for playing behind what might be the worst Colt OL I have ever seen. But I'm not interested in analyzing Manning's game. I'm interested in the looming controversy regarding those illegal snap penalties and Goodel's continuing campaign to ruin the NFL (which figures to continue with the promise of an 18-game season on the horizon.) Moving the umpires makes no sense and might be one of the dumbest executed ideas in NFL history. This is going to create a ****storm that, perhaps luckily for our sakes, will probably drown out what happened in the rest of the game. You'd better believe Bill Polian will have words for the NFL on this one.

2. Joseph Addai is so much better than Donald Brown, it's not even funny. Good runner, great receiver, great blocker. He's a better OL than most of the OL. So shame on Jim Caldwell for playing his starters into the third quarter. If Addai is seriously hurt, Caldwell deserves serious heat from the Indy media. What did he have left to prove being in there? What did any starters have left to prove? Caldwell knew how that game was going and knew how poorly the OL was playing. It made no sense to keep starters in the game. I could not believe that Caldwell had the audacity to march #18 out in the second half. Terrible idea. Back to Addai, though, his opening run was all him. He had minimal help from the OL, made a few guys missed and took off on a sprint. He doesn't have great long speed, but who cares? He has great playmaking ability, and I'll take that every time.

3. Pierre Garcon still looks to be an inconsistent receiver, which is disappointing. The brick hands came back today. Anthony Gonzalez has done little to impress me this preseason, but Manning's timing with his receivers is obviously thrown off by this sorry excuse for an OL.

4. Speaking of that OL, WOW is it bad. Record-setting bad. Couldn't help but notice that Tony Ugoh got benched after a series or two. Benched. For UDFA OT Jeff Linkenbach. How many times can the Colts gift-wrap the LT position to Ugoh and still see him screw it up? It's unreal. Ugoh is pathetic.

5. Jamey Richard also looks slow and unimpressive out there. Maybe it will be easier to list the OL who looked alright. Um. Well. Uh...Linkenbach looks like a decent utlity OL reserve. And...there's...ah, screw it. If Jeff Saturday and Charlie Johnson don't return for the regular season, this team is screwed. The entire left side of the line is awful.

6. Colin Cloherty looks better every week and I really hope he makes the team over Gijon Robinson. I just think he's a better fit considering the players the Colts already have and what they're trying to do.

7. One of my few major concerns about this game, because I don't get too worked up over preseason games, is the DL jumping offsides. Look, this was a problem last year. I don't know if anyone remembers, but it was. And this preseason, it's been more of the same. Coyer's defense is aggressive, and sometimes you have to sacrifice some restraint to get a jump and make plays. But the Colts are making a habit of jumping offsides, and that's just not going to cut it in the regular season.

8. Speaking of that aggression, Coyer's blitz schemes have been really underwhelming this preseason. The Colts show them too early, and good QBs (well, elite QBs) like Aaron Rodgers can then make the protection calls to adjust for them, negate them, and throw to all that vacated space. The Colts left the middle of the field open all night tonight and Coyer seemed to have no regard for defending it.

9. Even if he did, though, the Packers were throwing at Melvin Bullitt all night, who looked pretty poor out in coverage. I've always thought Bullitt was more of a run-stopping SS than any kind of coverage FS, so I'm not shocked by the results. But he did a poor job in coverage tonight, and it is what it is.

10. And Antoine Bethea continued his preseason whiff-fest (atypical for a player like Bethea), so at least Bob Sanders showed up tonight. By far the best safety out there. As I type this, Mike Newton shows the coverage ability of an eight-year-old girl. So, yes, Sanders far outplayed everyone tonight. A word on Newton: like Ugoh, he was seemingly gift-wrapped a position due to injury (Jamie Silva's ACL tear in this case.) And he's just done nothing to show he deserves it. I was excited about the Colts bringing in Newton and David Caldwell this year; I thought they were looking for a good fourth safety in case Sanders got hurt again. But man, have these guys disappointed.

11. Not that it was hard to look good in the secondary next to Kelvin Hayden. He's supposed to be the veteran of the CB group? He played like a friggin' UDFA corner. Inexcusable penalties. The kind of penalties Hayden knows the Colts should never have. He looked like a CB5 playing for a roster spot, not a starting corner. And, I have to say, I am a bit concerned about Hayden. Ever since he's payday, he's been hurt or ineffective. My biggest concern is that Hayden doesn't have the speed to run down the field in man-to-man coverage. The Colts can't rely on him to single up a receiver without safety help over top, because he'll get beat nine times out of 10.

12. Also sticking out in the "bad" department was Philip Wheeler. I'm still not seeing this alleged "improvement" that his teammates spoke of earlier in the offseason. Wheeler's best play all night was running off the field to avoid a 12-man penalty. His biggest hit all night was when he broke Brackett's hand. Wheeler continues to overrun plays, be blocked out of plays, miss tackles and fail miserably in coverage. I just don't see him as the SAM of this team should it make another run toward February. Is there any way that Pat Angerer can play SAM? I don't think so, but I wish there was someone besides Wheeler, who was unimpressive last year and looks no better this year.

13. Angerer did impress me tonight though. Nothing spectacular, but he tackles well, shows good form and ran well with the 1s. He'll make his share of rookie mistakes for sure, but he ran well, tackled well and covered well. That's what you ask from your MLB. I think he'll make a good player in a few years.

14. Jerry Hughes sucks right now. That's putting it nicely. I'm not saying he won't develop into an effective player, but there is nothing in his immediate future. He's not even a rotation player. He has zero ability to play the run, and his pass-rushing is suspect at best. Hughes is not ready for the NFL right now. This is going to be a redshirt year for him. Hopefully he shows up ready next year. If not, Polian's first-round draft history picks up a bit of a blemish. But way too early to go there yet.

15. Okay, so I could point out individual players all night, be all-in-all this defense looked really bad. Do I think that will carry over into the regular season? Not really. I think they were a victim of their scheme tonight - too much ineffective blitzing, too many vacated zones, too much cushion. Tonight's gameplan was the kind that made you wonder if Larry Coyer remembers the Super Bowl loss or just chose to forget it.

16. Sam Giguere is still doing no favors to guarantee himself a roster spot. Inconsistent hands, lackluster return skills. It looks like Taj Smith currently holds a slight edge for that WR5 spot. Very slight, but still an edge.

17. Brandon James may have cost himself a roster spot tonight. That was as ugly a muff as you can have. I know a lot of folks want B. James to make the squad, but the fact is that he would have to be a spectacular returner given his shortcomings at WR to make the team, and he's just not. Devin Moore is clearly a wiser pick, as he looks to be a better returner and better at his individual position (RB.) After this game, I really don't see how B. James makes the roster or how Moore doesn't. I feel for B. James and hope he catches on somewhere or at least in the UFL, but the Colts have to choose the best 53 men who can provide the most value to the team. And he's just not in that group of 53.


1. This lack of discipline isn't going to cut it. The Colts so far under Caldwell have played a lot less disciplined than they did under Tony Dungy. Some of that falls on the coaching staff, and they'd be wise to work on that heading into the season.

2. At what point are the Colts forced to make a move to shore up their OL? Even if Saturday and C. Johnson return, they're still extremely shallow at the position. I wonder if the Colts will pick up a waiver wire OL or look for a trade around the deadline? Again, a lot of things about this loss will be overblown, but the OL is a legitimate cause for concern. They are really bad.

3. Speaking of the OL, if the Colts don't make a move, how much are they going to hold the offense back? I can't help but think of all the weapons that Manning has and the lack of time he'll have to find them open if guys like Mike Pollak are starting.

4. As much as this game will be overblown, it's still not okay. Coaches shouldn't be okay with it. Players certainly shouldn't be. Nobody can assume the regular season will come easy to the Colts. They still have to work for it. And they clearly haven't put in enough work yet.

5. Finally, the NFL needs to address that umpire situation. There can be no arguing, after tonight, that it doesn't affect the game negatively.

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.