@StampedeBlue By the end of the season, who do you think sees more snaps, Ballard or Bradshaw? DHB or Hilton?— Joshua Fenio (@stderr) August 3, 2013
Answer: My sense is Ahmad Bradshaw will see more snaps at running back by then, assuming he's healthy (which is an assumption so big that it could fill Cris Carter's ego... ba-dam-bum-tsssk!). Bradshaw is a better runner and pass blocker than Ballard. Thus, it just makes more logical sense that he would get more snaps overall. Vick Ballard may get more rushes because he's a second-year player, but Bradshaw offers more value on both run and pass downs.
As for Darrius Heyward-Bey v. T.Y. Hilton, that is an interesting question given what transpired Sunday at training camp. Heyward-Bey reportedly sprained his knee, and there is no timetable for his return. This opens a door for Hilton who has been outplaying Heyward-Bey at camp so far. If Hilton solidifies his hold as the starting outside receiver, I could see him getting more snaps now and well into December over DHB.
@StampedeBlue Have players (in particular Reggie Wayne) taken a liking to Pep? Bruce was a player coach and was wondering if Pep is same way— Mitch Lingen (@lingen_34dmb) August 3, 2013
Answer: Yes. Though Pep Hamilton and Bruce Arians have differing personalities, the players have absolutely taken to the Colts' new O.C. and his system. The local media are also in love with Hamilton, and several national media types have sung his praises too.
Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star wrote a great piece on Hamilton recently, and was able to tie in how he differs from Arians. Still, the players have taken to Hamilton, and overall he makes more sense as the team's coordinator given the talent that on the roster.
Coby Fleener is a good example. He likely would not have succeed in Arians' offense because the system devalues the tight end. Arians loved 3-wide receiver sets, and Dwayne Allen fits that formation better than Fleener because Allen is a superior blocker. In Hamilton's system, Fleener and Allen can thrive together. Hamilton likes to run a base 2-tight end offense. He'll sometimes add a fullback as well, and then use Fleener as a slot receiver, or even split him out wide. Heck, we've seen formations at camp where the fullback is split out wide!
Craziness, but it should be fun to watch.
@StampedeBlue Does this years defense have the potential to win games for us?— eddie celik (@EddieCelik) August 3, 2013
Answer: Well, it damn well better! The owner practically threw down the gauntlet on the defense this past weekend when he said he expects it to become a "cornerstone" (Jim Irsay's word there, not mine) of the franchise. I took that as a not-so-subtle reminder to the coaching staff that the owner dished out tons of money this offseason for players like Ricky Jean-Francois, Erik Walden, Greg Toler, and LaRon Landry. If the defense plays like it has for the last two seasons, I think some defensive coaches could lose their jobs at the end of the regular season.
Because of all the talent that has been added via free agency, along with drafting Bjoern Werner and Montori Hughes, this is a more talented defense overall than any we've seen in Indianapolis in recent years. Undrafted nobodys aren't starting at corner, and the defensive line is stocked is stocked with some serious beef.
The defense should be better, and it should help the team win games in 2013.
@StampedeBlue Any possibility to see a "frequent" use of three TEs sets ?— Robin Legrand (@LegrandRobin) August 3, 2013
Answer: Interesting idea. I don't think it makes sense because of all the talent and speed the Colts have at wide receiver to run a 3-TE package, but Hamilton's offense is known to run a 2-TE offense with a fullback. That fulllback can, in certain instances, be used as a tight end.
As I told Mitch Lingen (@lingen_34dmb) above, we've seen the Cols run 2-TE, 1 FB sets at camp with the FB (Stanley Havili) splitting out wide. So, yes, it's certainly possible to see a 3-TE set. If that was something Hamilton ran at Stanford, I don't recall seeing it.
If there are any Stanford crazies who are reading this, use the comments to let us know if you recall Hamilton using a 3-TE set in recent years.