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Stampede Blue Tweetbag: Talking Trent Richardson, Ryan Grigson, and Jim Harbaugh

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Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson answers questions about the Colts submitted via twitter.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Answering your twitter questions about the Colts:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> when do you think the colts will move on from Trent Richardson to anyone else?</p>&mdash; Dean Dougherty (@Dean_Dougherty) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dean_Dougherty/status/539588497510629376">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Well, I think the answer to this question largely depends on what you mean by "move on from."  If you mean bench him, I've already written that it needs to happen.  But if you mean actually part ways with, that's a different answer entirely.  Basically, here's the deal with Richardson - he still provides some value, as terrible as he has been running the football.  He's the best pass protector the Colts have at the position, and it's not that close.  He's shown that he can be a capable receiving back.  And two weeks he did well in short yardage scenarios.  I think the Colts would be wise to use him more in short yardage and third down situations - but in no way should he continue to be the starter or see more snaps than Boom Herron.  No way.  I think the Colts will continue to give him plenty of chances this season, however.  The first time the discussion of parting ways with him entirely will come into play is this offseason, and I think it will be an interesting discussion.  Ultimately, it will depend somewhat on these final few games, I think.  Can Richardson still provide some value, namely in the roles I already mentioned?  Those are the questions that need answered and those are the roles in which the Colts need to play Richardson.  Because continuing to hand him the football hoping that he'll show something that he has yet to show is just stupid.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> At what point does Tipton start getting carries?</p>&mdash; Kyle Gilpin (@FearTheRageInMe) <a href="https://twitter.com/FearTheRageInMe/status/539588253931036673">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

If it were up to me, it'd be this weekend.  I'd start Boom Herron, use Richardson some in short yardage and third down situations, and then get Zurlon Tipton some snaps and a few carries as well.  Richardson isn't the answer, and while he still has some value (as mentioned above), the Colts would be wise to see if Tipton can give them something more.  It's very likely that he won't, but he can't really be a worse running option than Richardson is at this point and I'd at least get him a bit of work moving forward.  With that said, however, I don't anticipate many changes to the way the Colts are handling the running back position, though.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> time for Gosder to sit?</p>&mdash; Rob (@devsjayscolts) <a href="https://twitter.com/devsjayscolts/status/539588792018300928">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

For who, exactly?  That's the main question.  I don't think there's any doubt that Gosder Cherilus has been bad this season.  But I'm just not sure there's a better option sitting on the bench right now.  Maybe Xavier Nixon, when he's healthy?  Joe Reitz was a marginal upgrade at best, and besides that I think he's the best option the team has at right guard.  At right tackle?  It might be Nixon, but it's no sure thing.  I don't think Cherilus has been good this year (he's been terrible), but I'm not calling for the team to bench him because I don't really think there are much better options behind him.  Maybe they could give Nixon a chance, but ultimately I think the position needs to be addressed in the offseason.  Right now, I don't know if there's much they can do about it.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> and am i the only one wondering why newsome isn&#39;t getting more snaps?</p>&mdash; Rob (@devsjayscolts) <a href="https://twitter.com/devsjayscolts/status/539589107778060288">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

No, I'm sure you're not the only one.  He played 30 snaps on Sunday (38% of them), and yet despite of that he managed to be one of the biggest difference makers on the defensive unit in terms of pass rush.  I think that each and every week we continue to see his progression and we continue to see that he truly is a good pass rusher.  I fully believe that as we move forward and approach the playoffs he'll begin to be used more and more as a pass rusher in key situations and will see his playing time go up.  He has been great and he has honestly been one of the best pass rush options that the Colts have, when he's actually on the field - and I do expect that playing time to increase.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> chances Jim Harbaugh ends up in Indy?</p>&mdash; Rex Ramage (@RexRamage) <a href="https://twitter.com/RexRamage/status/539589179819450369">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The first question to ask should actually be about the chances of Chuck Pagano getting fired from the Colts, because unless that happens there's no way Jim Harbaugh to the Colts happens.  So what are the chances that Pagano is fired?  Very slim.  Three playoff appearances and two division titles in your first three seasons ever of being a head coach isn't a resume that gets you fired, nor should it.  I think we all know that he has his flaws as a coach, but he has improved this year, is a great guy and a great leader, and has produced while in Indy - a franchise with a loyal owner.  I don't think he should be fired, nor will he be.  So the Harbaugh to the Colts discussion basically ends right there.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> Did Shaun Phillips have any impact on the pass rush? I was surprised he had 20 snaps. Didn&#39;t stand out.</p>&mdash; Rob Lancaster (@Rob_o_Rama) <a href="https://twitter.com/Rob_o_Rama/status/539593395422134272">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Shaun Phillips did indeed play on 20 defensive snaps (25%), but you're right in saying that it didn't seem he had a big impact.  He did appear on the stat sheet as having recorded a tackle, but he really wasn't noticed in his Colts' debut.  I actually don't think he had that bad of a game all things considered, and he did get some nice pressure.  It would be great to get more out of him going forward, but in his first game he actually didn't have a bad debut, rather just a rather unnoticed one in which he only played 25% of the snaps.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> how does Pureifoy go from active roster to failing physical? Blew the interview?</p>&mdash; Chris_U (@Chris_U5) <a href="https://twitter.com/Chris_U5/status/539593483745783809">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The questions about Loucheiz Purifoy have been almost constant since the Colts released him last week, and they picked up Monday night after the Seahawks waived him with the "failed physical" designation.  Many want the team to bring him back.  To answer your question about the physical, we really don't know why he failed it with Seattle.  What we do know, however, is that he suffered a concussion not too long ago and there's a real possibility that he's still recovering from that.  As for why the Colts released him, I'm pretty convinced that it didn't have anything to do with his play (which was very promising) nor his injury but rather off-the-field concerns.  The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder reported that Purifoy was released for "a string of minor, in-house disciplinary issues," and that report certainly makes a ton of sense considering the Colts waived him on Thanksgiving day after he had been playing well and considering that he had a short leash to begin with due to a number of off-field issues at Florida - that ultimately led to his being undrafted.  So that's why I believe he was released, and that's why I also don't expect the Colts to re-sign him at all (perhaps to the practice squad, but not active roster).  Furthermore, and this is more than you asked about but worth mentioning, many have wondered whether the Colts put too much emphasis on character.  While I don't think it's ever a bad thing to emphasize character, let's also remember that the Colts actually have given several guys a shot who brought previous off-field concerns with him, and Purifoy was just the most recent of them.  I don't think it's on the Colts if they bring those guys in (on a shorter leash) and then the guys screw up again.  It hasn't been that the Colts are unwilling to take a chance on those guys.  Now, the specific details of why Purifoy was released aren't known, but if he was indeed released because of off-field things then it goes right along with this narrative.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Coltsfanwilson">@Coltsfanwilson</a> with Irsay back, has he stayed out of personnel decisions? Also, how does Grigson compare to Polian in influencing starters?</p>&mdash; K Trick (@ItsTrickyToRock) <a href="https://twitter.com/ItsTrickyToRock/status/539613015319252992">December 2, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

This is a great question that I'm sure many are wondering about.  I'll take it in two parts - first looking at owner Jim Irsay.  Since his return, he's basically assumed a role very similar to where he was before he was gone.  Not much has changed in that regard.  He actually knows football and knows what it's like to run a team (something most owners don't know about), but he also knows what his role is.  Irsay isn't the type of owner that meddles in everything, but he's also not the type of owner who is distant and not involved.  He's right there in the middle - involved but also realizing that he hired guys for reasons and he lets them do their jobs.  Irsay definitely does have a role in personnel decisions, but those are mainly the big decisions and otherwise he's there to help Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and the others.  One important thing to note, however, is that Irsay's daughters are becoming more and more involved in running the franchise, something that has continued on even after their father has returned.  Jim is still the man in charge, but it's also clear that his daughters are more involved in running the franchise.  As for the football side of things, though?  It's business as usual, and for Jim Irsay that means staying incredibly involved and knowing what's going on but at the same time letting his GM be the GM.

As for Ryan Grigson, this is where things get difficult and where many of the decisions are unclear.  We all know that Bill Polian was the ultimate authority on personnel decisions and it was especially prevalent with Jim Caldwell as head coach.  Polian was pulling the strings.  Is Ryan Grigson doing the same?  It's a good question and one that's hard to answer.  Firstly, let's consider that he doesn't have the resume of Bill Polian and he doesn't have the same right that Polian did to pull strings.  Polian is perhaps the greatest football executive in history and could very well be enshrined in Canton next fall.  Grigson is in his third year as a general manager.  The situations there are different, but Grigson does indeed have an impact on the on-field personnel decisions.  Jonotthan Harrison starting?  Don't make the mistake of thinking that was purely Chuck Pagano's decision.  Trent Richardson continuing to have a big role?  Don't just assume that's Pagano being stupid.  This isn't to absolve Pagano of all blame for personnel decisions because he's ultimately responsible for them, but Grigson does have a hand in some of the decisions.  Basically, I think that Grigson is protective of the spots that would make him look bad should Pagano make a certain roster decision.  Ultimately, it's hard to have this discussion because so much within a franchise is a joint decision.  Furthermore, Chuck Pagano is ultimately responsible, and I don't think it's accurate at all to say he's just a puppet of Grigson.  Not at all.  But I also think we need to realize that Grigson does have a say in some of these personnel decisions.