Auditing the Colts Team Needs
The Colts knock off the red-hot Chiefs and finally get in the win collum to be a perfectly balanced 1-1-1 on the year. Which brings us to week two of “Auditing the Colts’ Team Needs”. To check out week one, click HERE.
Each week I will be ranking the team’s needs via positional groups. From 1, the largest need, down through the team’s most established and proven position groups. I will also highlight two that stood out from the past game and discuss where the positions stand, good or bad.
The present and future are being considered when making these rankings. Each week the play of the position groups can result in a move up or down on the team needs list.
- Right Guard (Last week: 5)
- Wide Receiver (Last Week: 1)
- Quarterback (Last Week: 2)
- Punter/Kicker (Last Week: 6)
- Left Tackle (Last Week: 7)
- Tight End (Last Week: 3)
- Right Tackle (Last Week: 8)
- Edge Rusher (Last Week: 4)
- Center (Last Week: 9)
- Cornerbacks (Last Week: 10)
- Linebacker (Last Week: 12)
- Safety (Last Week 11)
- Interior Defensive Line (Last Week: 13)
- Left Guards (Last Week: 14)
- Running Backs (Last Week: 15)
The biggest riser on this week’s need list was right guard, rising all the way up to the top spot. After three weeks of being able to study the Colt's offensive line issues, it has become evident that Danny Pinter's struggles at guard are also causing issues for the linemen beside him. Center Ryan Kelly and right tackle Braden Smith both at times can be seen on tape adjusting their normal approach off the snap to assist Pinter's assignment. Since making the move to guard from center, Pinter has looked out of place and, during games, outmatched. We constantly are seeing teams adjust their best interior rushers to line up over Pinter, which has caused Kelly and Smith to feel the need to help out there, as opposed to their normal assignment.
I believe the majority of the blame falls on the front office for the mishandling of the right guard position this offseason. The team saw two in-house free agents sign elsewhere (Mark Glowinski to the Giants and Chris Reed to the Vikings). Instead of finding a solution, they chose to move Pinter over from center. Pinter had shown a lot of promise last season when he filled in at center so the team decided to give him the first shot at the open starting position. That decision has blown up in the team's face so far in 2022. Pinter has shown to not have anywhere near the same success at guard. Adding Pinter playing out of position to Matt Pryor being asked to be the blind side protector while knowing his struggles against speed rushers is a disaster that the team must fix immediately if theyqq want this offense to reach its potential this season.
Before the season, the moves the team made at safety were refreshing to see after the lack of depth a year ago. This past Sunday, that depth really showed as multiple members of the safety room were able to be highlighted. Early on in the game, Julian Blackmon was showing his range as the single high safety as well as having success for the team on special teams. Sadly, we saw Blackmon go down with an ankle injury before the half and he wasn't able to return.
A year ago, the play at the position was a huge drop-off when the team lost Blackmon for the year. To replace Blackmon this time around, though, was a rookie safety but not the one many fans would have guessed. The team elected to go with the 7th rounder out of Yale, Rodney Thomas, instead of 3rd round pick Nick Cross. The reason given from DC Gus Bradley being that the team has liked what they've seen from Thomas at the free safety spot. Thomas was able to prove them right when his number was called to prevent a potentially huge play when Mahomes targeted Justin Watson across the middle of the field.
a Rodney Thomas fingertip (and Trey Smith holding penalty) away from a facemelting Mahomes throw pic.twitter.com/gzpqophl1m— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) September 26, 2022
Thomas was able to turn on the burners and disrupt the pass, and preventing the big play (which would have been brought back on a holding penalty either way). Adding Thomas to a proven room of Blackmon and McLeod as well promising rookie Nick Cross the safety room is in great hands for years to come.