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Malott’s Believe it or Not Back-to-School Edition

A football blog about life, a fantasy football callout, and now stories about coaching high school football!

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Hey everybody! I hope you’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks and are now enjoying training camp! Football is here! I’m hearing Anthony Richardson is getting better every day and what’s equally important is that Gardner Minshew has been quietly competitive about it. Nothing is just being handed to the rookie quarterback. I’ve also heard that both Alec Pierce and Michael Pittman, Jr. have excelled through training camp. It’s really hard to evaluate other things without seeing the team under live fire, staying healthy is the name of the game, and good Lord baby Jesus did Jonathan Taylor suck the air out of the room in the last couple of weeks or what?

His agent really bit the green weenie with their career and is going to have to eat it for a while. I hope JT comes back healthy and dominates, but based on his everyday appearance at camp (which I call my daily fit of hoodie and sweatpants) with hands in pockets, every day he isn’t in pads taking handoffs is a day the offense stalls in development, especially with the injury to Zach Moss. Now, the Colts have attempted to address the position by signing Kenyan Drake, but are otherwise holding out hope that JT just feels good enough to practice eventually? Can you imagine how good the Colts would be without all these unnecessary injuries? What can you even do as an elite athlete to hurt your back outside of football practice? If it isn’t sleep, eat or lift weights it’s wrong. What is the problem here?

The lack of news is generally A Good Thing because these teams are trying to get down their timing and rotations. Pretty rarely, actually, do guys report to camp completely out of shape. These are full-time athletes working as hard as they can nearly every day (most NFL players take about a week or less off around or after the Super Bowl and then are in the facility up until about rookie camp and then are back in the building the Monday after that ends through the end of the year) so every rep matters. It’s important to note before a down is played that Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew worked out together before the Draft. The Colts had a bead on this pick and even got a backup to work out with their proposed pick, got their guy, and have been working nonstop since then to acclimate him to the pro game.

A lot of the networks are putting the Colts around the bottom of the league and at this point, that’s where you expect to be. You have a new head coach and a new quarterback room. I would recommend using those low rankings as motivation. Nothing works harder than that chip on your shoulder. The Colts were 4-12-1 last year. The average win share year-to-year maxes out at about 4 games. Theoretically, the best-case scenario for the Colts this year is 8-8-1. They are basically going to get beat in games where they are playing a more experienced quarterback unless their secondary really gets it going despite a clear lack of depth and talent on the back end. It won’t even be the quarterback’s fault.

You read it here first (snark intended). The Colts have a lot to like and build on but are going to be bad on defense unless their defensive line and linebackers go absolutely HAM on the league. This isn’t to speak to JT’s situation, a rookie quarterback’s development or a first-year head coach’s struggles. Mostly the Colts lack talent on paper on the back end of their defense. This is part of the reason for the low rankings for the Colts. If a rookie quarterback with 13 SEC starts can come in and absolutely take apart your secondary day-in and day-out, obviously the hope is the quarterback is a game-breaker and he balls out, but the cold reality is that it’s far more likely your secondary is, as the kids say, dogwater.

Normally, I’d be posting a link to a very recent episode of our podcast, but lately Mateo and I haven’t been able to link up, so here’s our latest episode just a few weeks old now.

If you look at a more recent video, you’ll see that I was in search of a job coaching football. I thought for sure that in order to have the opportunity to do what I’d set out to do, that I would have to drop everything here in Indiana and move out of state. Who’d have known that I can do exactly as I dreamt right in my own back yard?

I finally did it! I sought a family friend out who is a head coach and asked if I could volunteer for his football program. There are two issues, one is that family friend coaches a team that is at least a couple of hours away and the other is that unlike most 40-year old assistants, I have been preparing for a role that typically gets compensation so the skillset doesn’t match the paygrade. He told me there are a few new high school football programs there in Indianapolis looking for help. I contacted Head Coach Chris Chang, was referred directly to Principal Richard Benberry, then to Head Coach Kwasi Clark, and now here we are the week of our first scrimmage opportunity should enough people come out to field a team.

As per usual, the first order of business is fundraising capital so that Purdue University feels inclined to invest in a high school that carries its namesake. That’s right, my first official order of business, much like every high school football coach, will be to raise enough money to have reliable backup transportation and extra equipment. The football program did receive $1,000 from the Colts, but other than that, since I got there, we’ve received a $20 cash donation from a parent.

We’re going to need your help! First, we’re going to have a fundraiser and you’ll see a link in my posts to participate. We keep 100% of cash donations, otherwise there will be merch, popcorn, jerky and other ways to support my football program. I know I’ll be spending my money on all the stuff and things the fundraiser offers and I’ll share a link to that with my work moving forward as it starts August 14th. We are also looking for businesses to partner with that have big advertising budgets! Purdue is going to eventually invest a whole bunch of money in their feeder high school. Put your business’ name on it first! I’m also intending to apply to Head Coach women’s basketball! I will be using this same style of fundraiser! Will you help?

We need assistants! Chain-gang! Waterboys! Booster club! These kids need NIL deals! That I’m kidding there is a Joella’s like right there, though! We are playing our homes at the old Broad Ripple High School! Here’s our schedule!

2023 Purdue Polytechnic North High School football schedule

Let this also serve as the Stampede Blue Community fantasy football league callout article. Send me an email at and we can figure it out. My wife decided to play fantasy football this year! I refuse to let JT’s situation bog me down! Have a great week! Stay safe out there!