Why the Colts are great

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by solman, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. solman

    solman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Anybody who has read my posts knows that I am deeply critical of the Indianapolis Colts and their commitment to contracts with heavily back loaded cap ramifications.

    But its time to acknowledge that the 2007 Indianapolis Colts are a great team.

    This isn't to say that I think they are on the Patriots level (when they play I'll likely predict a 10-14 point victory for the Pats) or that they are locks to win on Monday (I'll be rooting for the Jags and I think they have a 35-40% chance).

    But for a team with so much money locked up in the back loaded contracts of a few players, who lost their top offensive lineman, they are doing incredibly well.

    I think that the performance of the Colts comes down to two things:

    1. The development of players in their first four years or on their initial contracts into quality starters. By quality starter, I mean somebody who is starting games for them without creating a serious exploitable weakness at their position. Players who have not yet become UFAs are generally paid far less money than their talent would demand on the FA market. Since the Colts have to abide by the same salary cap as everybody else, they are able to use this discount to field superior talent.

    I'd like to know if anybody maintains stats on this, because it seems like the Colts have an enormous lead over any other NFL Franchise in this department. If so, Dungy deserves enormous credit for coaching these players up, and Polian probably deserves enormous credit for identifying these players in the first place.

    2. By choosing to field a small, fast defense, the Colts are use players that aren't greatly in demand by the majority of teams which are focused more on size. This allows them to pay less for these players who, coming out of college, are already comparatively plentiful. Again savings in one area allows to Colts to increase their talent across the board.

    This year the Colts appear to have saved enough cap space to eat the back loading of Harrison's contract.

    It remains to be seen whether the Colts have sufficient depth to make it through the season. Many Football folks believe that small, fast defenders have a much greater potential to get hurt, especially against hard nosed offenses.

    But for the moment, I think that what the Colts have accomplished in these two areas is incredible.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  2. He Ban Me

    He Ban Me Banned

    {falls to the floor, gasping for air}
    {rises up}:rocker:
  3. FirstAndGoal

    FirstAndGoal 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Sorry, but lots of teams develop young talent. This theory falls apart if Manning retires or is injured.

    The Colts are good and Dungy is a great coach (although I don't like his holy roller side) but Manning makes it click. Brady does too. They both allow the teams to concentrate on the other pieces while other teams scramble for guys like Vinny T. to save their season and overpay for QB draft picks that never produce. You develop good O-lines for these guys and pick up skill players when you can (as both have done). They're good enough to get away with lesser talent while other teams are chasing impact players that often don't live up to the hype. The Colts and Pats have impact QBs at the position where talent can change the game.

    Manning and Brady are once in a lifetime franchise QBs so enjoy them while they play because it will be over soon enough and we'll be back in the mix (hopefully doing better than some of these other brain-dead organizations though).
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  4. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    The Colts are most certainly a grea team. Aside from the abundant, upper echelon talent that they have, they seem to have derived a great deal of confidence from last year - not just the SB, but all the close games. This confidence has lead to their offense looking significantly less harried and, IMHO, being harder to stop.

    That said, I still believe that Indy has some guys on their defensive side that I think can be taken advantage of by a team that can keep up with Indy. Also, I do believe that their size will be an issue at some point.

    Just like with NE, though, my ciriticisms are essentially picking nits. Frankly, the issues for either team are most likely to be exposed by each other and only each other.
  5. workhorse

    workhorse Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I can't recall where I read it, but I saw a stat that had the Colts with only one player that was drafted by another team on their roster. So I agree that lots of teams develop their own young players, but that shows that is what the Colts live off of.
  6. kinky

    kinky On the Roster

    #12 Jersey

    That can't be true. Just of the top of my head, I can count Vinatieri and Klecko, both drafted by the Pats.
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    Vinatieri wasn't drafted, we signed him as an UDFA.
  8. BrianPat

    BrianPat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    ok, but someone other then the Colts drafted Adam
  9. IndyKen

    IndyKen Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Agreed - the Colts are highly successful with their operational style, as are the Patriots with their unique style. Fortuanatly, there is plenty of room in the NFL for both approaches.
  10. He Ban Me

    He Ban Me Banned

    Rocky Boiman-Titans

    Maybe they meant starters? (not kicking game, or ST's)

    Brock and Lilja??
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    He is right that the gap between the Colts and the rest of the league is dramatic.

    However, IMHO, some of this is due to Indy needing to do this because they lock up their top guys.

    Obviously it is a successful strategy, but it isn't just about great recruiting. NE has let go of plenty of guys that they could have kept around if they needed to, but they just chose not to.

    This is no denegration of Indy. The clearly do an excellent job of scouting guys, but there are plenty of marginal guys on that roster just because they happened to be drafted by the team.
  12. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I would agree. Spending all that money on offense and keeping the same skill players is the obvious reason they succeed in that area.

    Finding cheap players in the draft to go with a couple of stars has been a tribute to Polians drafting.

    Coaching up these lightweights when they collapse, as they did last mid season is a tribute to Dudley do right Dungy and Polian.

    Now please, let's kick their ass right in the gut of that defense so I don't have to write stuff like this anymore.:D
  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    No, he was undrafted. That's where the stat is a little overblown, if true.
  14. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

    I don't buy the first point at all. The Colts have "an enormous lead over any other NFL Franchise" in developing their rookies? Really? I think the team in Foxboro might take issue w/that.

    Also, obviously to succeed in the salary cap era, you must successfully develop your talent before they can become free agents, so that point is akin to saying the Colts are good because they're good.

    As for the second point, I think it would require some actual analysis on players' size, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

    Look, bottom line the Colts have good players and are well-coached, and they're led by a great qb who finally figured out how to win last year. They're in the top two, and we'll see what happens.
  15. solman

    solman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I hope somebody has stats on this. Simply counting the number of Colts starters that signed their first contract with the Colts and are still playing under it would be very interesting.

    I'm sure that the Patriots have done far better than most teams in the department, but not as well as the Colts, and certainly not this year when we are fielding a wide variety of quality veterans.
  16. Bo0MeR

    Bo0MeR Banned

    Every offense starter except Ryan Lilja was drafted by The Colts

    Reggie Wayne
    Tony Ugoh
    Jake Scott \
    Ryan Diem
    Dallas Clark
    Marvin Harrison
    Anthony Gonzalez
    Peyton Manning
    Joseph Addai

    On the defensive side, 9 of the 11 starters were drafted by the Colts, the two exceptons are Ed Johnson (who was a UDFA, still the Colts were the first team to pick him up, and Rocky Boiman, who just recently replaced a injured Rob Morris who was drafted by The Colts)

    Robert Mathis
    Raheem Brock

    Dwight Freeney

    Gary Brackett
    Freddy Keiaho
    Kelvin Hayden
    Marlin Jackson
    Bob Sanders
    Antoine Bethea

    So at this point 18 of our 22 starters were drafted by the Colts, and 2 were UDFA Saturday and Ed Johnson) That is a team built off of great drafting and great scouting.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  17. FirstAndGoal

    FirstAndGoal 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    On offense, yes about the Colts doing well. On defense, I'd have to say the Pats have done better with draft picks. Even though we have 4 players on defense who are not home grown products, our draft picks are better IMHO. Our front line is certainly better on whole. I know that some Colts are going to argue about Freeney but he's really a rush specialist. I'll take our front three over that group any day of the week.

    Take Sanders out of the mix and the Colts defense is an entirely different animal. I said it before and I'll say it again, it will be interesting to see how Indy plays Sanders against us. Last year, they kept him in the box for most of the game because we couldn't go vertical and it was effective but not a shutdown. We can go vertical now so I don't think that Indy can bring him up for the run like that anymore. If they do and are successful and disrupting our passing game, then it's over for us. If they play him honest, our run game might do lots of damage. It's going to be interesting either way.

    I think the match ups between Indy and NE are the more difficult to predict this year than any other this decade.
  18. workhorse

    workhorse Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    That means only one player was drafted by another team.
  19. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    You make some very interesting points, especially #2 which I think is spot on. The Colts are also great, because they finally know, and believe they can beat us, even though we have a different team this year. I bet to a man, they still believe they can beat us, and they may just do that (I hope not !!). The Pats were the last obstacle, and beating us 3 times in a row has made them extremely confident that they can beat anyone. Their offense is a machine,regardless of who's in it, they lose Addai and some JAG runs for 100 yards, they lose Harrison, you get the drift, their offense never skips a beat.

    Their defense, they just know how to tackle. I know that sounds funny, but watch some other teams in this league, and how many missed tackles there are. This defense just attacks the ball carrier, gang tackling is their forte. Very speedy to the ball. I think due to their size, they can be worn down over time, it's just a matter of which team can actually accomplish that.

    I fear the Colts, I know some of you don't, but until I see us beating them again, I fear their team more than any other.
  20. LoveDemPats

    LoveDemPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I think that Polian is a very good big picture dude. The networks, in conjunction with the nfl all want offense. They have made rules to affect this change. I think that Polian has taken that network desire, seen that it is the future, and has fashioned a team that fits that bill. It is a wise attack in my opinion. We all know how important it is to identify the goal. I think that many teams fail to do this. Not the colts. They identify the goal, and attack. The have a really good thing going in Indy. The team O+D+st have come together. But the most important piece has been Payton.

    I think that this week's game with Jacksonville will be interesting. The Jags are pretty tough on the colts. But I wouldn't lay a dime against Payton in that match. I will hope that they get jobbed the whole night through. That that defense will open like the red sea and chit. But, man they have made me a very depressed man come the end of the third quarter in games where they have simply put the peddal to the metal and glided away like Marvin's ghost-like touchdowns.

    I really think that the pats learned something from the colts this past offseason. I think that the big picture became more clear to the pats FO. There is a lot of money to be made with a team that can strike like a cobra. The pats are getting better by the week. The emergence of Stallworth is huge. That dude is very talented. I have a feeling that Moss, and Stallworth will be given fair deals, and they will take less than they could on the open market because they could actually make more with the pats in the long run. (maybe I am dreaming, but what the hey??)
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