Football-less Sunday #2. Colts… What’s ahead? 

Andrew Luck running for his life…

Ah… I can’t get myself to look back at the ugly past so perhaps looking forward is the way to get me going through second Sunday post football season. Sigh…
There’s many things that the Colts need in order to crawl their way into play off talk and even more if they think of a deep run into cold January and the work is about to start soon. Roster building.
Key questions? Who’s going to punt, hold Adam’s balls and do kick offs??? Let’s hope that Pat McAfee pranked us all and he’ll be back… Ah the joy of alternative facts…
Seriously though… Defensive side of the roster needs a lot of love. Huge amounts of love.
The offensive side of the ball does need some work but I think this off season the Colts should address their linebacking corps and defensive backs.
There’s literally no dominant presence on the outside or inside of the linebacking grounds and Ballard gotta try to bring some pass rushing skills and some coverage skills into the middle of this mess that is known as linebackers group.
Robert Mathis retired, Dqwell Jackson was cut, Trent Cole is useless and there’s a bit of pulse left in Erik Walden. Rest of the players in that group is fairly inexperienced and not a talented lot.
Get a pass rusher and a killer Mike and then work on corners as Vontae Davis has been beaten and fighting injuries and I don’t see him coming back to no- TD allowed season 2014; and he’s our best there.
Safeties have some options in Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green with perhaps Mike “Pops” Adams staying to share his experience but other than that we need some impact players there too.
Defensive line is probably our “best” unit although the guys are not monsters there but I think they can manage if there’s some more help from perimeter.
So to sum up, I’d like to see pass rushing linebacker/ defensive end, Mike, cover linebacker, press- man to man corner and a slot one to try to make giving up less than 19 points a game a reality…
Why less than 19??? Colts led by Luck are 25-0 when the defenseman holds opponents to 19 points or less. So there…
Another Sunday killed. How did you feed your football hunger on a non- football Sunday? What needs does your team have?

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It’s the 13th. Luckily it’s Sunday.

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Or perhaps it’s not as lucky as we can think as today is another Sunday without football on telly to keep us sane and with all hair on our heads. We still have 26 Sundays to endure before there will be some touchdown calls, penalties handed out, flag challenges thrown and of course the inevitable replay showing us how unnecessarily complicated the game of football had become.
We also had a frantic start to the Free Agency and as always some teams stayed put, some decided to go all out in a hope of bringing that game changer into their trenches.
And after few days of manic spending it appears that the winners to our weekly series are the New York Giants, which three top FA might get out of their freshly signed contracts up to $193.75M of American dollars. Crazy as hell.
So, without further ado, let’s look at some of them in our weekly series of ‘Did you know that?’

  • Olivier Vernon will be 26 years old in October. The defensive end just inked himself a contract worth up to $85M with $52.5M guaranteed. Which possibly will be the second highest contract handed out this year to a free agent. He spent his all professional career playing for Miami Dolphins who selected him in 3rd round 72nd overall. Since then he appeared in all possible 64 games and started 46 of these.
    During that time he recorded 3 forced fumbles, 29 sacks, 137 tackles with 51 assist. His career highs in sacks is 3, in tackles is 8. Hopefully both the player and the team will enjoy a fruitful relationship that is expected to last 5 years.

  • Victor Cruz had 26 receiving yards in a game against the Bengals which the Giants lost. The game was played on November 11th, 2011 which made Cruz to be exactly 26years old that very day.
    It’s all old news from Cruz’s land as he just took a pay cut to remain with the Giants, after missing season and a half due to injuries.
    The last time we saw Cruz playing was October the 12th 2014, when the Eagles shut out the Giants 0-27. Cruz had 2 catches on 3 targets for 16 yards. It is going to be interesting to see if he manages to get back to the high level of playing his fans had gotten used to that earned him this huge contract in first place. Anyway the cut sees his money to go from $7.9M to $3M with a chance of earning $2.5M back through play on the field, for reaching the incentives numbers.

  • Odell Beckham contributed in return game for the Giants in 2015; he had returned 2 punts for 26 yards in total. He also had one kick off return attempt but that resulted in no yards gain or lost. We all know that Beckham’s strength lies somewhere else than in return duties and the young gun had himself a steady and slightly improved season 2015, comparing to his rookie season.
    Firstly, he played in more games (12 in 2014, 15 in 2015), had higher yards average per reception (14.3 in ’14 15.1 in ’15) and he recorded one more touchdown but he averaged over 12 yards a game less than in his rookie season.
    One might wonder, if Beckham keeps the level of production as it is (and sorts his mental issues out), what kind of money he’ll be asking for once his time comes?

  • Rashad Jennings contributed 26 points to the total of 422 that the Giants scored? Jennings’s points came from 3 rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and… a safety when he blocked a punt, that resulted in ball bouncing back through end zone, in a game against the Redskins. Jennings started off the Giants 2-0 before the offence even took the field in a first victory of 2015 season, where NY beat Washington 32-21 and Jennings ended up with 11 carries for 32 yards and three catches for 25 yards, totaling 57 for a day.

And perhaps we should finish this Sunday off, knowing that the next time one of you reads ‘did you know that?’ here it is going to be only 25 Sundays away and perhaps quite more contracts signed, restricted etc closer to the kick off of the 2016 season. Until then, try to stay safe and sane!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

Indianapolis Colts – catching up thoughts.

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So. Here. Another season of the NFL has gone and a new one came along making some people heftily rich or famously retired. I actually spend time to watch Peyton Manning’s press conference and it amazes me how much effort, time, commitment and heart the greats put into their careers that when it comes to end, all they can do is to try to stop themselves from crying… Grown arse men…
Anyways. The post is not about the ones who left for well deserved retirement. The entry here is basically to help me keep an eye on what’s happening around the Colts camp and keeping all the surprises (and obvious staff) in check and even before the new NFL year started we had some moves that surprised me a bit.

Surprises

Tight Ends dilemma- so far, couple of days into new NFL year, the tight end position shocked me the most. I always had a liking towards Coby so his departure and Dwayne’s staying is a shocker to me.
Offensively Fleener makes a lot of sense (to me), to date he had three 100-yards receiving games, and Allen’s high is 75 yards from his rookie campaign. Altogether Allen played 43 games that resulted in 1045 receiving yards (24.3 yds av) to Fleener’s 60 games resulting in 2154 receiving yards (35.9 yds av).
Since starting in 2012, both tight ends were quite a dangerous duo but Flenner made 60 games out of 64 (started 45) and Allen already fought through injuries resulting in him recording 43 games out of 64, starting all 43. That’s 2-0 for Coby here. At least from my point of view.
The team’s point of view is harder to put in numbers as it comes to tight end’s ability to bloke, brake tackles- generally be more of a physical force. And by the look of things that immeasurable quantity earned Allen deal with the Colts, while Fleener (sadly for me) moves to New Orleans. Both guys got similar contracts with Fleener cashing out 36 million dollars during 5 years from the Saints and Allen getting 29.4 million of dollars but for 4 years. Both are getting slightly above $7M per year. Although we know how contracts work.

The whats??????

Couple of restructured contracts raised my brows. Trent Cole and Arthur Jones, took some pay cuts to remain with the Colts. As I’m still having a bit of hope that Jones could be that run stopper the team needs, I’m not sure Cole is really going to deliver any good quantity of pressure towards quarterbacks…
Apparently market is very shallow when it comes to pass rushers hence Cole will earn $2M as opposed to $4.25M and Jones will earn as well $2M but reduced from $4.5M.
Let’s hope the vets will deliver some magic.
Matt Hasselback’s departure into land of ESPN, comes a bit as a surprise as he was leaning towards one more year. The Colts, weren’t.
Dwight Lowerly, last year’s signing as a free safety escaped my radar most of the year so when I saw his name I was a bit surprised, then I became more surprised when I realised he departed to San Diego, who offered him three year deal.

The expected

Adam Vinatieri resigned with the Colts for another 2 years that might see him earning $6M. Given that he hit 55 out of his 58 field goal attempts in last two seasons it wasn’t a brainer. It was a nice surprise the see the old geezer wanting to carry on playing though.
Andre Johnson was officially released of his duties after a very disappointing season where he had not a single game with 100 receiving yards, managed to grab 41 passes for 503 yards. Given his high cap figure from his original three year deal worth of $21M, it made sense for Colts to move on.

‘What are we waiting for???’

No. It is not about Andrew Luck. He’ll get paid. Jerrell Freeman is still not re-signed by the Colts. I don’t know why… He had a great season with 66 tackles, three sacks, one pick six and one fumble recovery. I think, the dude worked his arse out in Indy since joining from CFL in 2012.
Freeman played 57 games out of 64, starting all of them. While his production dropped a bit, probably due to missed games due to injuries, I really think the Colts should try to sign him before someone else steals him from us.

And so far that’s all what I managed to grab from Colts’ universe. Hopefully the team will be ready to bounce back up and attack back, challenging for the AFC Championship game, at the very least.