Archive for April, 2008

Colts sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents

April 29, 2008

Read about it from Mike Chappell here. Here is how Indy’s recent additions break down by position:

WR (1 drafted, 3 undrafted)
QB (1 undrafted)
OT (1 undrafted)
OG (3 drafted)
TE (2 drafted)
RB (1 drafted, 1 undrafted)
DT (3 undrafted)
LB (1 drafted, 1 undrafted)
DE (1 drafted, 1 undrated)
DB (2 undrafted)
There have been 13 offensive additions and 9 on defense. The low number of defensive backs stands out to me. Teams obviously need a lot of DBs because there can be between 4 and 7 on the field on any given play. Polian must be temporarily satisfied with this area.
Many thought the fact that the Colts drafted only one late-round receiver implied that Marvin Harrison would be ready to go. Maybe it does, but there will definitely be a battle for the number four spot on the team.
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Dom Rhodes Cut Loose

April 28, 2008

Kenton Keith is having a baaad week. The Raiders have cut Super Bowl XLI hero Dom Rhodes. I’m not saying we are going to resign Dom, but I think the Colts have to at least consider bringing him in to camp. Alcohol issues make Dom an even dicier proposition than Keith (whose actual misdeeds are still very much in question and far less serious than a DUI), but then again Dom wouldn’t have turned a simple dump pass into a game changing goal line pick.

It’s interesting. That’s all I’m saying.

Demond Sanders: If this was Edgerrin James then there would be dancing in the streets of Indianapolis tonight. Still, I think you have to at least consider picking Dom back up for another stint. He knows the offense. He protects Manning well. Is he a better player than Kenton Keith? At one point early in the 2007 season I might have said no, but looking at Keith’s entire body of work I’d prefer Rhodes. Keith was a full yard per carry better during the regular season, but only grabbed 13 receptions compared to Dom’s 35 catches in 2007.

The real difference is their playoff performances. Dom got much better during the Super Bowl run, once Addai became the starter. Dom has the build to punish tired defenses late in games. Keith isn’t that type of player. Keith had a terrible playoff performance against the Chargers (4 carries, 7 yards) low-lighted by a dropped pass that was picked off. I hold onto hope that someday Edge will be back, but that may be a year away. For now I think you ask yourself is Rhodes better than what you currently have on the roster?

Write ’em up

April 28, 2008

Here’s a list of links and grades:

Start with Phil B’s breakdown of day two. Nice work again Phil.

Then head over to Colts.com to listen to the Polian/Dungy press conference.

Marcus Howard makes SI’s list of steals.

This writer says the Colts owned draft day in the AFC South.

The Czar gives the Colts a C. Hee hee. Silly Czar. You have no idea who you are dealing with.

Prisco doesn’t grade the round 2 pick, but manages to be slightly homo-erotic.

Long but fun, FO chimes in.

Mel Kiper Jr says….B

NBC says the just a tad higher (thanks Jacob)

Prisco says B- for no real reason.

Clark Judge says Mike Hart was a winner this weekend.

EVERYONE STAND BACK! Kravitz is attempting to analyze! His brain might just explode!

Dr. Z’s comments are lackadaisical and cryptic.

Yahoo Sports gives us a B

Demond Sanders: Here is a must-read from the Sporting News. Hilarious. The guys on XL 950 decided that the Colts should get credit for Tony Ugoh since it was essentially their first round pick. I tend to agree.

One of the top things to take away from this weekend is that the Colts have their own agenda and plan when it comes to the draft. They take their kind of players when and where they see fit. Hopefully most of these guys make the club. If the Horse pulls out a starter, some special teams guys, and some solid backups out of this class, then it was a success.

The Jags are mostly getting hammered, and the Pats have too in some of those same circles. Here’s the thing about the Pats: they don’t actually draft that well. They have a great front office and the end result is great teams, but as we’ve discussed before, the draft (other than the Brady pick) hasn’t really been their strongest suit. They excel in a combination of areas, especially free agency. I see no reason to assume that they had a good draft just because they are the Pats. They haven’t earned that courtesy based upon their draft track record.

Also, the pundits that liked the Jacksonville moves all focus in (rightly) on the Jags trying to sack Manning. It’s hilarious that at a time when the Jags go all out for D-line picks, that the Colts quietly restock the entire offensive line. Oh Jacksonville, I almost feel sorry for you. They’ll be lucky to go 9-7 next year.

Draft Wrap Up

April 28, 2008

Bill Polian and the Colts surprised us this weekend by not surprising us. They filled the basic need areas that fans and media had been targeting since the fall. Offensive line depth was a major issue during parts of the 2007 season and the loss of Jake Scott to Tennessee in free agency only compounded the problem. Of course we didn’t know they’d take three centers, but we aren’t shocked either. The other standout issues were Tight End, Running Back, and Defensive End. Check, check and check. Wide receiver depth was at times an embarrassment in 2007. Who could forget the sickening feeling you got when you looked up to see Devin Aromashodu was playing against the Falcons? Check. I gotta say I’m pretty pleased right now.

Round 2) Mike Pollak – Arizona St, G

Round 3) Philip Wheeler – Ga Tech, LB

Round 4) Jacob Tamme – Kentucky, TE

Round 5) Marcus Howard – Georgia, DE

Round 6) Tom Santi – Virginia, TE

Round 6) Steven Justice – Wake Forest, C

Round 6) Mike Hart – Michigan, RB

Round 6) Pierre Garcon – Mount Union, WR

Round 7) Jamey Richard – Buffalo, C

Here is Mike Hart running away from two Buckeyes roughly twice his size. I guess this draft pick is for all the Wolverine fans who swallow their pride and root for Anthony Gonzalez each Sunday.

When we drafted Pierre Garcon my wife immediately wanted to know if he would wear a beret on the sidelines. I googled him to see what he looked like and this is seriously what came up:

Draft Diary Day 2

April 27, 2008
  • Again, let me start off by pointing you back to our mock draft for those who missed that it was back up. I love that you all knocked our server off line looking at it the first time, but it was sort of frustrating to have it down for 24 hours.
  • Let’s be clear about yesterday: I have zero doubt that Pollack was a great pick. I didn’t doubt it at the time. Almost immediately we realized that Saturday was a f/a and more likely they don’t trust Charlie “The Human Sieve” Johnson to protect Peyton on RG. Our less than enthusiastic comments had more to do with the anti-climatic nature of the pick than questioning the decision. We lost one starter to free agency, and just replaced him. That’s a good pick.
  • Yesterday’s ‘lightning round’ version of the draft might actually make me watch it. Doing two rounds faster than the first round last year means that much less blathering.
  • Did anyone notice the Titans AGAIN didn’t take a WR in the first round? I’m telling you, they are the only ones smart enough to know that VY CAN’T THROW.
  • I hated ESPN’s coverage of the two bridesmaids (Henne and Brohm). They missed both the Jags trade and pick and the Colts pick yakking about two guys who will be lucky to be Brian Griese. That’s fine and all, but to do that after ALREADY spending all day on them was annoying.
  • Kravitz likes the pick. Frankly everyone does. No one is dumb enough to question Bill. As many have rightly said before, “In Bill we trust”. Chappell’s article has some great quotes by Bill who seems to have focused in on Pollak early.
  • The Jags still don’t get it.

When the day began, the Jaguars had eight picks, including two in the third round and three in the fifth round. They had no picks in the sixth or seventh rounds. When Saturday ended, the Jaguars had just two fifth-round picks remaining for their Sunday workload.

The easy math is that Harvey and Groves cost the Jaguars half of their ’08 picks and one of their ’09 selections. Unless the Jaguars start trading players for picks, they will end this draft on Sunday with the smallest class in franchise history.

“When you look at it at the end of the day, the players we got are values at need positions, whereas the players at the back end (of the draft) may not have made the team,” personnel boss James Harris said.

There’s a deep message in those words and the message is obvious: The Jaguars have reached the point of such roster strength that having a lot of picks is a waste of time, money and resources. The even deeper message is: This team may have only had one need as it headed into this draft, and that need may have been fully and satisfactorily addressed in the trades that allowed for the selections of Harvey and Groves.

When teams don’t restock their depth with young players, they pay a price down the line. San Diego has no picks till late today. The Pats cut almost their whole class last year. It’s fine to say, “We’re so deep we don’t need rookies”, and it might not matter this year. But very soon you find your roster has gotten old, and you can’t recover on the fly. If San Diego and NE want to try this, that’s their problem, but for the Jags to think they are a Super Bowl contender when they can’t consistently win inside their division is a pipe dream. That team will regress this year, and become very weak in about two more seasons. I love it.

  • Day two picks of note: The Pats take another LB. I guess we weren’t the only ones who thought their LBs looked ancient. The Titans take a TE. I’m serious, they are running the McNair offense all over again. Air McNair BARELY threw the ball at all until he had been in the league about 9-10 years.
  • Demond weeps as the player he projected for the Colts just went to the Lions who traded up to take him.
  • And we scoop up a LB (Phillip Wheeler from GA Tech) in round three. Hagler is free agent after this season, so I think we can all assume that he’ll be gone. The ESPN breakdown says he’s over aggressive. Hopefully that can be coached out of him. I’d say that pretty soon we’ll be making that inevitable run on corners.
  • Here’s an article I just found by the Football Scientist that pimps Reggie Wayne as possibly the best WR in the league based on his deep threat production.
  • Demond chimes in to let me know his wife thinks Mike Hart is the pick. Who has any idea at this point.
  • So KSquared is safe. We go TE in round four to off set the loss of Ben Utech. Jacob Tamme sounds like a project, but that’s more or less to be expected when you get picked in round 4.
  • So if we look at the Colts need board, we’ve covered guard and TE, but we still need an upgrade at back up RB, and backup DE (unless Wheeler gets converted).
  • Round 5 pick gives us another LB/DE type. Beautiful. Marcus Howard sounds like he could be a solid backup at end. Word on the street is that he can bring the pressure.
  • Fletcher has to be sweating bullets right now as the Colts draft a second TE. I have no info on this guy at all, but I’m better he’s more of a blocker.
  • The least sexy draft of all time continues for the Horse as they take another O lineman before ABSOLUTELY NAILING Mike Hart of Michigan. That’s a tremendous pick for the 6th round. BAM!
  • So with just one pick remaining, the Colts have basically addressed every key issue on the team. We got rushing depth, receiving depth, O-line depth, a great RB option. In Bill We Trust. Great draft.

Colts select Mike Pollak, C, Arizona State

April 27, 2008
Yes, you waited six hours to watch the Colts draft a Center.

Disorganized, Random Draft Thoughts

April 26, 2008
  • The server is still down on 18to88.com. We’re working on it.
  • The 10 minutes between picks makes the draft about 1000% more watchable.
  • The Under Armour commercial is bizarre, but it’s great to see the Zombie getting some work.
  • I think McFadden will be a beast for Oakland.
  • Did Jaworski just say that JaMarcus Russell is an embryo? I prefer my quarterbacks to have already lost their vestigial tails.
  • I know that Matt Ryan and Michael Vick couldn’t be more superficially different, but I’m not sure that either one is actually any good.
  • The best part of the Chiefs getting Dorsey is that the two best players are officially off the board before NE picks. Beautiful.
  • And there it is. The unquestioned 6 best players go in the first 6 picks. This pleases me as the Pats pick 7th.
  • Why do networks feel the need to do the cheesy ‘mission control’ type crap? Does any think it’s cool? Crossing War Games, Minority Report, and the IPhone to show teams drafting isn’t cool. It’s retarded.
  • Steve Young says the Patriots might be arrogant? How dare he! He’ll be getting weird hate mail for months.
  • Mel Kiper kills the Jags. Hilarious. What could be more comical than the Jags trading way up to draft a guy from Florida. This move smacks of trying to sell tickets. What a hilarious franchise.
  • Demond and I IM just before and after the Jags trade is announced as two 3rds and a 4th:

    Demond: that was special stuff
    Demond (4:04:05 PM): mel kiper: C –
    DZ (4:04:15 PM): soooo sweet
    Demond (4:06:45 PM): lol
    DZ (4:06:46 PM): HOLY CRAP
    DZ (4:06:48 PM): LOL
    DZ (4:06:52 PM): oh man
    Demond (4:06:52 PM): love it
    DZ (4:06:55 PM): oh gosh
    DZ (4:06:57 PM): oh my
    DZ (4:06:59 PM): oh my
    DZ (4:07:05 PM): I love this team
    DZ (4:07:09 PM): oh lord

    Yeah, we are pretty happy. Good ol’ Jholes. You can always count on them for a laugh!

  • Matt Millen finally found a way to avoid screwing up a pick. He just traded it.
  • I just found this piece on CHFF. It’s a great article from the Wall Street Journal about Mr. Polian, the man who will make tomorrow a beautiful day for Colts fans. I’ll be out for the rest of the night. Demond will pick up from here.
  • Wow. The first round took a mere 3 and half hours. ESPN and the NFL finally got it right. Reducing each first round pick by five minutes forced the decision-makers to move faster than normal. Most people were expecting this to shave an hour or so off the first round, but it ended up being closer to a 3 hours savings.
  • Chilo Rachal who played Guard for USC just went to San Francisco at pick 39. Mel Kiper had the Colts taking him in his last mock draft. I say this only to further illustrate the futility of projecting past the first ten picks of the first round.
  • The speedy Tracy Porter goes at pick 40 ahead of his Hoosier teammate, James Hardy. The big receiver will not last long though.
  • Told you. Hardy goes immediately after Porter at 41 to Buffalo. If this kid dedicates himself to the game of football the Bills might have gotten one of the steals of the draft.
  • This is not the best day to be a receiver. None were drafted in the first round. The second round has seen a flood of receivers.
  • I have absolutely no idea who the Colts are going to take. If I had to guess right now I’d say Quentin Groves the DE from Auburn. Although he will probably be gone by pick 59. It’s kind of fun not having any clue what direction Polian will go.
  • 18to88.com is back up for anyone who didn’t get a chance to check out our mock draft.
  • Ray Rice from Rutgers is still available as of pick 52. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him go to the next team looking for a RB. Man would that be a great pick for Indy. Won’t last though.
  • Jaguars traded up to take Groves, my prediction for the Colts. I’m going to stop guessing now and just wait to see what happens. Ravens take Ray Rice. Duh. That would have been too good.
  • Packers get great value taking Brian Brohm with the 57th pick. This is a kid that at one point was projected to go in the first round. Very intriguing pick.
  • Who is it going to be? TE? DE? RB? Surely one of those three positions, right?
  • The Colts take Mike Pollak, C, from Arizona State with the 59th pick of the 2008 draft.
  • Deshawn Zombie points out that Jeff Saturday is a free agent after this season. However we are guessing that Pollak will project as a guard on Indy’s offensive line. He may be the only thing standing in the way of Charlie Johnson starting at guard next season.
  • As DZ says, “You wait all day for your team to draft a player that you’ll never hear about even if he starts every game for the rest of his career.”
  • See you tomorrow.

A look back at Indy’s 2007 draft class

April 26, 2008

Here is a quick look back at who the Colts took in last year’s draft. We aren’t handing letter grades out yet because it is at least a year too early to judge most of these players. This should serve as a point of reference. The thing that stands out to me is how much playing time many of these guys received. The draft is crucial to the Indianapolis Colts.

Round 1) Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio St.) WR: Gonzalez had 37 catches during his rookie season. Most of these came during a solid five game stretch at the end of the season. He had 4 catches for 79 yards and a spectacular touchdown in the divisonal round loss to San Diego.

Round 2) Tony Ugoh (Arkansas) OT: The Colts surprised us when they traded their 2008 first round pick to the 49ers so they could draft Ugoh early in the second round of the 2007 draft. Tarik Glenn retired shortly thereafter and suddenly made this one of the most savvy picks in franchise history. Ugoh played very well at Left Tackle in pass protection and the Colts didn’t miss a beat in the run game. Despite missing a stretch of games with a neck injury, Ugoh gained the experience necessary for a productive 2008 season.

Round 3) Dante Hughes (California) CB: Hughes played well in 10 games before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. The Colts are very thin beyond Jackson and Hayden and the team may be counting on Hughes to step in as the full-time third corner.

Round 3) Quinn Pitcock (Ohio St.) DT: Pitcock saw extensive playing time during the second half of the season. He was a crucial part of the tackle rotation along with Ed Johnson and Raheem Brock.

Round 4) Brannon Condren (Troy St.) S: Condren didn’t see much playing time because of the relative good health of Bethea and Sanders in 2007.

Round 4) Clint Sessions (Pittsburgh) OLB: The Colts have unexpected depth at LB due in large part to the stellar play of Sessions and Ramon Guzman. Sessions’ season was highlighted by his two acrobatic interceptions against the Chargers.

Round 5) Roy Hall (Ohio St.) WR: The team was very high on Hall’s potential, but he missed almost the entire season with a shoulder injury. We still don’t know whether he will play receiver or tight end.

Round 5) Michael Coe (Alabama St.) CB: Coe stepped in at the end of season after Hughes went down with an injury. He wasn’t impressive, but there is not much of a sample size here.

Round 7) Keyunta Dawson (Texas Tech) DT: We weren’t sure whether Dawson would play Tackle or End. He ended up at Tackle and he had his moments finishing the season with 23 tackles and a sack. He also forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles. A very solid pick.

Mock Draft 2008 – AKA "Who the hell is Deshawn Zombie?"

April 25, 2008

Alright, we just couldn’t let the biggest offseason week of the year go by without throwing our two cents in. Yes, I still hate the draft. No, I don’t think it’s vaguely possibly to have the slightest idea who the Colts will take in round two, but as a blogger it’s my solemn responsibility to comment blindly on things that are impossible to know and of only passing interest to the rest of the world. And so, in honor of that sacred trust, Demond and I offer up our best advice for all the teams drafting in the first round this year.

UPDATE: As of 3 pm EST today, we’ve exceeded our bandwith for 18to88.com. No telling when the site will be back online.

Also, can we get a collective sigh of relief over the headline from today’s Star? Freeney is guaranteeing to play opening day, but hearing that he’s only just now jogging does freak me out a bit. There is no issue that will affect the success or failure of the 2008 Colts as much as Dwight Freeney’s health. Almost nothing else matters.

Check out this weird bit from CNN.com. I especially like any piece that mentions Tom Coverdale and politics at the same time.

I forgot to mention this earlier in the week, but now you can all see why we are waiting to induct Marcus Pollard into the Classic Colts. I’m not surprised the Patriots signed him, they’ve had their mitts all over him for a long time. We always wish Pollard the best, but now…ugh.

Kelvin Sampson is landing on his feet. This is a good move for him. He clearly needed out of the college game with its pesky rules and accountability.

We’re #1! We’re #1!

April 24, 2008

As was noted a couple of times in the comments and as the Star reported yesterday, Your Indianapolis Colts came in first in ESPN’s goofy fan satisfaction survey. So there you have it. All it take to have the best franchise in sports is an exciting team, a classy coach, win a Super Bowl, have a cool owner, and build a new stadium. It’s interesting that the Colts’ worst category was in stadium satisfaction, because I can only assume that refers to the RCA Dome and not the new facility.

The Reds came in a middling 59th, and the Pacers were 112th out of 122, but that puzzles me. They only rated a 53 in stadium. Conseco is the single best place to watch basketball in the NBA, and one of the 20 best venues in sports. 53 seems ridiculously low.