Archive for August, 2008

Final Cuts

August 31, 2008

The Colts made the necessary cuts to arrive at their 53 man roster today. Maybe a couple mild surprises (six receivers), but no big shocks. Looks like Pierre Garcon and Courtney Roby can breathe easy. The same can’t be said for the oversized quarterback duo. Lorenzen and Gray have both been cut. Many, myself included, predicted correctly that the team would again go with two quarterbacks. If the big boys are needed at some point this year I’m thinking they’ll be available and waiting by the phone.

On a brighter note, I hope this officially puts to rest the Peyton Manning injury drama. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Also of note: Ryan Lilja was placed on the PUP list and won’t be available for six weeks. Mike Hart is on the team. I think many of us would love to see a renewed emphasis on the run this year.

DZ Comments: I’m glad they found room for Roby. I was always rooting for him, but I didn’t see how he could make it if they kept a 3rd QB. This is great news for the team and officially craps all over Mike Lombardi’s retarded report. Remember that the main idea of his report was that the Colts were hiding the severity of Manning’s injury and that it was far more severe than they were letting on. He may or may not have been right about a second ‘procedure’, but that wasn’t the real point of his report. The real point was that “there is MUCH more going on here than meets the eye”.

No Mike. There wasn’t. You were wrong.

In a related story, Mike Florio owes the Indy Star reporting team a serious apology. They didn’t make a big deal out of the story because there wasn’t anything to make a big deal out of. Manning came back exactly according to plan. Might he get hurt if he gets popped in the knee in the regular season? Sure, but that could happen anyway.

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Texans cut Indy native Colvin

August 29, 2008

Rosie Colvin got cut. I guess that wasn’t worth all the time we spent speculating on it, was it? Still keep his name in mind if we have LB injuries. He must not be 100% healthy.

Link:
Here’s a video interview with Manning from Colts.com. He plans to play on Sunday.

Living in special times

August 29, 2008

Here’s a bevy of links starting with a very fun one from Cold Hard Football Facts (see guys, I can play nice!). They look at why Manning vs Brady is the best QB rivalry of all time. I would have liked to see how Elway and Marino stacked up on the list as well, but I don’t remember them playing in the playoffs that often, so it probably wouldn’t have rated anyway. No matter who you think is better, everyone from a Southie to a Hoosier will agree that the NFL is better than ever because we get to watch these two go at it. Can you believe that realignment robbed us from TWO Manning/Brady games every year?

ESPN ranks the fan bases. Indy? A middling 16th. I’m not arguing.

Don Banks makes his predictions. Um, don’t you need a QB to win it all? I’m not convinced the Chargers have one.

Finally, thanks to my buddy Chad for this oldie but goodie from SNL. It has no relevance. It’s just funny.

The MMTTB report

August 29, 2008
That’s what I’m calling the weekly look at “How Big are Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson’s Brains?”. Since last we met, Aaron Rodgers has been a house a fire eviscerating the Broncos and showing up in last night’s game just long enough to throw one pass which went for a 68 yard TD. Frankly if Rodgers plays well, it doesn’t matter how Favre does in New York. All this preseason glory bodes well for the embattled leaders of the Pack. Going into the regular season they appear to be geniuses whose brains are so large, they’ve actually sprouted Einstein hair. We’ll put their IQ this week at an astounding 160, on par with with nuclear physicists, string theory mathematicians and the 9 year old Asian kid that was in my high school calculus class.

W=2008/(12-4)²

The MMTTB report

August 29, 2008
That’s what I’m calling the weekly look at “How Big are Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson’s Brains?”. Since last we met, Aaron Rodgers has been a house a fire eviscerating the Broncos and showing up in last night’s game just long enough to throw one pass which went for a 68 yard TD. Frankly if Rodgers plays well, it doesn’t matter how Favre does in New York. All this preseason glory bodes well for the embattled leaders of the Pack. Going into the regular season they appear to be geniuses whose brains are so large, they’ve actually sprouted Einstein hair. We’ll put their IQ this week at an astounding 160, on par with with nuclear physicists, string theory mathematicians and the 9 year old Asian kid that was in my high school calculus class.

W=2008/(12-4)²

Barf

August 29, 2008

If there were ever any questions about why Roger Goodell smartly wants to shorten the preseason, all it would take to dispel them would be to watch a tape of the latest eye bleeder from a team that everyone concedes is one of the best in football. Here’s my random thoughts for the night:

  • We were going to do a sweet photo blog, but my buddy Nate forgot his camera. No problem, man. That’ll be $75 for the ticket.
  • The ushers were WAAAY overzealous. I almost got into a shouting match both with an elderly black lady and a guy with a voice box (both ‘event staff’). It wasn’t my finest night. The old lady insisted on checking my ticket (in the upper bowl!) every time I got up. It was ridiculous. Voice box guy was the third usher to move my group of friends out of an ‘aisle’. The last time we were in a corner. I couldn’t figure out where to go. On the way home, I heard the announcers lauding The Luke for wide concourses where people can congregate and talk. Yeah right. They treated every conversation like an Al Queda planning meeting. Get a grip, Lucas Oil staff. Start treating your CUSTOMERS like people and not annoyances. I know you are just doing your jobs, but don’t let the power go to your head.
  • The stands were shockingly empty.
  • Dungy talked about keeping 4 QBs. There’s no way that happens. Gray is cut. 3-12 with a fumble is inexcusable. He showed no pocket presence or accuracy.
  • Courtney Roby did his best to make the team, but injuries may make that impossible. If the Colts keep Saturday off IR, and keep Sorgi even if he’s hurt and not really available, I’m not sure that there will be room to keep a guy who ONLY returns kickoffs and would be a 6th WR. I hope he makes it, but keeping 3 QBs would be tough on him
  • Jared Lorenzen is horrible, but he could well be a heartbeat away from the throne if Sorgi can’t go. Chris Simms? Dante Culpepper? Dare I say….Jeff George? There has to be a better solution than this.
  • So long KK. I wish you could have caught that ball last January. I at least wanted you to play ok to showcase your skills to someone else. Dress warm up in Canada, ok pal?
  • The biggest cheers of the night were for a replay of MJax picking of Brady to send us to the Super Bowl and for #18 waiving to the crowd on his way out at half time. He was active and throwing on the sidelines (he dressed for the game), and looked fine in pregame workouts. I’d say the Floria/Lombardi train is very close to having officially jumped the tracks.

    All in all, we can mercifully close this sordid chapter in Colts preseason history. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to clean my face. My eyes have been bleeding all night. Both from the football I was forced to watch and from my fingers desperately clawing at eyes so as to stop the pain of watching Quinn Gray “play football”.

Live Game Blog

August 28, 2008

Getting ready for kick off. Mark Herrmann thinks Jeff Saturday is the second most important player on the offense. Interesting argument, but I’d stick with either Reggie Wayne or Ugoh because of the importance of protecting Manning’s blind side.

1st Quarter

1.) Former North Central standout Courtney Roby gets things going with a nice return out to the 45 yard line. Huge for him, obviously. Two unsuccessful carries by Kenton Keith. Probably a last ditch effort for him to make the team. I’m doubting it, but what do I know? Punt.

2.) Ryan Fitzpatrick opens it up by overthrowing his man. Scrambles on third for exactly ten yards. DZ calls to inform me that the building is only 60% full. Can’t honestly blame the ticketholders. He almost talked our dad into going to the game, but someone reminded Dad that no one of significance would be playing for either team. I’ve spent most of this drive eating a corndog. Crazy long drive. Going on ten minutes. Mostly crazy scrambles by the QB. Down to the five yard line. Charleston whiffs badly on the Fitzpatrick. Somebody hit this clown. Terrible Jeff Saturday commercial for the millionth time. Touchdown Chris Perry. Bengals 7 – Colts 0.

3.) The home fans seem to be headed for another preseason treat. Garcon’s return only gets to the 17. Interesting. Gray misses badly on his first attempt of the drive. Keith gets stuffed. Sack. Fumble. Bengals ball.

Second Quarter

1.) Touchdown Cincy. Bengals 14 – Colts 0

2.) This maybe an abridged live blog for two reasons. First, this is a terrible game. Second, my son keeps turning off the cable box. Roby out to the 21. Not much blocking to work with.

3.) Big gainer to Santi. 22 yards from Lorenzen. Gray has no business making this team. Neither does Lorenzen. Punt.

4.) The Terre Haute Colts don’t looks so good tonight. Huuuge sack by Josh Thomas forces a punt.

5.) Courtney Roby takes the kickoff 104 yards for a score! Rosterize him. That’s as clutch as it gets when you are fighting for your career. Bengals 17 – Colts 7

Saturday Mourning

August 28, 2008

It’s really starting to get depressing thinking that Jeff Saturday is seriously hurt. I’m not worried about it from strictly a football standpoint. The truth is that center is a weird position. It is simultaneously over and underrated. The mental side of center, (making the line calls, leading the group) is critical to a team. Saturday is a captain. In that sense he is irreplaceable. As far as blocking goes, center is one of the easier positions to fill, and the Colts are stocked with young ex-college centers, so there is perhaps no position the Colts could possibly be MORE prepared to suffer a major injury at than center. Might we see some fumbled exchanges? Sure. But ultimately, the year isn’t in the crapper just because we lost Big Jeff.

What really gets me down is that Saturday is one of the nicest, most articulate (hey, someone DID use that word to describe a white guy!) players in the NFL. He has been a leader on the team and in the league, and for his sake, I was hoping he’d have a great year so he could sign one more big time deal. As it stands, he’s gone for probably a couple of months, maybe more. I have no idea what this does to his chances for getting resigned by the Colts (maybe it helps because now his market value is crap), but it probably won’t be the big time offseason he and his family were probably hoping for. I’m sure he’ll be in the Ring of Honor some day.

Links:
FO linked to a Scouts Inc. animation of every team’s ‘best play’. It’s a cute thing, but like most stuff by Scouts Inc. it’s flat wrong. It shows the Colts play as “Joe Addai’s best run” and it’s a run right. Any observant fan knows the Colts run dramatically better to the left behind Ugoh. And guess what? There are stats to prove it. The Colts are at their best when they run behind the left tackle (2nd in the league). The really cool stats at the bottom of that page show the percentage of plays run in each direction. The Colts ran around the left end 17% of the time, and the right end 18% of the time. They ran behind the tackles 12% of the time in both directions and up the middle 40% of the time. In other words, it’s impossible to know where they are going. They keep an amazing left/right balance.

Bill Polian thinks you need a #1 WR. The Titans scoff. Who needs wideouts when your QB sucks?
Great news! The same idiots who don’t know their left from their right, think Manning will struggle due to the knee injury. Chalk him up for 40+ TDs.

Scouts Inc. looks at the center situation.

Saturday’s Agent: He’ll be back

August 27, 2008

The bad news is Jeff Saturday will miss at least six weeks after tearing his medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

The good news is even if he chooses to have surgery to repair the tear he should return at some point this season. While there are no guarantees, this is sounds better than the worst case scenario.

Also, when searching for an appropriate video to celebrate this not-so-horrible news I came back across this great video.

DZ Comments: Holy crap. That video is amazing. I have never seen it before. I watched the Super Bowl with the international feed, and that wasn’t included. I won’t lie. I teared up.

18 Plays is back

August 27, 2008

I know you all missed our dulcet tones, so we have returned for one more season. We are back with 18 Plays (sort of) from the Colts/Bills thrillfest on Sunday. This will be the only preseason podcast we do, but we’ll return after the Bears game. As always, you can download the podcast directly from our podcast page (linked above), or subscribe via Itunes. If you need the XML feed, you can find it here.

By the way, we still have openings for both of our contests. The first is the free 18to88.com fantasy football league (which does award prizes). We have 1 or 3 more slots open. The draft is Saturday, and remember that we don’t allow Patriots or Jaguars players to be drafted or played. For details, email us.

The second is the “Most Important Wins in Colts History” contest. We are currently looking for readers to research and submit summaries of five games. If your summary is selected (assuming it’s accurate and spelled vaguely correctly it will be), you’ll win an official Super Bowl XLI program. Email us with your submission. The five games we need write-ups for are:

3. The Halloween Massacre- Colts 55 Broncos 23 October 31, 1988
The first MNF game in Indy
4. Colts 24 Bucs 6 December 27, 1987
The Colts clinch their first playoff birth in Indy
5. Colts 31 Broncos 10 AFC Playoffs January 4, 2003
First Colts home playoff win helped secure a new stadium
9. Colts 17 Steelers 16 October 21, 1984
One of the first home wins in Indianapolis. The Colts score 17 in the 4th quarter.
10. Colts 31 Vikings 10 December 24, 2000
A big win over a good team to secure a playoff spot

LINKS: FO looks at the over/unders on wins with their own particular wit. Someone wants to take the Colts for under 11 wins and the Jags for more than 10? Baaaad decision.

SI has their season preview out. They have the Pats beating the Colts in the AFC Championship game. The preview of the Colts focuses rightly on the defense. Three second-half TDs against the Chargers backups were inexcusable last year, and before all the injury craziness, I was convinced Freeney’s return would be the most important story. Now, it’s injuries to the O-line combined with Manning’s knee. If both were sound, I’d say we were golden. If either one is ok, the team will do very well. If both are bad…yikes.

Prisco picks the Colts in the South.

FoxSports.com lists the health of the Colts’ stars as the #2 issue that could derail a title. Yup. Hard to argue with that.

ESPN’s predictions are out. Here’s their breakdown of the Colts. Two ‘experts’ picked the Colts to win it all.

Mike and Mike take on the Colts.

ESPN the Mag breaks down the AFC South