Friday, June 29, 2007
Not much new in this story, but I did note today that Len Pasquareli pegged the Colts at about 3+ million under the cap (before signing rookies). Now, those numbers are rarely official, but it does give us all an idea of how important it is to get Freeney signed to a long term deal that can give the team just a tad more wiggle room. There is an undercurrent among some Colts fans to question Freeney's value due to his reduced number of sacks. Don't forget that the Colts faced 509 passing plays in 2005. In 2006, they only faced 415. That's nearly a 20% drop in sacking opportunities. It would have been nearly impossible for Freeney to post the same sack totals. I don't think he declined, I just think teams changed their game plans to account for him and also took into account that the Colts had horrible linebacking play (yeah, I mean you Gilbert). That is what makes him so valuable. Teams change what they do to avoid him. I look for Freeney to post double digit sacks again this year, and quiet his critics.
Take note as well that Freeney made several signs of good faith to the franchise. He's a locker room leader, and don't fool yourself that other players aren't watching how this plays out. If Polian tries to screw Freeney, it will hurt the Colts in the locker room and their rep around the league. If he ponies up and pays him, it maintains positive cred with the players. Faulk and Edge, who are influential, have complained about Polian's tactics before, but not signing Freeney to a long term deal after essentially promising him that they would AND after he did and said all the right things could haunt the team in future negotiations. The franchise tag doesn't sound like a bad deal to me and you, but players HATE it. Keeping guys off of it calms the locker room storms. Let's hope this deal gets done.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Doesn't pump me up, that's for sure.
Demond Sanders' Comments: This is even less inspiring: They considered this trade to free up CAP SPACE. Is there anything less sexy than that? But that's life in the crappy world of guaranteed contracts. JO's huge contract is a preventing the Pacers from getting younger and better. I say if Larry & Donnie can find a way to get rid of Jamal Tinsley in the process OR get a top 15 draft pick then I'm for it. Maybe that's why the Pacers and Celts appear to have backed out of the deal. Or maybe Boston realized it didn't want JO.
Monday, June 25, 2007
They are not so beasts Tom Brady IS NOT what you say that little seriousness"
Well, I'll be jiggered. I guess he put us straight didn't he? I really don't even know how to begin to respond to this. It's a first, 18to88 has been rendered speechless. Congrats.
Is there a Pats fan out there who wants to take credit for lighting up the IQ meter with this? Come on, Sports Guy....I know it was you!
Demond Sanders' Comments: Well, as for me, I voted for the Colts and Manning for every single ESPY they were up for. Because, in my humble opinion, they ARE so beasts.
I love Jr. I have always loved Jr. As a Reds fan, he made the Mariners my second favorite team. I was glad to see him respond so warmly to the crowd. You could tell he really wanted to do something big for them. He got a hit in all three games so no one was totally left out. His second HR yesterday was beautiful.
Whenever Jr. is discussed, we mention the injuries and what could have been. Let's stop for a second to note that he is about to pass Frank Robinson for 6th on the HR list. He has a fairly strong shot of passing Willie Mays at 660. He will likely finish higher on the HR list than everyone not named Bonds, Aaron and Ruth. That's pretty freaking amazing for a guy who was hurt as much as he was. I think most Reds fans love him, but there have always been a few who don't get it. There are some guys who want to say, "He always gets hurt! He doesn't hustle!". Not realizing that every time he got hurt in Cincy it was while hustling, and the management has asked him to take it easy. He's not a young man anymore.
He's the only squeaky clean slugger of his generation. Let's thank him for that. All in all, he's still Jr., and still one of my all time favorite baseball players.
Best Game (Colts 38 Pats 34)
Best Male Athlete (Peyton)
Best Female Athlete (Tom Brady)
Best Moment (Dungy vs Smith in the Super Bowl)
Best Championship Performance (Peyton in LXI)
Best NFL Player (#18)
Best Coach (Tony Dungy)
If you were so inclined you could also vote for Bob Knight for best record breaking performance. We are not so inclined.
Read, enjoy, and delight with us.
Demond Sanders' Comments: Beauty. I especially like the part where the Colts became the only team in NFL history to beat the top three teams in scoring defense in the playoffs.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
There is a lot right and a lot wrong with this article. Zombie Bob coming in at number 2 is quite sweet and very insightful. However, who in their right mind would have put Mike Dunleavy on that list even as a joke? What about Dallas Clark or Joe Addai? Or for that matter how about Michael Andretti, Danica Patrick, or Jeff Gordon? I'd bet you money any one of those three would have been more popular than AJ Graves.
How can you do a list about Indy and leave off race car drivers?
Demond Sanders' Comments: Nice call on the drivers. Based upon their criteria some of their choices make ZERO sense. AJ Graves wouldn't be recognized locally or nationally, and I can't imagine anyone in Indy picking him as their favorite athlete. Try shaving once in awhile. Eric Gordon, as much as I love him, wouldn't stand up to those criteria either (he might come this November though). Jermaine is highly recognizable on all levels, but he is not well liked locally of late.
All of the World Champion Indianapolis Colts are legit, of course. Heck, you could almost make the list entirely of Colts. My own list would go something like this: 1)Manning 2)Harrison 3)The Zombie Sanders 4)Reggie Wayne 5)Freeney 6)Dallas Clark 7)Addai 8)Robert Mathis 9)Tarik Glenn 10)Mr. Clutch
Apparently, the Indy Sports Corp is trying to pry the College World Series away from Omaha, NE. The author doesn't like Indy's chances and ultimately, it'll come down to money. After all, it's the NCAA. It always comes down to money.
Demond Sanders' Comments: Yeah, it feels kind of wrong to try to steal this event from Omaha. I'm all in favor of Indy hosting every major sports event possible up to, but not including the Olympics, but this is a little like trying to move the Kentucky Derby or the Indy 500 for that matter. Indy needs to worry about keeping the F1 Race, first and foremost. Then let's work on hosting a Super Bowl and becoming the permanent host of the WNBA finals (dare I dream?)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
On a football level there is no higher praise than this: Terry Hoeppner made me care about Indiana Football. Furthermore, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if this man was given a chance he was going to make it work at IU. If anyone could it was Coach Hep.
When you are the Indiana Football coach you don't need to be the smartest, best coach in the world to overcome the barriers, but you do have to be the most passionate coach. You have to make people care who are used to caring 0%: the players, the recruits, and especially the fans. He did it better than anyone ever has.
I'll remember Hep talking after the Hoosiers upset Iowa in 2006, telling the ESPN sideline reporter to "get on board because the Hoosiers are a rocket ship and we're headed up." They went on to win 3 out 4 Big Ten games (when has that ever happened in Bloomington?) including an absolute dismantling of Michigan State. I just wish they could have taken that last game in West Lafayette. Coach deserved it.
Monday, June 18, 2007
He at least has a half a brain in his head. He seems to think that this debate is way closer than I do, so let me ask this question for any one who cares to elevate Tom Brady to the top spot...what if the question was, Who has been the better quarterback for the past two years and who is likely to be the better quarterback this year? Remember that the ONLY thing Brady has over Manning is 3 Super Bowls to 1. I personally have said many times here that it's an ignorant argument to elevate championships over all over stats because then you wind up with Terry Bradshaw as the second best QB of all time and NO ONE BELIEVES THAT'S TRUE. If we only take into account the last two years, there is no stat, NOT ONE, in which Brady has the edge over Manning. Manning has more wins, playoff wins, TDs, yards, completion %, YPA, fewer INTs than Brady. Plus Manning's beat him three straight times. Right now, there is no debate. Manning is more accurate, makes fewer bad decisions and wins more. And it's not close. Let's save the debate over who has the better career until all the data is in. Manning's going to win more Super Bowls. Unless Tommy wins one this year, he's done (his magical D gets older by the minute).
Right now, Manning is the best. I'll be glad to hear facts to the contrary, but I think they'll be hard to come by.
Let's also note that King put Vince Young WAAAAAAAAAY too high considering that he's only about as good as your average second string quarter back. If you don't believe me, check out the Vince Young Files on our main site. Blech. Overhyped piece of crap.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Rumor has it that they then went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and split a plate of cheese fries at the local Big Boy. They wanted to do something fun, but they were in Cleveland-there ISN'T anything fun in Cleveland.
Demond Sanders' Comments: "I really wanted to find a way to say 'Thank you' to you guys. I hope you like crap."
Here's a great quote: "To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to," Ichiro said through an interpreter in the Seattle Times. "If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Hey! Just found your site, was checking out the toughest losses page, and you forgot Jets 41 - Colts 0 from the playoffs four years ago (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2003/playoffs/news/2003/01/04/colts_jets_ap/).
Dunno if you forgot it or you didn't think it was that bad, but I was surprised it wasn't on there.
No, we definitely haven't forgotten about the Jets game Jason, but thanks for bringing it up again. There's probably a couple reasons it didn't make the list. The main reason is that it was kind of like ripping off a band-aid. Quick and painful. I barely remember Dungy's first playoff game with the Colts because I turned it off way early. Probably even before halftime. I'm sure Deshawn Zombie remembers it better because he's a different kind of fan (some would say a better kind). He can watch the Cincinnati Reds late in the season, long after they are out of contention. I tend to take the Colts way too seriously, so it is easier for me just to turn the television off (versus going ballistic and breaking yet another remote control). That game, unlike most on our list, was never close.
Deshawn Zombie's Comment: Demond had it right; this game didn't make the list because it just didn't HURT enough. It was one of the worst losses in history (up there with the Saints game that did make the list), but it was over so quick that it was hard to feel anything about it. The Jets scored an opening TD, and Manning responded with a big drive into FG range. Vandy...yup, shanked the kick. The Jets then drove for a Figgie, recovered a fumble on the kick off and drove for a TD to make it 17-0 before you could blink. INSANELY, the media blamed the loss on Manning. This made no sense as the game was basically over before it started. I never saw this game. I was at a camp in a remote area of Argentina and spent the whole week wondering if we won. The minute I made it back to a town, I jumped on the phone and called the states. It was a week later, and no one understood my urgency to find out the score. I felt sick about it at the time, but the feeling passed. The reason the NO game from the 80s made it and not this is because that game ruined the franchise for about 5 or 6 years. It forced the trade for Jeff George that might not have happened if they had won and made the playoffs. The Jets game had zero long term impact on the franchise as they made the AFC Championship game the very next year.
I really have enjoyed your blog for the past couple of weeks. I especially like your section of former Colt greats. Shouldn't Captain Comeback be on there though?
Sean of http://indianasport.blogspot.com/
Jimmy Harbaugh didn't qualify because he is already included in the Colts' Ring of Honor at the RCA Dome. Our somewhat arbitrary rules are outlined here: http://www.18to88.com/Classic%20Colts/classiccoltsdefined.htm Tough luck for old #4, but as consolation we will be rooting him on as he attempts to right the ship as Head Coach of Stanford this season. Go Christmas Trees!
They love the Chargers and Patriots. Surprise, surprise. The Super Bowl champs? Not so much.
I sort of get why the analysts would be hesitant about the Colts. The defense is still a huge question mark, even after the remarkable playoff run. But I still don't think there is a better offense in the league than the Colts' O. Sure the Chargers scored more points, but they also had a ridiculous 61 sacks from their D which helped get the other team off the field quickly (the Colts had a mere 25 sacks in comparison). The Chargers offense is still in development, which actually makes them tougher to stop. Personally I think the Colts offense is playing its best football ever, even though it may not be scoring quite as much as past years. The league, and particularly your divisional opponents, will eventually find a way to slow you down a little.
I'm not going to argue the Colts are more talented than the Chargers. The Chargers are loaded. But I'd still take #18 and Indianapolis in a one game showdown in January. The Patriots on the other hand have question marks in the running game, passing game, and in their defense.
Most importantly New England is much older than the Colts and Chargers. The Patriots have 6 players over 30 on their offense to the Colts' 5. Call it a wash. Here's where it gets interesting: The Patriots have ELEVEN players over thirty on their defensive roster to the Colts' ONE. An astounding six of those aging Pats are Linebackers. And anyone wonders why they ran out of steam in the second half back in January?
Deshawn Zombie's Comments: The real problem with the Chargers offense is Phillip Rivers. His production dropped dramatically over the course of last season, and there is no reason to assume the QB that started the year is the real deal. Demond's points are well taken, the Charger O looks better than it is because of their D.
Demond Sanders' Comments: I forgot to mention an obvious point: Everyone tried to limit the number of Indy possessions by running the ball. The Christmas Eve game at Houston was the best example of this. Peyton had an excellent, efficient game and the Offense put up 24 points, but Houston kept the ball on the ground. In the past the Colts might have scored 40 or more points (heck, like the earlier game at Indianapolis), but in the December game they never got the chance.
Friday, June 15, 2007
It's veritably littered with Colts. #18 holds down the top spot over some pansy-ass pretty boy who will go unnamed. Freeney comes in at #12, which I think is pretty accurate, though surprising giving his statistical drop last season. #88 rolls in at 26 behind three other receivers (Johnson, Holt and Smith). I can deal with that because the other dudes are younger, and this sort of has a projected feel about it. Reggie Wayne also shows up at 33, which is more than fair given his production and the threat he poses on every play.
Given his proper due, Zombie Bob also slides in at #41. This really is an impressive ranking considering he didn't play for huge chunks of last season. When he did show up, however...he ate brains like the bad ass mofo we know he is.
Now, bearing in mind that this is just a personal list by Pete Prisco (who has fallen out of our favor in recent months, it's still pretty sweet that the Colts would throw down 5 of the top 50 players in the league, the most of any single team in the league.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Colts were a unanimous pick for best offense and best team. Joe Thiesmann actually said they had the best D in the division thus proving that he is an idiot.
Who are we kidding? Good players make good plays. Talented teams win; untalented and badly coached teams lose. Swagger is for morons. Enjoy this excellent article that seeks to quantify the vitally important element of any winning team: swagger.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Good to hear that Glenn, like Dwight Freeney, is handling his contract negotiations like a multi-millionaire who has nothing to prove. Unlike say. . . Asante Samuel. Seriously, these guys realize they signed a contract and are getting paid to play a game right?
I respect how the Colts players largely behave like adults and business professionals. If you look back over the past ten years you have to be impressed with how these guys have handled the business side of things, especially considering how cut-throat the Colts overall personnel strategy can appear at times (it is the NFL after all). Or maybe it is just the rare, but over-publicized jerk who can take the huge payday the franchise tag provides and manage to complain about it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
In other words, don't believe the hype. Don Banks issued a similar opinion on SI.com, but his article was based less on first hand observation and more on bland opinion making, so I didn't link it.
Again, a thank you to the Hash Marks blog on ESPN for throwing this our way
This is a favorite topic of ignorant Jags fans, and their ringleader Vic. The Colts linemen frequently move once placed on the line. This is a false start right?
The NFL rules (http://www.nfl.com/fans/rules/positionofplayers) clearly state the following:
No interior lineman may move abruptly after taking or simulating a three-point stance. All players of offensive team must be stationary at snap, except one back who may be in motion parallel to scrimmage line or backward (not forward). After a shift or huddle all players on offensive team must come to an absolute stop for at least one second with no movement of hands, feet, head, or swaying of body.
The Colts move slowly and deliberately, turning their heads and readjusting their stances after they get in position. This is allowed to the offense because audibles can change assignments and alignments. OFFENSIVE LINEMEN CAN MOVE AFTER COMING SET. What they cannot do is move forward, simulate a snap, or be in any kind of motion at the time of the snap. Not all movement by the line is a false start. But, Jags fans, being among the most ignorant in all of the NFL, don't know this and continue to whine.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
It's about Colts backup guard Charlie Johnson who filled in for Ryan Diem during the Super Bowl. This story is a microcosm of what has made the Colts so successful over the past decade. I'm always stunned whenever lists and ranking of the best offensive lines come out, because they really name the Colts despite a freakishly low sack rate and constantly pumping out 1500-1700 yard rushing seasons.
Howard Mudd, the line coach and the real unsung hero on this franchise, has to be the best in the NFL at training and preparing young linemen. The Colts have invested heavily in their left tackle, Tarik Glenn, but none of their other linemen were high draft choices (Diem was next the highest regular-a 4th rounder!). Guys like Charlie Johnson, a 6th round pick, come in and don't miss a beat. The Colts line play, with the exception of that dark day against Pittsburgh two Januaries ago, has been stellar for this entire run.
This also explains why we remain so sure that Glenn is gone after this year. The Colts trade up to get Tony Ugoh is completely atypical for them unless they feel that they are going for their future left tackle. We all know the guy who protects #18's blindside has to be a special player, because you can't have Peyton taking big shots to his back. If the Colts had anything other than future starting left guard in mind for Ugoh, they would never have taken him so high. They get too much production from linemen taken in the late rounds.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Take note that the top four teams are all from the AFC as are 7 of the top 10. This will make repeating very hard. As Polian said last year, with so many good teams, winning the conference comes down to luck about as much as anything else. The top several AFC teams are all capable and would be worthy champions.
Showing up when he doesn't have to and working hard with the new players is what makes Peyton one of the greatest players in NFL history. This offense this season is going to be insanely good. I suppose it's a little sad for the announcers not to have stories of the now legendary offseason workouts with 18 and 88, but let's face it, Tony Gonzalez and Roy Hall need some attention. Working with the guys competing for the #2 back slot is critical as well. Remember, we noted last week that the area in which Dom Rhodes will be toughest to replace is in receiving out of the backfield (his running numbers were mediocre at best). This team is going to be great to watch.
Also check out this nice piece from Star about linebacker prep. Seriously, Indy is going to replace Penn State as Linebacker U.
This plan has worked very well with one ugly and notable exception: The All-Time Worst Colt Ever Gilbert Gardner (yes, I've had his name officially changed to that).
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
If the Patriots were 4th (seed) in the AFC last year (in a tiebreaker), then I guess the Colts were 3rd.The Colts were better than the Pats when it mattered - the AFC Championship game. But don't try to make it seem like the Pats were worse than they were. You just look like a homer masquerading as an analyst.
Let's be clear about something, Brian (if that is your name), we at 18to88.com do not masquerade as anything. WE ARE HOMERS YOU MORON. OUR BLOG IS CALLED 18to88.com FOR FRICK'S SAKE. Duh. We are analyzing data through the grid of being long term die hard Colts fans. How is that not clear? We try to be funny and honest, but I don't see anyone around here claiming objectivity.
Now for his argument. The Pats WERE the fourth seed because of a tie breaker. What tiebreaker did they lose to Indy? Head to Head. They lost to the Colts twice (the second time being the playoffs). For most of last season Indy lead the AFC in overall record, before they got some bad luck (losing on a 60 yard FG? are you kidding?) and some tough calls (two no calls in Dallas at the goal line), and played one hell of a bad game against Jacksonville For most of the year, however, the Colts were class of the AFC and that came out in the playoffs. New England on the other hand, was consistently the fourth best team in the AFC all year. They won the mother of all luck games and knocked off San Diego, but Belichick is smart right? You don't think he's aware that they don't win that game but once or twice out of 10 tries? The Pats started slipping down the food chain last year, and are now acting desperate. They were the fourth best team in the AFC. It's true.
So yes, Brian, I am a homer, but that doesn't make me wrong.
As always, we welcome user comments.
Monday, June 4, 2007
He picked them to win the Super Bowl.
Now bear in mind, that not even King thinks this means anything; how could it when training camp hasn't even started yet? But, it's just turned June, and most teams are enjoying the calm before the storm of training camp and the regular season. King's logic is that he just can't see New England's old linebackers stopping the Colts when it counts, and I would agree with that. He's still lamenting the 'talent' drain from the Colts D, but whatever. He also states, as do many commentators that San Diego has the best talent, but no one's really convinced that Norv Turner knows his ass from his elbow.
For anyone who is still scared of the Pats, just remember that they were FOURTH in the AFC last year. They had to retool; they already slipped.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
First I wanted to apologize for the slow blogging in the month of May from 18to88. Deshawn Zombie has stepped up and kept it going. We have various excuses for this including:
1. Zero Important News (Its May!)
2. Power outages in Argentina. Don't know about this? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070601/ap_on_bi_ge/argentina_energy_woes_1 Sorry bro, I can't imagine how crappy this problem is.
3. I'm selling my house which is a lot of work...
4. Sucky family problems abound.
5. It is MAY!
6. I'm Lactose Intolerant. Wha?
Anyway back to the Prisco article. He lists Booger McFarland as the most overrated Colt. Folks, this is a great testiment to Bill Polian and Tony Dungy. They wouldn't have won the Super Bowl without Booger. We all know it. When reading this article I paused before reading the Colts section and my wife any I tried to figure out who it could be. No one really made sense.
The reason is they got rid of the guys this offseason that you could argue are overrated. Doss and June come to mine. Rhodes became overrated only in the playoffs. Speaking of Mike Doss. . . he was listed by Prisco as the Colts most overrated player for 2006.
Deshawn Zombie's comments: Ok man, I know you must have been on something strong when you wrote this...principally because you said "it's May!" twice, and rather emphatically when in reality it's June.