Charlie Casserly of CBS previews the Colts offseason, and says that things look bright. I think we all know that and that's why most of us are pretty ok with how things went this season. With all the trauma this team endured, it was mostly held together by chewing gum and bailing wire (and #18). It lost four games by a total of 16 points. No defensive player is over the age of 29. We have no first round pick this year, but really don't have a need at a position that merits one. Tony Ugoh is our first round pick this year, and aside from the one play at the end, he was brilliant in every way. Demond and I are apparently in the minority for calling for the head of Dallas Clark, and I do think it's more likely that they'll let him go next year when they have a first round pick to use on his replacement.
It would have been interesting to see if Mathis and Brock could have provided pressure had they not gotten hurt. Both were playing at an insane level when they went down, and had covered well for the loss of Freeney. But then the DTs that replaced Brock were playing great, so they moved him to end just for the playoff game. It didn't work. Not even a little.
The other major move was the Marvin Experiment which was a disaster. It can't be second-guessed, though. No one really first guessed it. They would have played him earlier if they could have. I didn't hear anyone really say, screw it, just put him on IR (I certainly didn't). So I'm not going to kill the team for that. I hope that Marvin is good to go next year, and when the sad day comes that he plays his last game in blue and white, I hope I know when it is. I want to remember where I was when the greatest reciever in Colts history retires. I forgive you, Marvin. You were just trying to help the team.
As opposed to last season where the whole roster was in flux, the only issue beyond Clark is the two guards. Indy never drafts guards in the early rounds, and rarely pays them big bucks. I say Lilja is gone and Scott stays, but I won't be surprised if both go.
Like always, don't expect any free agent signings. The Colts like their compensatory picks way too much.
As for Dungy, my bet is that he's back for one more year. I think his son's transfer has to do with football. In talking to Bob Lamey in the post game show, it sounded to me like he was coming back. I just don't think he wants to go out like this, though the argument can easily be made that this season was his greatest job as a coach.
The best thing of all...we only have to endure one more season of Corey Simon's contract on our roster! Woo hoo!
Demond Sanders: If you haven't already, check out Kravitz's latest dose of crazy. He's right that the Colts flat out blew that game. No question about it. A more ridiculous loss this franchise will never see. But to suggest that another coach can come in an duplicate Dungy's success is absurd. Dungy was brilliant this season. His style of defense clearly works if the right players are on the field. Polian made sure Freeney would be here to keep it working. He got hurt. That's no one's fault.
Dungy took a team missing two of its three best players pretty far, in my opinion. It's not his fault his offense had three costly turnovers. The team let him down and not the other way around. Losing Dungy would be a major blow to this franchise. If Polian and Dungy stay the course they'll be right back in the thick of the AFC playoffs next year. And that's really all we can ask for, right?