Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking ahead

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?


JC said...

Wow. That Oreo commercial is horrideous.

Why is Aaron Harangue good?

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about Clark and his future. I'm not sold on keeping him. There are two absolutes that Indy's offense, with 18 at QB, requires of receivers: 1. Make the right reads to get to the right place, and 2. Catch the ball.

They don't have to be awesome physical specimens. The Colts have never had one at receiver in the Manning years. They don't have to get very open -- Colt receivers rarely do. In fact, the Colts have routinely put up big point totals against defenses that did a very good job of coverage (and bringing pressure).

18 will get the ball in a spot it can be caught. It just has to be caught. I'm not convinced that Clark's drops warrant paying him big bucks.


Zac said...

Aaron Harang is good because he limits baserunners, especially last year with a WHIP of 1.14, and he strikes out a ton of guys while walking few (a 4:1 ratio or so. That is a great recipe to be a good pitcher.

As a Cardinals fan, I fear the Harangotan.

Travis said...

I'd absolutely love picking up James Hardy in the 3rd/4th round

DZ said...

James Hardy is going top 20. If he's anywhere close to still around (which he won't be), the Colts should snap him up in round two.

Harang is one of the best two or three pitchers in the NL. He throws hard and has good control. He'd be a super star with anyother team

Adam said...

Colts also picked up Courtney Roby, a former North Central and IU standout.

I also wouldn't mind them picking up Austin Starr, assuming he declares. He's got a great leg, and as the Purdue game went, is good under pressure.

Ian said...

I've read comments by Polian saying that if the Colts can't sign Clark, they'll franchise him, so I've been under the impression that he's here for good.

Travis said...

Hardy's really projected as a top 20 pick? It is a weak receiving class, but I just don't see it. We'll see.

Bob M. said...

Titans fire Chow! The better news is that they may hire their QB coach to be OC, because, you know, their QB play was so stellar....


Bob M. said...

Thinking about coaches, should TD step down, I am really at a loss. There's Caldwell, who had a fairly poor HC record at Wake Forest. A HC is an administrator, a motivator, a talent evaluator, and a puzzle-assembler. He imprints his personality on the team. It's not an easy job and plenty of good OCs and DCs fail at it. Not sure if Caldwell's track record has to do with talent or staff or him, but I'd be a little nervous.
Then I heard Marty, Cowher, Vermeil. Oh, boy, I'll start with Cowher: Mister chin and spittle is a tough guy and might dramatically change the team personality on field and off. For better or worse? Hard to say, but we're not in need of major changes, are we? Also, his post-season record (Mr. Kravitz) is no better than TDs.
Same for Marty regarding post-season. Vermeil is interesting, but I'd like a long-term guy (the way the Rooney's hire 'em, young and for keeps), rather than somebody north of 60 who is eyeing that retirement place in Cabo. How about a hot college coach! Hah! Only kidding.

Maybe I'd look at this year and the 2003/2005 playoffs and ask who would have gotten us at least one game farther those years, when we had a seriously good team (NE was too good in 2004 IMHO)? My first choice is for TD to return and us to win the SB next year. But in 43 years, I've learned that I just don't get what I want all the time. Damn.
Maybe Jack Del Rio will become available... hah! I hope I gave you all a good laugh with that one.

DZ said...

I threw up a little in mouth just then.

Anonymous said...

When you start talking about a replacement for Dungy, you're talking about plugging someone in to possibly the sweetest job in the league.

You've got the second youngest team in the league, great ownership, a rabid fanbase with a huge home-field advantage, and the best personnel department in the NFL. Oh yeah, and a franchise QB in the prime of his career.

I agree you need a young guy. Forget hiring out of college. So, if I'm looking around the league at head coaches, who do I settle on?

One answer: Josh McDaniels. Say what you will, but who better to take the Colts over the top than the Pats offensive coordinator? Yes, it's blasphemy. But it's the kind of blasphemy that's crazy enough to work.

Anonymous said...

Tom Moore.

Adam said...

Tom Moore is 69. Besides, if they showed a "Tom Moore's Mind" commercial, it'd be him sitting on the beach next to Sorgi.

Here's what we should really do. Get someone to fill in for Dungy for the next few years, and then when Peyton retires we'll hire him!

Andy said...

Meh, I don't know what was up with Clark this year, but I have a hard time calling for his head when I think about his awesome play in the playoffs last year.

Although before he came back for the playoffs last year, I was definitely calling for his head because he's always injured and Bryan Fletcher was catching touchdowns.

I don't know much about McDaniels, but, assuming he doesn't bring the cheating, I'm perfectly fine with hiring a Benedict Arnold. It's sort of a Vinatieri effect: you try to improve your team while simultaneously damaging your rival.

Granted, it didn't work with Vinatieri because the Pats got Gostkowski and were fine, but the theory is the same.

Plus, there's the added bonus of being subjected to a number of delightful stories about the postgame handshake between him and Belichick. Those never get old. Journalism gold, I tell you.

Ian said...

Just for fun, do you think Peyton would make a good coach? And if he did become the coach of the Colts, would he be the most beloved head coach in Indiana sports history?

Andy said...

Hard to top Larry Bird coaching the Pacers. And since the Colts would not have Peyton Manning at QB if Peyton were coaching, who knows if they'd be any good?

But I'm really not sure how he'd be as a coach. The team would be prepared every week. The play-calling might be suspect, featuring plenty of plays that would work brilliantly if Peyton Manning were the QB, which would probably lead to a lot of QBs being chewed out by the coach.