Posts tagged Booger McFarland
With a win against the Titans, the Colts managed to overcome unprecedented team injuries and their worst five game series since 2002 for a NFL record (tie) ninth consecutive playoff berth, and their seventh AFC South Championship in the last eight years. Peyton Manning was able to get through his toughest stretch of games since his rookie year and somehow Indy has managed to enter January with the three seed in the AFC.
It is extremely important for Colts fans to step back and think about the gravity of this accomplishment. Frankly, this team had no business overcoming all of the adversity it has faced in a sixteen game season. More >
One position that has undergone a great deal of development in Indianapolis is the defensive tackle position. In 2007 and 2008 the Colts had the smallest defensive tackle rotation in the NFL. By the smallest, it was not just a little smaller, it was 50 or more pounds lighter than the second lightest defensive tackle group in the league.
The 2009 season saw that change. While the Colts may still field the lightest defensive tackles in the NFL, the difference between Antonio Johnson, Daniel Muir, Fili Moala, Mitch King, and Eric Foster from the rest of the league is closer than the Colts have been since the 2005 and 2006 seasons, when players like Booger McFarland and Corey Simon were on the roster.More >
The Indianapolis Colts have a long history of doing more with less at defensive tackle. In the 1995 NFL Draft the Colts selected Ellis Johnson in the first round and in 2002 it drafted Larry Tripplett in the second. It took another seven years for the team to draft a defensive tackle in the first two rounds of the draft, taking Fili Moala in the second round in 2009.
Beyond that, the Colts have had horrible luck with defensive tackles, including the Corey Simon failure, Booger McFarland’s career-ending knee injury in the 2007 off-season, and Ed Johnson’s drug possession and weight control problems ending his short career in Indianapolis. Even former third round pick Quinn Pitcock out of Ohio State, who showed promise in his rookie season, unexpectedly retired on his way to summer workouts in 2008.
If it was not for successful scouting and acquisition of players from other teams, including starters Daniel Muir and Antonio Johnson, along with the development of undrafted free agent Eric Foster, the franchise would have been unable to continue its streak of regular-season success. In order to improve the position long-term and hopefully attain top-tier talent the Colts drafted Moala.
2010 Colts: Is the Defense Better or Worse?
The ultimate goal during the off-season for any NFL franchise is to improve the team. There are many ways to evaluate whether a team improves or takes a step backward, the most common of which is only possible at the end of each season; record and playoff run. For the Colts, improving on the 2009 version of the team by this measure is only possible if Indianapolis brings home its second Lombardi Trophy.
There is another time that it is worthwhile to consider where a team stands compared to its prior season, the off-season. What is fun about this time is that the evaluation is far more subjective but the ultimate importance of it could have greater implications, it gives fans a reason to be excited about the coming season or a reason to temper expectations.
The Myth of the Third Round Curse
Bill Polian has earned a reputation as one of the best executives in NFL history. He has created this perception largely due to having unparalleled success each year in the NFL Draft. No team in the NFL has used the draft and undrafted free agency as successfully as Polian, creating an atmosphere where the Colts system reigns king and where finding players who best function within it is the goal.
Generally, players that enter the NFL are no different than future professionals in the business world; once they are trained to play a certain way and are molded physically to fit in that role, they are more difficult to acclimate to an entirely different system. As a result, the best way for Polian and the Colts to find an endless crop of new talent is to get them early, train them to play the Colts way, and build the strength of the franchise by retaining the best players and not allowing them to leave via free agency. More >