Posts tagged Gilbert Gardner
Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. It is often said that “NFL” stands for “Not For Long,” and this idea flies in the face of teams who have had sustained success, particularly in the salary cap era. Somehow, someway, the Indianapolis Colts are a team that have found a way to be nearly immune to the forces at play in professional football that exist to make it next to impossible for teams to dominate.
If the Colts are going to continue their success in 2010, it has become clear that they will have to overcome a rash of injuries to key players. In some ways, the task seems insurmountable. The likelihood that the Colts can maintain their record of consecutive 12-win seasons shrinks by the week and by the day. How or why should fans expect the streak to continue, foresee a playoff berth, or have even a shroud of hope that the Colts could actually compete for another chance to play for a world championship?
The reason is pretty easy to locate. Over the last five years the Colts have had to overcome adversity, perform in the face of obvious team weaknesses, and have regularly been considered one of the best teams in the league — and one of the top contenders to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. In all but one of those years they have dealt with the loss of key players for dozens of games. Take a look. More >
Five Things to Watch: Giants v. Colts (Week 2)
Posted by Greg Cowan in 2010 Regular Season | 523 views
When the Colts take the field against Brother Eli and his Giants buddies, they will be attempting to bounce back from a week one performance that left the team in last place in their division, and left fans worried. Will they play like Super Bowl contenders and get their first win of the season, or were last week’s miscues a sign of real trouble and not just a bump in the road? Here are five things I’ll be looking for on Sunday night:
Most weeks, I would put together an in-depth game analysis so fans could mull over my observations, and better recognize where the Colts are flawed, which players are most to blame for the loss, and what changes could be made to resolve problems. This week is different.
Since the end of Sunday’s game until now I have witnessed widespread panic on the part of most “vocal” fans, and I am sure that some of that is to be expected as those who are not panicked have far less reason to plaster their opinions around the internet. When you are dealing with swarms of people who so quickly let their heads run away from them, the environment is not entirely inviting for those who wish to rationalize.
This story will not attempt to make light of a painful game, painful loss, or the current state of the Indianapolis Colts. It will also not attempt to change anyone’s opinions about this team, where it is headed, or defend management from its decisions that have helped lead the Colts to this point. The story will stand on its own as what I hope is a rationale perspective of the good and bad, and my perspective on what it all means.More >
Quick Thoughts: Colts 24, Texans 34
Posted by Greg Cowan in 2010 Regular Season | 810 views
It’s not a position the Colts are used to, but when they go to bed tonight they will not be in first place in the AFC South. In a game that was hyped as the Houston Texans’ Super Bowl, the Colts were never able to get into a rhythm, and played inconsistently on both sides of the ball. Here are my quick thoughts from the Colts’ opening day defeat:
5 Things to Look for: 49ers @ Colts (Preseason)
Posted by Greg Cowan in Training Camp | 698 views
The Colts play their first preseason game of 2010 when the San Francisco 49ers travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the defending AFC Champions this Sunday at 1pm. Training camp has been a mixed bag so far for the Colts with good and bad news. Here are five things I’ll be looking for Sunday:
The Indianapolis Colts have traditionally required a great deal out of their safeties. In years past the safeties played a key role in the run defense, often with Bob Sanders or Melvin Bullitt sneaking up close to the line of scrimmage to act as a fourth linebacker. Last year, in defensive coordinator Larry Coyer’s first season, the safeties returned to more of a traditional role generally, staying deep to provide support in pass coverage, sometimes coming up to blitz rather than in pure run support.
This year promises to potentially change things even more. For the first time since the playoffs in 2006, the Colts interior defensive line is beginning to take legitimate form. Antonio Johnson, Daniel Muir, Eric Foster, and Fili Moala promise to present a solid front along the interior against the run. It is expected that Moala will show real progress this year and the Colts have added other positive potential players to boost that depth in Mitch King and Ricardo Mathews. Ultimately, this should help Coyer keep the safeties in a more traditional capacity, covering passing lanes, possibly in blitz packages, and as third level run defenders instead of as make-shift linebackers.
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 >