Posts tagged Keyunta Dawson
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis continued to be the NFL’s most dominant defensive end tandem in 2010. Their propensity for pressuring, hitting, sacking, and stripping the quarterback of the football will go down in league history as one of the most intimidating pass rushing units out of the 4-3 defense.
Many hoped that 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes would immediately step in to bolster Indy’s pass rush, including Colts President Bill Polian, but Hughes did not become a meaningful part of the defense as a rookie. What his future holds is uncertain. While some might believe that Polian’s admission that he should have selected offensive tackle Rodger Saffold in the draft is an indictment of Hughes, coaches and members of the front office have all suggested that slow learning curves are not uncommon for defensive ends transitioning to the NFL. More >
The Indianapolis Colts have historically had difficulty putting together a group of defensive tackles that are capable of fulfilling their responsibilities in the Tampa-2 defensive scheme. In this scheme, the nose tackle — 1-technique tackle — is asked to be a space-filling, line holding run stuffer. The under tackle — 3-technique tackle — is asked to penetrate the offensive line to disrupt running lanes on the way to the quarterback. For many years the biggest weakness amongst Indy’s interior defensive linemen has been a lack of size. This resulted in opponents running the ball relentlessly off of their centers and guards, right through the middle of the Colts defensive line.
A lot has changed. Now Antonio Johnson, Daniel Muir, and Fili Moala all surpass the 300-pound mark. Only Johnson is well-suited to play nose tackle, while Muir and Moala are reasonably sized 3-technique tackles in a 4-3 defensive front — Muir had great success in 2009 and Moala showed marked improvement in 2010. Ricardo Mathews and Eric Foster are used situationally on passing downs and are better suited for the under tackle role. Foster moves outside to defensive end in run packages — Mathews may do the same in 2011. More >
Although the Colts are heading into the playoffs and will not have to worry about new contracts, free agency, and draft planning until after their playoff run ends, once it does things will start happening fast. With all of the players who have contracts ending this season, it will be important to make good choices in order to keep a very talented football team intact.
One thing about any off-season is the chance that difficult decisions will have to be made about players for whom fans have a great deal of loyalty. That is the unfortunate nature of the business of football and those kinds of decisions and observations will be included in what this writer believes is the best direction for the Colts leading up to the 2011 season.
The most important thing to do to start this process is to identify which players require new contracts in order to play football in 2011, and which players currently have contracts that are not reflective of their value to the team.
The players who will need new contracts in order to return to the Colts in 2011 are listed below, by position. More >
At this point, Peyton Manning has to be wondering if he has entered some kind of twilight zone. His records in the NFL are breathtaking and he was recently listed as eighth in the NFL Network’s list of the top 100 players of all time. That designation is not helping him. Right now, Manning is doing something he hasn’t regularly done since his rookie season – costing his team football games.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Colts have lost four of their last five games as a team. Better efforts on the part of the defense during periods of the game, better blocking by the offensive line, and more offensive balance could all play roles in helping the Colts overcome the worst five game series the franchise has had in a decade. Still, it is no secret that Manning is the man, the one people expect the most from, and rather than winning games for Indianapolis, the team has had to try to win games in spite of him. More >
Defending Freeney and Mathis
It has come to my attention that Eagles fan Kyle Dwyer, also known as d-jackfan10 on BleedingGreenNation.com, has become frustrated with Colts’ fans’ comments regarding the regular uncalled holds on defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. It is Kyle’s contention that the Colts are crying over spilled milk, that Colts’ fans’ interpretations are jaded by homeristic glasses coated by the blind opinion that Freeney and Mathis are better players than they actually are.
Kyle took it so far as to create two YouTube videos with every offensive and defensive play for each team to display the differences and to support the conclusion that Trent Cole is actually a better defensive end than Dwight Freeney. I examine both videos after the jump and break down the holds, chips, and double teams in each. More >
Despite a dominating offensive performance, four fumbles kept the game close. The offensive line, as a whole, had its best statistical game this year. Garçon had his best game of the year. Like last year, he has gone on stretches of poor games, only to bust out with a highlight reel performance in Washington. He did have a pair of inexplicable drops, but they were his only drops of the game. Austin Collie was superb, as has become the norm for him.
The mistakes in the passing game were fairly balanced. The receivers had a few drops, Manning had a few over/under-throws, and there were quite a few passes defended. While Manning didn’t get his 70% completion percentage, 65.8% is still good.
Defensively, linebacker Clint Session’s statistics are not representative of his overall play. Fellow outside linebacker Philip Wheeler’s performance in relation to his statistics is the opposite, as he had a solid game. Rookie middle linebacker Pat Angerer did an exceptional job even though the prime-time game was his NFL starting debut. More on those stories after the jump. More >
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 >
Behind Enemy Lines: Denver Broncos
Posted by Robert Itoh in Off-Season Coverage | 459 views
The Colts Week 3 opponents, the Denver Broncos, are a somewhat familiar foe. These two teams have met on quite a few occasions this decade, but there has been significant turnover for the Broncos. Gone are the days of Mike Shanahan, the west coast offense, zone blocking schemes, and Jim Bates’ conservative 4-3 defense.
In are the days of Josh McDaniels, his spread offense, and a 3-4 attacking defense. Despite the changes, this match-up and the strategies deployed by McDaniels should be familiar as McDaniels is the former offensive coordinator of one of the Colts’ biggest rivals: the New England Patriots.