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An Indianapolis Colts blog



Updated: 2018-01-22T11:49:07-05:00

 



Colts Request Second Interview with Josh McDaniels

2018-01-22T11:49:07-05:00

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The Indianapolis Colts have requested a followup interview with their assumed next head coach, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

While the hire is more of a formality at this point, and much of McDaniel’s staff have will likely be in place at least nominally, there cannot be anything concrete done until after the Super Bowl. This is not an unheard-of situation, the 49ers had a nearly identical one last season with their hiring of then Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The Lions will be in the same boat to make their hire of Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as well.

The Colts are allowed to talk with McDaniels again during the break leading up to the Super Bowl. This may allow Ballard and McDaniels to iron out some of the details behind the scenes that will take effect at the conclusion of the Super Bowl. Chris Ballard is not a guy who does anything without a plan, and this opportunity will not be wasted. Whatever they can do behind the scenes to hit the ground running once the season is officially over will be done.

Colts fans are in a strange place with this playoff run, having to root for a solid offensive performance from the Patriots to help them feel good about their impending hire, while ultimately hoping they will fail to win another Super Bowl because let’s face it, they are insufferable enough as it is. All we can do is hope that McDaniels brings those winning ways to Indianapolis next season. Until then, the waiting game continues.




Stampede Blue’s NFL Conference Championship Staff Picks

2018-01-21T11:09:08-05:00

The Stampede Blue staff picks the Conference Championship matchups to see who goes to the Super Bowl We have finally gotten to the nitty gritty in both the AFC and NFC. With so much of this final four that we have before us the storylines are many, whether it be the quarterback lineup we’ll see, the quality defense we should expect or the threesome of teams who have had long absences from the championship round while the other has now been at least to the Conference Championship for seven consecutive seasons. The average time away from this round for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles is a whopping 11.7 years with the most recent being the Vikings being there 8 years ago in 2009. Naturally, the Jaguars 18-year hiatus – if you want to be kind – is the longest by far as the Eagles were able to battle to make the Super Bowl in 2008. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports While the lack of top-5 quarterbacks playing this weekend is simultaneously interesting and concerning, the defenses we’ll see will hopefully add a combination of keeping the games tight, while also sprinkling in some excitement. If we see a 13-10 game in either conference championship the chances are that the game was great to watch. With Tom Brady still in the run towards the Super Bowl, the hope is exactly that, that the Jacksonville Jaguars defense will be able to negate what the Patriots can do to put points up with Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Myles Jack along with their front-4 pushing the pocket. The Jaguars were second in the league allowing only 16.8 points per game and they’ll be facing the team who ranked second in the league in points scored at 28.6 per game. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images This is very much a strength-on-strength matchup on one side and could very well be what decides the game. Conversely, the Jaguars’ offense will have to move the ball and put some points up against New England’s defense which was fifth, allowing only 18.5 points per game. If Blake Bortles can’t execute for 4 quarters in Foxboro it may very well get ugly in a hurry. There’s little doubt that the Jaguars will be heavily dependent upon Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and their offensive line to eat the 30th ranked (yards per rush) Patriots run defense. Should be interesting. Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images As we look at the NFC Championship it will certainly be a very different matchup, and actually runs that risk of giving us a very low-scoring matchup and rocking us to sleep. Which defense will make the biggest play, and when? That is almost certainly what decides this one. Both teams will have to make great use of their running game due to having Nick Foles and Case Keenum to challenge those opposing defenses, yet the Vikings and Eagles come in at 5th and 6th respectively in allowing rush yards per carry. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images The Vikings have only given up six, 20-yard rushes (T-2nd) all season, so it appears the Eagles will need a big play out of their running game with Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images With Foles coming in at a clip of 56.4%, the Eagles will absolutely will need to put some points up with their defense or will need to hand their offense some great field position to have a shot. Conversely with Keenum at 67.6%, a plus-3.1% touchdown-to-interception percentage differential and a sack percentage of 4.4%, I think he has the room to take some chances and possibly survive a mistake. He’s also getting 10.9 yards per catch from his receivers and has a nice little running game of his own to help him out. Enjoy the Conference Championships, here are our Stampede Blue staff picks! This week the following contributors voted on each game: Brett Mock, Matt Danely, Josh Hudgens, Stephen Reed, Faraz Majid, Chris Shepherd, Chris Blystone, Andrew Aziz, Jared Malott and Jake Arthur. Again, our group voted ‘winn[...]



Several Players Looking for Trip to Super Bowl They Didn’t Get with Colts

2018-01-21T09:00:05-05:00

There are lots of former Colts out there on conference championship Sunday who might get the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. Over the last four months of the NFL season, we finally stand here looking at the final four teams remaining in the playoffs. Today, the New England Patriots will host the Jacksonville Jaguars, and then the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings. The two winners will square off in Super Bowl LII in two weeks (February 4). Among those four teams are several former Indianapolis Colts players who will now possibly get to the Super Bowl; an opportunity they did not achieve while with the Colts. EAGLES The Eagles have former Colts starting cornerback Patrick Robinson on their roster. Robinson spent one season in Indianapolis (2016), starting six-of-seven games. Injuries kept him out for half of the season. This year in Philadelphia, Robinson appeared in all 16 regular season games and started eight. He tied his career highs in interceptions (4) and pass breakups (18). JAGUARS The Jaguars have former Colts fan favorite, long snapper Matt Overton. He was the Colts’ long snapper from 2012-’16 but was let go during the Colts’ 2017 youth movement. Overton played nine games for Jacksonville this year before landing on Injured Reserve with a season-ending shoulder injury. The Jaguars also have former Colts preseason standout wide receiver Tevaun Smith on their practice squad. He spent the 2016 season and 2017 offseason in Indianapolis. Linebacker Deon King also spent a brief period of time with the Colts from November 2016 to May 2017. PATRIOTS The Patriots easily have the most former Colts among these four teams. Most notably are tight end Dwayne Allen and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett . Both were sent to New England in separate trades this offseason. The Colts got a fourth-round pick (Zach Banner) in exchange for Allen, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett in exchange for Dorsett. Both Allen and Dorsett had career lows in pretty much every stat this year. Patriots defensive linemen Ricky Jean Francois and Lawrence Guy both spent time in Indianapolis and had an impact with the Colts. Francois was with the Colts from 2013-’14, and Guy was with the Colts from 2012-’13. Last, and perhaps the most painful is running back Dion Lewis. In Ryan Grigson’s defense, Lewis was bouncing around the league and dealt with several injuries when he was signed by the Colts (2014), but Lewis was only with the Colts for a week. The following year, he was signed by the Patriots and became a stud. Since 2015, Lewis has started 19-of-30 games and has 378 touches for 2,109 yards (5.6 avg) and 13 touchdowns on offense to go with 25 kickoff returns for 605 yards (24.2 avg) and 1 touchdown. VIKINGS Minnesota has the most inconsequential Colts ties. They have tight end Nick Truesdell on their practice squad. He spent a whopping three days with the Colts in training camp in 2016. Last offseason during the veteran combine, he was impressive, running the 40 in about 4.5 seconds at 6-6, 252 pounds. The Colts were one of nine teams to offer Truesdell a contract, but he chose the Vikings. [...]



Broncos Media Helps Explain What Went Wrong with Josh McDaniels in Denver

2018-01-20T11:00:01-05:00

Many people simply have been told that Josh McDaniels failed as a head coach with the Denver Broncos, but why did he fail? When it comes to the topic of Josh McDaniels, there’s not a ton of middle ground. People either love that the Indianapolis Colts are going to hire him as their new head coach or they loathe him because of his New England Patriots roots and his previous flame-out as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Many people simply understand that McDaniels’ time as the Broncos’ head coach went poorly, but it is also important to understand why things went that way. McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator before being hired as Denver’s head coach in 2009. He was given plenty of personnel control and was, at the time, the youngest head coach in NFL history at 33 years old. He was considered by many to basically be a wunderkind/”boy genius”. From there, I wanted to turn to some people that I follow in the Broncos media community for more answers at what went wrong. Up first is Sayre Bedinger, Editor of Predominantly Orange: “The 6-0 start to the 2009 season was a honeymoon that was over as quickly as it started. After inexplicably deciding to trade the Pro Bowl quarterback Denver had drafted just three years earlier (Jay Cutler), McDaniels really came in and just blew everything up personnel-wise from what it had previously been. I think one of the major reasons why it was such a quick divorce between McDaniels and the Broncos is because he tried to overcompensate for his youth by flexing his power within the organization. McDaniels had full control over the roster, and while he didn’t have the same credibility and respectability as a guy like Bill Belichick, he tried to command that respect like a dog marking its territory all over the organization. Some of the moves McDaniels made were great (drafting Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker stand out, along with signing Brian Dawkins) but others were hilariously bad (his first ever draft pick was Knowshon Moreno, and he traded three picks to move up and draft Tim Tebow in round one). Basically, McDaniels thought he was bullet-proof as the former protégé of an actual living legend, and that mentality ultimately got him burned. People don’t really remember this but the last straw that got McDaniels fired in Denver was after the team was caught cheating in their London game against the 49ers, filming their walkthrough. That was something McDaniels and the Patriots had previously been penalized for. McDaniels had done enough over a two-year span to completely embarrass the franchise, but I don’t think he is a bad coach or talent evaluator. I think McDaniels’ system will work, but it’s critical that he knows his role within the team and that there is no power struggle between he and Chris Ballard moving forward.” As Sayre pointed out, one of the big issues with McDaniels previously was that he came on too strong. Because of his age, reputation and the expectations of him, he felt it necessary to flex his muscle at every turn. He’s definitely had some humbling since then, so we’ll have to see if that translates to this, his next opportunity. Next up is the host of the SportsKrunch Podcast, David Kromelow: “The best thing I can recollect is that he was too much of a control freak. My hope is that he understands Ballard will have equal if not greater powers and forms a productive relationship with him.” David pretty much echoes what Sayre said in regards to McDaniels and his strong personality. David mentions something very important, though, and that is Chris Ballard. Ballard is all about building a team that wants to fight for each other, in the front office, coaching staff and the locker room. If Ballard thought McDaniels was going to be an entitled punk again, I don’t think he makes this move. Last up is publisher and editor-in-chief of Mile High Huddle, Chad Jensen: “The biggest issue with Josh McDaniels’ first go-round as an NFL [...]